Dear Friends and Alumni,
Many of us knew and loved Rachel Simon. Rachel would have been 42 years old this year, but tragically, she passed away on July 29, 1999 at the age of 28 after a courageous six year battle with leukemia. In her all too brief time in this world, Rachel affected the lives of all those who came into contact with her. She cherished life and lived it with a fullness that radiated both her inner and outer beauty.
Though it is hard to believe, 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of Rachel and her classmates’ junior year abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Rachel Simon Project is devoted to keeping Rachel with us, in action and in spirit by renovating The Hillel Theater of Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus, which will be renamed in her memory as The Rachel Simon Hillel Theater.
Rachel was an active member of the UMass Hillel, created bonds that lasted a lifetime at Camp Ramah in New England and Newton South High School, and spent summers on USY On Wheels and Ramah Seminar in Israel.
Rachel was a true artist: studying ballet, piano, singing, pottery and painting. Her sensitive eye and innate talent led to a career in graphic design. She brought warmth, creativity and a love of being Jewish to our world. Rachel channeled her enthusiasm for Hebrew U. and her life-changing experiences in Israel to inspire others to attend.
You can see how touching her story and life was by watching her appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on YouTube. Rachel loved, learned and touched so many of us who still carry her in our hearts every day.
As Rachel’s epitaph so eloquently states, “Your life was your greatest work of art”.
To kick-start the Rachel Simon Project, the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, The Rothschild Foundation and Hillel International have donated $189,000 towards the renovation.
We are committed to raising the remaining funds to honor her memory, enabling Rachel’s love of Israel to live on and inspire tomorrow’s Jewish students to realize their greatest creative talents.
Following an anonymous challenge grant of $50,000, we have raised $315,000 to date and are 90% of the way to our goal of $350,000! Renovation construction officially kicked off on August 19th, 2013 and the new Rachel Simon Hillel Theater will make its debut in January 2014!
Thank you for helping to bring the vision of the theater honoring Rachel's memory to reality through your generous donations! We are so grateful for this opportunity to keep alive Rachel's love of life, Jewish identity, and her deep love of music and Israel.
Rafi Rone, Director of Jewish and Israel Initiatives
Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds
Rabbi Yossie Goldman, Rabbi and Founding Director
Hillels of Israel
The Rachel Simon Project Committe
|Liz Mettler Coyle||Allison Pollock||Toby Simon|
|Rabbi Yossie Goldman||Yaffa Regosin||Rebecca Simon Smith|
|Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn||Debbie Eisenkraft Rolan||Missy Tick Stein|
|Yael Mosse||Rafi Rone|
|David Newman||Cantor Murray E. Simon|