University of Vermont

Vermont Quarterly

New Home for Hillel

Burack family in front of new home for Hillel
Three generations of alumni Buracks: Dan ’55 HON ’08, Carole HON ’08, Adam ’85, and Abigail ’16.


New Home for Hillel

STUDENT LIFE | In recent years, UVM Hillel has developed into one of the nation’s top programs promoting Jewish student life on campus. Throughout this growth process, members of the Burack family have been both guiding force and stalwart supporters.

Now, on the strength of a recent gift from Daniel A. Burack ’55 HON ’08 and his wife, Carole Burack HON ’08, UVM Hillel is poised to step it up another notch with a new home on campus. The gift of $2.5 million from the Buracks will support the design, planning, and renovation of 439 College Street as a vibrant hub for Jewish life, and will support ongoing and inclusive programming at UVM Hillel. (The building, across from Waterman, was originally home to Phi Delta Theta fraternity.)

This latest gift from the Burack family builds on record levels of participation in UVM Hillel and seeks to rally wider support from fellow alumni, parents, and grandparents for facillity enhancements and investments in students and programs.  

“The new facility will benefit campus by providing a physical center of support for students to connect with high-quality, inclusive Jewish life,” Matt Vogel, executive director of UVM Hillel, says. “We envision a hub of activity where all students can come to grab coffee, study, attend class, plan, and participate in the hundreds of programs Hillel facilitates each year.”

In the five years since Dan Burack has chaired its board, UVM Hillel has seen extraordinary growth with participation increasing from 330 students in 2013 to 1,655 in 2017, and a projected 2,000 students for the current academic year. UVM Hillel aspires for an inclusive environment and extends its activities beyond traditional programming. Students from all backgrounds and beliefs are invited to engage with the program and one another as a way to create community and form lasting connections.

Along with their son, Adam ’85 and grand-daughter Abigail ’16, the Burack family’s prior philanthropy at UVM has supported a professorship in the College of Education and Social Services, an endowed scholarship, the Burack President’s Distinguished Lecture Series, and the Fleming Museum.

As ardent supporters of UVM Hillel, the Buracks hope others will see their gift as a call-to-action to do the same: “Now is the time for us to combine our Jewish values of giving back and creating a bright future for Jewish students at UVM.” 

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