Refurbished UConn Hillel opens its doors

ContributedSTORRS — When Morris Trachten returned to UConn on the G.I. Bill in 1946, there was no kosher kitchen, no Hillel house. The Jewish student organization had been active on the Storrs campus since 1933, but Trachten would graduate a year before a designated Hillel facility opened its doors, in 1949.

On Oct. 10, Trachten, now 85, and nearly 350 others celebrated the rededication of the newly refurbished Trachten-Zachs Hillel House on North Eagleville Road. The building is named for Trachten and his wife Shirley and their family, and philanthropists Henry and Judith Zachs and their family, each of whom “invested” more than $1 million, says UConn Hillel executive director Gary Wolff, who came on board in July 2009.

“I don’t like to say ‘donated,’ or ‘contributed,'” he says. “Our friends have stepped up and decided to invest in our students, in their future, in the future of Hillel.” Funds raised totaled the $2 million project cost and a $1 million endowment.

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