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Hillel of San Diego Breaks Ground on Jewish Center at UC San Diego After 20-Year Battle

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 9/20/2021 Brenda Gregorio-Nieto
a group of people standing next to a truck © Provided by NBC San Diego

After a 20-year battle, Hillel of San Diego broke ground on a Jewish center at UC San Diego Sunday.

The Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center will be located along La Jolla Scenic Drive and will include three separate, one and two-story buildings around a central outdoor courtyard. The center will serve the community at UC San Diego by hosting Jewish holiday experiences, Jewish learning, and community activities.

a sign in front of a house: A rendering of what the Hillel Center will look like after its opening sometime in fall 2022. Credit: Hillel Center © Provided by NBC San Diego A rendering of what the Hillel Center will look like after its opening sometime in fall 2022. Credit: Hillel Center

The center broke ground after 20 years of community engagement and several rounds of lawsuits.

Following a decision by the California Court of Appeal, it allowed the project to finally move forward. The ruling ended a long legal battle dating back to 2006. Hillel was awarded exclusive rights to purchase the land from the city to build a Hillel Center in 2000. The project was approved by the city council in 2017.

The long-awaited start of construction was celebrated on Sunday, drawing the region’s community, higher education and elected leaders including City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego City Councilmember Joe LaCava and UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, among others.

“The Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center will be a hub for Jewish life at UC San Diego and is critical to ensuring that students have a place to gather, connect, and learn,” said Hillel of San Diego Executive Director, Karen Parry. “As antisemitism is on the rise all over the country, our new Hillel Center will serve as a connector to the larger UC San Diego community to build bridges and foster allyship.” 

“The Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center will be more than a state-of-the-art facility, it will be a symbol of justice and a reminder that every Jewish young person in our city matters and that they deserve a place to feel safe and loved. This center is a proclamation that our city is truly a city for all of us,” said City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

The Hillel Center is expected to open sometime in fall 2022.

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