Monday, April 16, 2012

Washington College to Unveil New Hillel House as Welcoming Hub for Jewish Students

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Washington College’s gleaming new Roy P. and Nan Ans Hillel House will be dedicated Friday at 4:30 p.m. in a program featuring remarks by the national president of Hillel and a poem written for the occasion by award winning poet Jehanne Dubrow.
“Hillel House is going to be a magnet for Jewish students on campus; it’s going to ensure their voice on campus; it’s going to help them establish their own identities; and it’s something other competitive schools already have that will attract students, particularly Jewish students, to Washington College,” says Roy P. Ans ’63, M.D., who chairs the committee that has already raised more than $208,000 to renovate and endow the house at 313 Washington Avenue, across from the campus lawn.
The program will include an address by special guest Wayne L. Firestone, national president and CEO of Hillel, The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Washington College president Mitchell B. Reiss will deliver welcoming remarks and Rabbi Peter E. Hyman, MAHL, DD, of Temple B’nai Israel in Easton will deliver the invocation.
Rabbi Hyman, along with Lawrence Golub ’63 and Roy and Nan Ans ’63, will also preside over the installation of the mezuzah, the fragment of parchment inscribed with Hebrew verses from the Torah that is rolled up in a decorative case and affixed to the door frame of Jewish homes.
Jehanne Dubrow, assistant professor of creative writing and English and interim director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House, will read her prose poem commissioned for the occasion: “Poem on the Dedication of the Hillel House, at Washington College, on Maryland's Eastern Shore.”
“The poem brings together my family’s personal history – that Jewish story of Diaspora and the long search for home – with an acknowledgement of what a permanent Hillel House can bring to Washington College,” Dubrow says. “The Hillel House will be a physical embodiment of the ways in which we all need community; we all need a warm room, a table around which to share meals or tell stories.”
Mike Kaylor, master printer of the Literary House Press at Washington College, is making a handset limited-edition broadside of the poem to commemorate the event.
There will also be remarks by Washington College Hillel president Ashley Carol-Fingerhut ’14 and by Dr. Ans, who is a member of the WC Society of Visitors & Governors and a longtime supporter of an enhanced Jewish life at Washington College. In 2006, he endowed the Roy P. Ans Fellowship in Jewish American Studies.
The College has set a goal of raising $350,000 to both renovate the house and create an endowment to support it. Jonathan D. Bookbinder ’10, Beth Kahn Leaman’73, Peter D. Maller ’90 and Mark A. Schulman ’67, Ph.D., serve on the fundraising committee chaired by Dr. Ans.
A reception will follow the dedication ceremony, which is free and open to the public. For more information: