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Education

City Council To Consider UC San Diego Hillel Center Proposal

Hillel UC San Diego
A rendering of a temporary Hillel Center for Jewish Life at 8976 Cliffridge Ave. is shown in this image.

An 11-year-old proposal to build a community and religious center for Jewish students at UC San Diego is scheduled to be considered by the City Council Tuesday.

The plan is to establish a temporary Hillel Center for Jewish Life at 8976 Cliffridge Ave. until a nearly 6,500-square-foot permanent facility is constructed on a vacant lot at 9009 La Jolla Scenic Drive North. Once the permanent location is completed, the Cliffridge Avenue location would revert back to use as a single-family residence.

Hillel purchased the property from the city in 2006. The project has survived a pair of lawsuits and a Planning Commission denial of a previous proposal for a 12,000-square-foot facility.

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The center would offer religious programming for Jewish holidays and festivals, programs relating to Israel as the Jewish homeland, Jewish community building and community service opportunities, according to the website ucsdhillel.org.

Concerns expressed at a Planning Commission meeting include the center being out of character with a residential area, a potential increase in traffic, greater demand for already-limited parking and security.

According to a city staff report, the three buildings that would make up the center would vary in height and sloping roof lines, would allow for "a harmony of scale" between the project and the existing development pattern of single-family dwellings in the neighborhood. A plan to include 27 parking spaces should be enough to handle the anticipated programming, the report said.

If the project is approved by the City Council, the Hillel Center would begin a fundraising campaign to pay for construction.