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March 29, 2023

Architects finish first phase of Yale Jewish center revamp

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED The Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale is in the midst of a large-scale renovation.

A New York-based architect has finished the first phase of a large-scale renovation and addition project at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale.

The center is at 80 Wall St., New Haven, and occupies a 19,000-square-foot, four-story building. It has been the center of Jewish culture and studies at Yale since 1995.

Landow and Landow Architects, an architectural and interior design firm based in Old Westbury, N.Y., announced this week it had completed the project’s first phase.

Glen J. Landow, a principal with the firm, said the center’s leaders wanted to better integrate the center into the overall Yale campus.

“Program spaces, study rooms, dining facilities, lobbies and lounges were all reimagined to be more flexible, functional and inviting,” Landow said.

Babbidge Construction Co. of New Haven is serving as construction manager for the project. 

Uri Cohen, executive director of the Slifka Center, said, “The project came out great.”

Officials said the center was overdue for a major modernization, including interior and exterior remodeling, security and acoustical upgrades and new lighting, finishes and furniture.

The first phase included the renovation of the lower-level dining hall and kosher kitchens. 

To increase the capacity of the dining hall, an underused adjacent lower-level outdoor courtyard was enclosed to allow for more seating. A skylight covers the space to brighten the dining area.

Workers added an open bridge overlooking the dining hall. It connects both sides of the renovated and expanded lobby and helps improve circulation, according to an announcement. An outdoor terrace was also remodeled.

For the next phases of the project, there will be interior renovations and layout changes to the building’s upper floors. Private offices will move upstairs to free up space on lower floors for student and community programming. Improvements will be made to meeting rooms, lounge spaces and chapels.

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

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