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Hillel Dedicates New Center on Mt. Auburn St.; Riesman Grant of $500,000 Supports Renovations

By Susan K. Brown

More than 300 people attended services yesterday dedicating the new location of Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel at the Riesman Center at 74 Mt. Auburn St.

Renovations of the building, begun last winter, cost $600,000, Henry Morgenthau, president of the Friends of H-R Hillel, said yesterday. Hillel has leased the building for three years.

A contribution of about $500,000 by Joseph and Sadie Riesman and the Riesman Foundation financed much of the construction, Morgenthau said.

But, he added, more than 1000 contributors had given $1.4 million to Hillel's fund drive. Morgenthau said he hopes to reach the drive's goal of $2 million within the next six months.

The dedication ceremony began yesterday morning, when the donors of the renovated rooms in Hillel blessed the rooms and uncovered mezuzahs--small scrolls affixed to doorposts.

In the afternoon Dean Rosovsky, the main speaker at onies iners Theater, same time, they must preserve said, adding that Hillel is central to the continuance of Jewish life at Harvard.

He added that Jews now compose about a fourth of the Harvard student body--more than ever before.

After the speech, several hundred people marched from Phillips Brooks House to the new center, behind two others carrying the Torah scrolls.

Robert A. Riesman Jr. '76 said yesterday the real importance of the new center and its programs is to strengthen the commitment of Jews who already support Hillel, to attract Jews indifferent or hostile to it, and to further understanding between Jews and the larger community.

"Right now Hillel is opposite Elsie's. Next year I hope people will say Elsie's is opposite Hillel," Morgenthau said.

Morgenthau, who said he sometimes refers to himself as a "born-again Jew," said the dedication should represent the commitment of the Jewish people to the work of Hillel.

Hillel has opened a cafe and kosher kitchen and added egalitarian services since the center opened this summer, Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold, director of the Riesman Center, said yesterday.

About 1000 students a week participate in the different activities and services at Hillel, he said, adding that at the Jewish New Year services next weekend he expects more than 3000 students, faculty and alumni.

The University acquired the Riesman Center building about ten years ago. It had housed the defunct Iroquois Club--ironically, one of the few finals clubs to accept Jews before World War I, Rosovsky said. More recently it was the site of Sanctuary, a haven for "street people," Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said yesterday.

He added that Jews now compose about a fourth of the Harvard student body--more than ever before.

After the speech, several hundred people marched from Phillips Brooks House to the new center, behind two others carrying the Torah scrolls.

Robert A. Riesman Jr. '76 said yesterday the real importance of the new center and its programs is to strengthen the commitment of Jews who already support Hillel, to attract Jews indifferent or hostile to it, and to further understanding between Jews and the larger community.

"Right now Hillel is opposite Elsie's. Next year I hope people will say Elsie's is opposite Hillel," Morgenthau said.

Morgenthau, who said he sometimes refers to himself as a "born-again Jew," said the dedication should represent the commitment of the Jewish people to the work of Hillel.

Hillel has opened a cafe and kosher kitchen and added egalitarian services since the center opened this summer, Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold, director of the Riesman Center, said yesterday.

About 1000 students a week participate in the different activities and services at Hillel, he said, adding that at the Jewish New Year services next weekend he expects more than 3000 students, faculty and alumni.

The University acquired the Riesman Center building about ten years ago. It had housed the defunct Iroquois Club--ironically, one of the few finals clubs to accept Jews before World War I, Rosovsky said. More recently it was the site of Sanctuary, a haven for "street people," Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said yesterday.

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