The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will open the country’s first university-affiliated housing option for Jewish students in the fall,  reported  The News-Gazette on Friday.

The Illini Chabad property, a former fraternity house, will be available to both Jewish freshmen and upperclassmen, though non-Jewish students can live there as well. It is made up of 32 two-bedroom suites, study rooms and more. Illini Chabad executive director Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel said plans are being finalized to build a Jewish synagogue in the building.

Residents will have kosher-meal options, housekeeping services, and a complimentary snack and beverage bar. The cost to lease a bedroom is $12,200 for August through May. Six of the rooms have already been leased, said the site’s manager.

The $7.7 million funding campaign for the building included $4.8 million in donations, Tiechtel told The News-Gazette. He added that “we are excited about the whole new level we are going to create with the housing.”

The news comes after two anti-Semitic incidents took place at the school in February and last month’s announcement that the school has created an advisory council to combat anti-Semitism on campus.

In 2020, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights against the university’s handling of anti-Semitic activity at its school.


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