University gathers to dedicate Peter C. Hereld House for Jewish Life

Randi Stein, left, the daughter of Peter C. Hereld, greets Quinnipiac University President John L. Lahey, right, as Donald Weinbach, vice president for development and alumni affairs at Quinnipiac, looks on during the Oct. 12 dedication of the Peter C. Hereld House for Jewish Life at Quinnipiac.

More than 150 members of the Quinnipiac University community gathered on Oct. 12 for the dedication of the Peter C. Hereld House for Jewish Life.

The center, located on the university’s Mount Carmel Campus, will provide a gathering space for students who would like to meet each other and explore their faiths. It will be a center of Jewish culture – and include a place for services. It includes a living room with a fireplace and television, a rabbi’s study, a deck and two conference rooms.

“Peter C. Hereld gave us the gift of a place to be,” said University Rabbi Reena Judd. “For that, I, and the countless people who will pass through these doors, will be genuinely grateful and most appreciative.”

Hereld, for whom the center is center is named, died two years ago, just after his 90th birthday. He was a Holocaust survivor.

“I am very happy that some of the fruits of my father’s life work have been planted here, close to where my father lived during the last part of his life, to nourish and sustain the life of Jewish students here on campus,” said Hereld’s daughter, Randi Stein. “I hope it proves to be a place of refreshment.”

Donald Weinbach, vice president for development and alumni affairs, said the university is grateful for Hereld’s gift and to Quinnipiac Trustee Donald Perlroth for orchestrating the relationship.

“This is one of the most significant gifts to Quinnipiac because it speaks to an entire community about the importance of Jewish life on campus and provides first-class space for our students and the Hillel organization,” Weinbach said.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Hereld was part of a generation that offers such amazing gifts of personality and intellect, and that tried to give back.

“I feel like he’s part of the culture and energy in this space,” Blumenthal said of Hereld. “Quinnipiac is such a diverse place in its student body. In this gathering, there are people of many different faiths. It’s fantastic to see this space already being used as a place where people of various faiths could come and share their beliefs and experiences.”

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