Aug 31, 2009 — As Yeshiva University (YU) embarks on its Fall 2009 semester, it is opening the first new building on its Wilf Campus, its main campus in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, in 20 years. The Glueck Center for Jewish Study, a 60,000 square foot, modern, glass and stone multi-use facility that will serve as a new intellectual hub for students and faculty, will be officially dedicated in ceremonies on Sunday, September 13, 2009 beginning at 9:30am on the Wilf Campus, 185th St. between Audubon and Amsterdam Avenues.
The dedication ceremonies will include the participation of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a YU alumnus, and other NYC and State dignitaries.
Connected to YU’s Mendel Gottesman Library, the Glueck Center features a two-story beit midrash (study hall) seating more than 500 people, two state-of-the-art lecture halls featuring stadium-style seating, eleven classrooms, 50 faculty offices, faculty and student lounges and a dean’s suite. In addition, the building will include a high-density, temperature and humidity controlled storage space where the library’s archives will be relocated and a satellite courtroom for the Beth Din of America, the country’s largest rabbinical court. The presence of the beit din will enable rabbinic students at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) to observe and learn Jewish legal proceedings in the presence of dayanim (judges of Jewish law), and to be trained to serve as dayanim themselves.
“The inauguration of this facility will refocus the world on the light that emanates from Yeshiva University, the learning that generates that light, our commitment to an integrated life based on a Torah that elevates all our studies, and how we ultimately apply that study to the improvement of civilization,” said President Richard M. Joel.
This significant building, which connects to the Mendel Gottesman Library via the Jack and Gitta Nagel Family Atrium and Student Commons, was made possible through the generosity of Jacob Glueck, who built Citromax S.A.C.I. into one of the country’s foremost suppliers of flavorings for the food and beverage industries. Glueck is a Holocaust survivor who came to the United States virtually penniless. Through his business success, Glueck and his late wife, Dreizel, became major philanthropists in the U.S. and Israel. In 1998, RIETS awarded Glueck its Eitz Chaim Award, the highest honor it bestows for the advancement of Jewish scholarship. Vivian Glueck Rosenberg, his daughter, is a YU Trustee and member of the Board of Directors of Stern College for Women, as well as co-founder of the Dreizel Glueck Bikur Cholim Foundation. She and her husband, Henry Rosenberg, continue her father’s example of leadership in the Jewish community.
The striking stone and glass Glueck Center was designed by HOK Architects, which most recently designed Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, the stunning new homes of the New York Mets and New York Yankees baseball teams. The building materials were carefully chosen to reflect the University’s identity as an institution rooted in ancient tradition and looking toward the future. Stone is a traditional material that represents stability and permanence, while glass is a more modern material that transmits and reflects light.
Careful attention was paid to the conservation of energy by incorporating efficient design features, including large windows on both the north and south facades to create an abundance of light. An insulated glass curtain wall along the exterior of the beit midrash both creates privacy from the street and reduces the heat load, while two columns of frosted glass at either end of the building allow light to stream in to the stairwells inside. The center was also built with a LEED-certified air-conditioning system.
The Glueck Center creates new places for study and socializing at the Gottesman Library. From inside the Nagel Family Atrium, visitors can enter the Glueck Center and access the library’s first floor via an elegant new stairway or continue on to the library’s ground floor, where the Nagel Family Student Commons offers students a bright, modern space to unwind, eat a snack from the “Nagel’s Bagels” food kiosk, or access the Internet using Wi-Fi. The Yad Norman Lamm, a permanent exhibit recognizing Chancellor Lamm’s lasting contributions to the University with a display of pictures, documents and memorabilia will be located off the Nagel Commons.
The center will also house the administrative offices of Rabbi Yona Reiss, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS. Moreover, for the first time, all of the administrative offices from each of the University’s four men’s undergraduate Jewish Studies program will call the Glueck Center home, fostering an enhanced degree of coordination and communication among them.
For further information, please visit www.yu.edu/glueck.