After 17 years on the University of Illinois campus, The Chabad Center for Jewish Life, headed by Rabbi Dovid and Goldie Tiechtel, are purchasing a 27,000-square-foot property located in the center of campus.
An exciting transformation is coming. After 17 years on the University of Illinois campus, The Chabad Center for Jewish Life is taking a giant leap forward in its offering of being a home away from home for young Jewish
adults from around the state, and indeed the Midwest as they spend their formative college years in Champaign-Urbana.
Illini Chabad, The Chabad Center for Jewish Life at the University of Illinois is thrilled to announce they are taking it to a whole new level, purchasing a 27,000-square-foot property located in the center of campus. Just a stone’s throw away from the main dorms and Greek Life, the facility is easily accessible for all in the community. Rabbi Dovid and Goldie Tiechtel will continue their mission to create a home environment where everyone will feel welcome to join and participate in the many programs and activities Chabad has to offer. The investment demonstrates a strong commitment
to Champaign-Urbana, said Rabbi Dovid.
“Young Jews come to our community from around the state to begin their adult life, and we are proud to offer them a rock upon which to build their Jewish traditions. With this purchase, we are making a strong statement, that we are staying, holding our ground, building our community, educating our community and keeping our community safe,” he said.
The sprawling 27,000-square-foot mansion features private meeting
and study rooms, social areas, and a modern kitchen situated off a
huge dining room that opens up to a large deck overlooking Second
Street. The turn-key property is zoned for all Chabad activities and will
have a permanent dedicated sanctuary space, the only one of its kind
The purchase enables the expansion of all existing programs with plans to create many new ones down the line. Chabad is dedicated to serving individuals and families by providing an open-door environment for strengthening and enhancing Jewish values and identity to all people, regardless of background, philosophy or level of dedication. Given the uncertain nature of these turbulent times, now more than ever, Chabad ledges to be a safe space for students to turn to for any reason.
The Chabad’s focus on security is a relief for most families, just as is the comfort in knowing that there’s a place on campus where students can maintain engagement with their faith. The University of Illinois has roughly 40k enrolled students and of those, 10% are of Jewish faith. At an age where many are getting to experience certain freedoms for the first time, it’s important to have a reliable support network in place.
This also has been proven to have long term benefits. According to a 2016 study, “College alumni who were more frequent participants at Chabad during college had higher scores on post-college measures of Jewish attitudes and behavior than those who were less frequent participants, once other influences on post-college attitudes and behaviors were taken into account.”
The cost of the entire project is $7 million. Chabad has already lined up more than half the funds needed but will be launching an online fundraising campaign on Monday, August 10th at 12pm CST to raise the remaining funds. Information can be found at illinitransformation.org.
The new Chabad is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020. For more on the campaign and building: illinitransformation.org.
For more on Chabad please visit Jewishillini.org