An inspiring mezuzah-hanging ceremony on Tuesday officially opened the magnificent new Maxine and Carl D. Silver Hillel Center at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, VA.
“We couldn’t be more excited at bringing this new level of Jewish student community and life to the university,” said Hillel International President and CEO Adam Lehman.
More than four years in the making, the Hillel is an “amazing” center reflecting the “vision, passion, dedication and generosity” of Larry Silver, CEO of Silver Companies and the Silver Foundation, and his family, Adam said.
“This dream has been so very long in the making,” said Mary Washington Hillel Director Rabbi Menachem Sherman. “This Hillel will serve as place of Jewish learning, celebration, heritage and a home away from home for all our students.”
Adam referenced this week’s Torah portion, “Lech Lecha,” and how Abraham built the first altar for the Jewish people in the Land of Canaan -- just as Mary Washington Hillel is establishing a new community in Fredericksburg.
Several local VIPs including Mary Washington President Troy Paino also participated. He called the new Hillel “an incredible investment in this community.”
The Hillel will become a “hub” for Jewish and other students, for whom the new Hillel will be “a blessing,” he said.
Rabbi Sherman noted how the university’s symbol, the Eagle, is referenced throughout the Bible. In Exodus, God said he lifted the Jews on the wings of Eagles from slavery to freedom - just as the new Hillel will protect Mary Washington’s eagles at a challenging time, the rabbi noted.
Watch the ceremony here.