U-M Jewish Resource Center readies major expansion and renovation

The Jewish Resource Center is gearing up for a major expansion of its facilities on the the University of Michigan’s Central Campus. The non-profit focuses on helping students become more in touch with Judaism. The 5-year-old organization has grown significantly, expanding its staff to five people. It is now looking to expand its home base at 1335 Hill St, a block east from U-M's famous rock.

"We have outgrown the building," says Rabbi Fully Eisenberger, director of the Jewish Resource Center at the University of Michigan. "There are weeks when students come and there isn't enough room."

The project proposes to maintain the former Victorian house's exterior character, but add some much-needed room for living and community events. The newly renovated building will measure out to 6,400 square feet by replacing a 1990s addition in the back and building out the basement.

The new structure will feature two apartments for visitors and one apartment on the upper floor for a rabbi.  Three rooms in the basement may be used as guest rooms for overnight visitors observing the Sabbath or other religious observances. The kitchen will also double in size to 265 square feet with some commercial kitchen amenities

"The kitchen is tiny," Rabbi Eisenberger says. "There isn't any room to cook in there."

The project is up for approval from the city this evening. City planning staff have recommended the project for approval. If approved construction would begin this spring and be done in time for the 2016 school year.

Source: Rabbi Fully Eisenberger, director of the Jewish Resource Center at the University of Michigan
Writer: Jon Zemke

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