Now on Exhibit: Celebrating a Half-Century of Hillel@Stanford

January 6, 2016
Josh Schneider

The following is a guest post by Shelley S. Hébert '76, Past President of Hillel@Stanford, Chair of Hillel's Half-Century Anniversary, and exhibit co-curator.

As Hillel@Stanford celebrates its half-century anniversary during 2015-2016 with a year of special events, a new exhibit focused on its long history will be on display in Green Library's East Wing through February 2016. 

Featuring historical materials from both the University Archives and private collections, the exhibit showcases milestones ranging from the beginning of Jewish student life on campus, to the historic decision by the University Board of Trustees that allowed Jewish and other religious services to be held on campus in locations other than Memorial Church, to the establishment of Hillel’s permanent home on campus at the Ziff Center for Jewish Life. The exhibit tells a story of progress spanning generations.    

In addition to the Library exhibit, an interactive decade-by-decade Hillel@Stanford history narrative is available online at http://stanford.hillel.org/halfcentury/history.  Alumni, faculty, students, University leaders, former Hillel rabbis, executives and staff, and friends are invited to post their own memories and comments.

“Each era in Jewish life at Stanford has made significant contributions that continue to benefit the wider campus community today,” said Rabbi Serena Eisenberg, Executive Director of Hillel@Stanford.  “We are very appreciative of the opportunity to partner with Stanford Libraries to share and preserve this important history for future generations.”

In honor of the Half-Century anniversary, Hillel@Stanford has commissioned the writing of a new Torah scroll and is collaborating with Stanford University Libraries, the Office of Religious Life, and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies to offer educational and experiential programs focusing on ancient texts, the scribal arts and religious writings throughout the year.  Zachary Baker, the Reinhard Family Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections and Assistant University Librarian for Collection Development – Humanities and Social Sciences, will give a presention on Jewish rare books and manuscripts from the Library collections during the Half-Century Celebration Weekend planned for April 1-3, 2016. 

The weekend will also include special Anniversary Shabbat services and dinner, a performance by the Jewish Women’s Theater, and a Half-Century Celebration Party and Concert by musician and songwriter Craig Taubman, whose songs bridge traditional Jewish themes and ancient teachings with passages and experiences of contemporary Jewish life.  A visiting Torah scribe will offer opportunities for individuals and families to help complete a letter in the new Hillel Community Torah, which will be dedicated at the close of the Half-Century Anniversary year in Fall 2016.

“We look forward to welcoming our extended Hillel@Stanford community to this milestone celebration weekend,” said Eisenberg.  More information about the Half-Century Celebration and events is available online at http://stanford.hillel.org/halfcentury.