By Amanda Brennan
After 17 years on campus, The Illini Chabad Center for Jewish Life is moving from their current location on 4th Street to the old Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house in Champaign.
The center’s new 27,000 square foot home at 209 E. Armory Avenue will include space for living, studying, dining and socializing. There will also be space for a permanent, dedicated sanctuary on the property, the only Jewish sanctuary for worship on campus.
This is a big upgrade from their current 3,000 square foot location. Leaders are looking forward to this larger space to serve as a Jewish community center.
Starting in the spring semester, the house will be open to anyone but will allow Jewish students to live with others with similar traditions and beliefs. Executive Director Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel hopes to have 36-41 students living in the house, all in single rooms. The Illini Chabad serves and works with about 2,000 total students.
To help cover the $7.1 million purchase and renovation of the home, the Illini Chabad Center for Jewish Life launched a campaign to help cover the costs. For the next 72 hours, all donations up to $400,000 will be matched by a group of donors.
Photo by Wells & Wells Construction Company