Hillel chapter in Davis marks 50 years

Hillel at Davis and Sacramento marked its 50th anniversary with a May 3 celebration honoring its founders and former leaders. Eleven of 13 past presidents attended the event, which was held in the 9,500-square-foot, $5 million ­­­­­facility in Davis that the chapter opened three years ago.

Attended by more than 250, the event featured speeches by Jewish student leaders and state Sen. Lois Wolk, who presented a state Senate proclamation honoring Hillel. Other dignitaries on hand included U.C. Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, vice counsel Eyal Naor from the S.F.-based Israeli consulate, and many alumni and area rabbis.

A new challenge grant, funded by businessman and Hillel supporter Joe Pedott, was announced, with the goal of raising more than $1 million for the chapter’s endowment fund.

After the celebration, Chani Oppenheim, executive director of the Davis/Sacramento Hillel chapter, said, “A lot of people care about this Hillel, and the love and support that started over 50 years ago continues to this day. To see the outpouring of support and joy and everyone’s faces was incredible.”