Last week marked an important milestone in the history of JTS as our List College students finished moving into their new residence hall, the first completed space on our 21st century campus.
The new residence hall was designed to reflect our values at JTS. First and foremost, its spaces emphasize the importance of community. Every floor features large, light-filled dining rooms and study/meeting areas as well as huge kosher kitchens. Next semester we will open our new, beautiful moadon for larger student gatherings. These inviting common spaces will welcome students from diverse backgrounds to come together and experience Shabbat and holidays as well as the daily rhythms of Jewish life.
Our Jewish values are reflected in other important ways as well. The building meets exacting standards of energy efficiency and encourages actions to foster environmental sustainability through recycling and composting. Respecting diversity and enhancing inclusivity is also an important feature of our new residence hall. Every floor has gender neutral, single-use bathrooms and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant bathrooms for disabled members of our community as well as ADA compliant bedrooms and kitchens.
In designing the new residence hall, we heard from many experts including, of
course, our world-renowned architects, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, but student contributions to the design are evident everywhere. From the separate entrance on 122nd street to the ability to access the entire campus from the residence hall, from the addition of the moadon to supplement the ample common areas on each floor to the microwaves and refrigerator/freezers in every room and the laundry facilities on every floor, our former and present students have put their indelible mark on residence life for future generations of JTS students.
As the students make the new residence hall their home, the true work of community building begins.