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Winter 2000


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A SILVER YEAR
FOR SAUL PERLMUTTER

AMHERST SKIES, FROM BOTH SIDES NOW

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A Silver Year for Saul

Photo: Perlmutter

With his coming, Jewish student life at UMass was transformed,” says Marlene Fine ’70, ’80G, ’84G. Last October Rabbi Saul Perlmutter, director of UMass Hillel, was feted in the Great Hall of the State House in Boston for his twenty-five years of service on campus.

     Under Perlmutter’s direction, UMass Hillel has blossomed from a tiny staff serving a handful of active students out of a small office in the Student Union to its current residence in the former BKQ house on North Pleasant Street. Refurbished and renovated as the Harold Grinspoon Hillel House, the building provides housing for twenty-six Jewish students, along with a kosher dining commons, library and study and conference space, and a range of activities for the 3,000 Jewish students at UMass, as well as faculty and staff members and the wider community. Perlmutter has also launched such initiatives as the Jewish Residential Area Programming (J-RAP) which was cited last year with a Haber Award from the Hillel Foundation. UMass is the only campus ever to receive five Haber Awards.

     At the Statehouse event, warm tributes from President William Bulger and Chancellor David Scott were joined by a congratulatory joint resolution from the State Legislature presented by Senator Stan Rosenberg. The silver anniversary tribute also launched the Rabbi Saul Perlmutter Endowment Fund, which has grown to $55,000, according to Fine, director of the graduate program in communication at Simmons College and co-chair of the event.

     Recalling his arrival at UMass in 1974, Perlmutter says he doesn’t “think Jewish students were coming here for Jewish reasons then. But I know they are now and I’m proud of that.”

 
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