Building Forward Project



Building Forward Project Update
June 2020

We hope that you and your family are healthy, safe and feel supported.

Slifka Center has undertaken a project called Building Forward in commemoration of our 25th anniversary. Highlights of this project include renovating the kosher kitchen, enlarging the dining hall, updating the tired interior and outdoor spaces, reorganizing study and meeting spaces, updating the security infrastructure and more. The campaign to fund this project is co-chaired by Richard S. Pechter ’67, Victoria Lindenbaum Feder ’90 and Robert S. Bildner ’72 and Elisa Spungen Bildner ’75.

We are pleased to share this update with you, which will address both the status of the renovation and the campaign that is funding it. We thank those who have already contributed to this exciting project and look forward to connecting with those that are considering getting involved. Yale Credit*, including credit for gifts in honor of your upcoming reunion, is available for contributions to this project because it represents an important investment in student life at Yale both within and far beyond its Jewish community on campus.

The planning process for the entire project has been completed and contractor bids have been solicited. Slifka Center’s Board of Trustees authorized campaign and staff leadership to prepare for Phase 1 of the construction project which will include the kosher kitchen and dining hall in the lower level, and parts of the first floor including the lobby, terrace, the addition of a coffee bar and additional restrooms. We are in close communication with the University and will confirm a construction timeline once we have a better idea of exact costs from the contractors, and especially what the campus climate will be in the fall. If the campus climate, including communal dining and socializing will be disrupted anyway because of COVID-19, this upcoming academic year will be an opportune time to do the necessary construction. This will allow us to serve students without further disruption once the campus is back to a new normal.

As of June, we have raised $2.5 million in pledges and gifts from Yale alumni and parents toward our goal of $10 million. We encourage those who care about Yale and Jewish life who have not yet made a commitment toward this project to help us toward our shared goal. Now is the time to show your support. For more information, please contact Slifka Center’s Executive Director, Uri Cohen at or Jennifer Rogin Wallis, Director of Development at you!

*For Your Reference

– Slifka Center is a non-profit, independent from the University. All gifts to Slifka Center and this campaign are tax deductible, 501(c)3 #06 1257354.

– Click here to read the Project Overview which includes floor plans and more details.

– Yale Credit is available for gifts received before June 30, 2021 or until we raise $8 million.

– The campaign will fund the renovation, as well as a new endowment to help the expanded costs associated with operating a kosher kitchen.


Alumni Spotlight
Each month, we will feature a different campaign donor to demonstrate the diversity and impact of the Slifka Center: Building Forward campaign project. We hope that you will enjoy hearing more about our wonderful community of alumni and parents,
in addition to possibly seeing some old friends here.

Victoria Lindenbaum Feder ’90, P ’19
Video Message

Victoria fondly remembers eating in the kosher kitchen at 305 Crown Street. Please click this link to view.


Student Spotlight
Each month we will introduce you to Yale student(s)
who make a difference in Jewish life at Yale.

Avi Cooper ’22 and Numi Katz ’22

Avi is a rising junior from New Jersey in Branford College studying Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. Numi is a rising junior in Davenport College from Minnesota studying Global Affairs. We are excited to be serving as the new Hillel Co-Presidents.

Slifka Center has been a central part of our Yale experience: it’s given us an incredible group of friends, a vibrant religious community, and invaluable mentors and opportunities. We hope that Slifka will be the type of place that, whether it’s a person’s first time or their hundredth time at a Slifka event, they feel at home. And now, more than ever, a strong Hillel community is vital. We are humbled by the prospect of the many changes and challenges Slifka will take on in the coming months, and are excited to emerge as a more vibrant Jewish community of students, staff and alumni.


Slifka Center Programming Highlights

Beginning in March, Slifka Center has hosted monthly Slifka Online Salons featuring a variety of speakers and topics of interest to Yale alumni, parents and friends. Please click this link to watch recordings of past programs, and join us for our next Online Salon on June 29 at 8pm EDT featuring Yale Law School Professor Daniel Markovits for “Prosperity and Suffering in a Time of Crisis”. Zoom link for this Online Salon:


Campaign Leadership


Richard S. Pechter ’67, P ‘93
Victoria Lindenbaum Feder ’90, P ’19
Robert L. Bildner ’72 and Elisa Spungen Bildner ’75, P ’06, ’09, ’10 ’16


Frank D. Aronson ’69, P ’95
Scott B. Cantor ’81 and Lisa E. Stone ’78, ’82 MPH, P ’12
Joseph Z. Cohen ’02
Danielle Bella Ellison ’15
Evan K. Farber ’99*
Michael L. Friedman ’55, P ’87
Melanie A. Ginter ’78, ’81 MS, P ’15
David Gordon ’77 and Meryl Greenwald Gordon ’78, P ’08, ‘14
Sam Greenberg ‘13
Andrew Klaber ’04
Samuel G. Levy ‘05
Dan Oren ’79, ’83 MED
Tamar Sadeh ’85, P ’15, ’18*
Rabbanit Leah Sarna ’14
Bat Sheva Marcus and Elliot Schwartz P ’11, ’13, ’21
Yishai Schwartz ’13, ’18 LAW
Michael L. Stern ‘02
Peggy Gries Wager ’82*
Naomi Weinberger ’88, P ’23

Honorary Co-chairs

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
Rabbi Angela Buchdahl ’94, P ’22
Congressman Ted Deutch and Jill Deutch P ’18
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman ’64, ’67 LAW, P ’89
David Slifka ’01


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