Rutgers Hillel Leaves Its Home of 17 Years to Make Way For Construction

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Hillel House at Rutgers University has moved to a temporary new location on Bishop Place, while their old building on College Avenue awaits demolition and a new building is erected across the street.

As we reported in July, a new plan for a larger Hillel House was approved for the opposite side of College Avenue.

In place of the old building will be a new site for the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS), who owns the old Hillel House at 93 College Avenue.

On October 3, Hillel held a lively ceremony commemorating the move of several Torahs from the old building to a temporary new home: a Rutgers-owned building at 8 Bishop Place.  That one, too, is slated for demolition as part of a $300 million redevelopment project.

Hillel erected this year's sukkah, an annual ceremonial structure marking the Jewish harvest festival, at the temporary spot.

A new series of construction projects that includes the new NBTS as well as academic and housing buildings for Rutgers, has already claimed eight buildings owned by the Seminary.

Soon to be demolished is the iconic 1960's-era Zwemer Hall, which resembles an upside-down cupcake.

The building at 93 College Ave. dates back to the late 19th or early 20th century.  Likely built between 1904 and 1912, it has several historic gas light fixtures and architectural features, including arched entrances, built-in cabinets, and a decorative mosaic on one of the floors.

Demolition activity and new construction has been ongoing on the block, and two groundbreaking ceremonies were held this summer.

Reporter at New Brunswick Today

Richard researched transportation, land use, history, and other topics. Investigated site plans. Attended public meetings (planning board, zoning board, parking authority board of directors, City Council) to record and help determine what was discussed. Analyzed blueprints and site plans to determine what land uses sites would be put to. Photographed sites that would be affected by proposed projects, as well as sites involved in news events. Employed Sketchup CAD to visualize new land uses, such as buildings and structures. Critiqued and wrote articles in fast-paced work environment, writing before deadlines. Made judgments as to what constituted proper material to include in articles. Created a zoning map; am working on ways to show it to the public. Consulted vintage maps to determine historic land uses.