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Sheila and Alfred Wohl Dining Center at Hillel to be dedicated Friday

October 01, 2009

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Every Friday throughout the year, more than 150 students gather at Syracuse University’s Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life to share Shabbat dinner and celebrate the Sabbath. Thanks to a significant gift from the Alfred Wohl Family Foundation, the space in which they gather for this tradition will now be known as the Sheila and Alfred Wohl Dining Center.

The center will be dedicated on Friday, Oct. 2, at 5:30 p.m. Those in attendance will include Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor; Lowell H. Lustig, executive director of Hillel at Syracuse University; Sheila Wohl ’34; her son Michael David Wohl ’72, L’75, and his wife, Betty; and granddaughter Heather Wohl, an SU sophomore. Members of the board of governors of Hillel at Syracuse University, Hillel student board members, members and alumni of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, officers of the Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation, leadership from the board of advisors and the administration of the College of Law, and SU students are also expected to attend.

Alfred Wohl ’34, was a member of SU’s varsity lacrosse team from 1932-34, a member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity and of the Tau Theta Honorary Society. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the School of Management, he went on to earn a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. After service in the military during World War II, Wohl practiced law and engaged in real estate development. He was also well known for his philanthropic work and was a co-founder of Long Island Jewish Hospital, which now serves as the Long Island teaching hospital for Albert Einstein School of Medicine. Wohl died in 1986.

“Alfred Wohl’s commitment to philanthropy is a hallmark of Michael’s approach to his own giving, and he is deeply committed to honoring his mother and father through his philanthropic giving,” says Lustig. “Michael and Betty have made a lifelong commitment to give back and do so with great humility. Michael is always quick to say, ‘This is not about me–we are grateful for what this university has meant to our family.’”

Michael Wohl is a partner in the Pinnacle Housing Group in Miami, an attorney and a licensed real estate and mortgage broker. He serves on the board of advisors for the College of Law and is an alumnus of Sigma Alpha Mu. He has previously made major commitments to the SU College of Law and the SU lacrosse program–the University’s Alfred Wohl Lacrosse Field is named in memory of his father. With this gift to Hillel, there is now a place at Syracuse University that honors Sheila Wohl as well.

Hillel at Syracuse University was founded in 1951, and the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life opened in 2003. Over the course of the year, the center serves more than 4,000 meals. The space can hold more than 200 students and be expanded to accomodate more than 250 students. During the festival of Passover, the dining room is filled to capacity and other spaces are used throughout the building to accomodate 350-400 students who gather for the traditional Passover Seder.

“During the week of Passover, the Sheila and Alfred Wohl Dining Center is the only location in the City of Syracuse where you can get Kosher for Passover lunches and dinners for the entire eight days of the holiday,” says Lustig. Members of the SU community and the community at large are welcome to partake in this Kosher for Passover food option.

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