Color and comfort are now in high supply on the 2nd Floor at 714 21st St, the short-term home of GW Hillel. A recent crowdfunding project led by GW students and Hillel staff brought in gifts from more than 50 donors, totaling $7,711, to renovate campus space used for student meetings, staff offices, and informal gatherings among the Jewish community.
“It’s a great place to hang out, do work, or take a break from a busy day,” said Eitan Agagi, GW class of 2018.
Dubbed “Extreme Makeover: GW Hillel Edition” the crowdfunding project encouraged students, alums, and community members to help fund upgrades to the transitional space at 714 21st St. that will house Hillel during renovations to its home at 2300 H Street.
Hillel staff forged a partnership with GW’s Interior Architecture & Design Program that allowed graduate student teams to submit design concepts for the new space, using the $7,711 in donations as a budget.
The design program students were charged with creating a modern space while understanding the unique challenges of supporting thousands of Jewish students in a small footprint. The winning design by Meghan Scott, Indira Cruz, and Ashley Marshall – all graduate students in the class of 2016 – was selected over the summer and the makeover occurred in the early fall.
“Their inventive design, Home Away From Home, clearly incorporated the needs of our students in a vibrant, modern, and relaxed way,” said Hillel Assistant Director Adena Kirstein.
Hillel will host an official housewarming party for their new home in late October. The staff is also planning a new web series on GW Hillel’s YouTube channel, “Fireside Chats”, highlighting the space and the ideas that are housed inside of it.
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This guest post was written by Adena Kirstein, assistant director of Jewish Life at GW Hillel.