Monday , 20 October 2014
Breaking News

Naming gift of $2.5M to createCenter for Jewish Student Life

Following a tradition stretching over several generations, two of Miami’s most distinguished families, the Bramans and the Millers, have joined forces to transform Jewish student life at the University of Miami with a lead naming gift to University of Miami Hillel.

Hillel is the largest Jewish organization on campuses worldwide. The gift will enable fundamental renovations and the building of the new Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life to meet the needs of more than 2,000 Jewish students at the University of Miami.

“Our families are proud that the Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life will be the center of Jewish life on campus at the University of Miami for many years to come,” said Debra Braman Wechsler and Jeffrey Miller, Hillel at UM Capital Campaign co-chairs. “UM Hillel is extremely important to us, as we have deep roots in the community and in the university.”

Through their philanthropic gifts, the local Braman and Miller families will support UM Hillel in focusing its efforts on providing students with a new stateof- the art, welcoming and spacious facility to attract both Jewish and non- Jewish students alike.

The vision includes spaces designed to inspire, such as a rooftop lounge with a balcony, Café Hillel serving Kosher food, a renovated chapel, worship spaces, as well as offices and a multipurpose room for event programming.

“This modern ‘home-away-fromhome’ will help to inspire and shape the future leaders of the Jewish community,” said UM president Donna E. Shalala.

These spaces will provide students with room to engage, grow, socialize and connect with their peers, making UM one of the most dynamic Jewish communities in North America. The expected completion date of this project is summer of 2015.

Over the years, members of both families have served on the university’s board of trustees. Miller family members have been ardent, long-time supporters of Judaic culture and studies. Their commitments have extended to the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at UM, which provides an objective, in-depth exploration of the issues and trends that have affected the Jewish people over the past 100 years.

UM Hillel currently provides Jewish students with a vibrant community where they can deepen their identity, strengthen their relationships and challenge themselves with new perspectives. Hillel celebrates a weekly Shabbat on campus, participates in Alternative Breaks and other community service events, coordinates Birthright Israel trips, and offers its students a variety of leadership and professional development opportunities.

“I am excited and committed to build a world-class facility that will enable us to foster a strong sense of community and pride for our students,” said Noreen Gordon Sablotsky, chair of UM Hillel’s board of directors.

To learn more, contact Shana Kantor, 305- 665-6948 or shanakantor@miami.edu.

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