New Building, New Director at Franklin & Marshall Hillel

April 3, 2008

The president of Franklin & Marshall College has announced a new Hillel building will be operational by late fall 2008 with Dean of Students Ralph Taber tapped as its director.

The Klehr Center for Jewish Life is named for Franklin & Marshall alumni Susan Kline Klehr '73 and husband Leonard M. Klihr '72. It will comprise a living room, dining room, sanctuary/library space, seminar room, and offices for Hillel staff and student organizations.

The Klehr Center

The current Hillel House at 645 College Avenue

The new building will also be environmentally friendly. Jacobs Wyper Architects of Philadelphia have designed the 6,500 square foot facility to include a geothermal heating and cooling system and floor tiles made from corn. Ten percent of the materials that make up the new facility will be recycled, post-consumer matter.

On July 1, Ralph Taber will relinquish his responsibilities as dean of students to become the first director of the Klehr Center. In his new capacity as associate dean of the college and director of the Klehr Center for Jewish Life, Taber will develop Hillel programming, assist in recruiting Jewish students to the college, and develop a Jewish alumni network. Taber will also devote more time to spiritual and religious life on campus in general, and continue to oversee the operation of the College Center.
The current Hillel House at 645 College Avenue.John Fry, president of Franklin & Marshall, says the first phase of the project is demolishing the current Hillel building housed at 645 College Avenue. "This is a very exciting time for Jewish studies and Jewish life at Franklin & Marshall," says Fry. "[S]tudent interest in the Judaic Studies program has grown significantly...[and our] Hillel group has been recognized nationally for the quality and creativity of its programs." Fry adds that Franklin & Marshall is currently exploring the possibility of expanding its relationships with leading universities in Israel. (more info click here)
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