By: Avigail Greenberg  | 

Weissberg Commons to be Renovated with $1 Million Grant

Yeshiva University will renovate Wilf Campus’s Weissberg Commons with a $1 million federal grant secured by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), it announced on Facebook.

In the announcement, the university stated that the renovations would turn Weissberg Commons into a center for academic programming and community events. The facility will continue to be used and rented out by the wider community for events, Chief Facilities and Administrative Officer Randy Apfelbaum shared. Renovations will also ensure the space is useful for future university events by including “new lighting, flooring, wall finishes and a built-in sound and video projection system.” Renovations will likely begin in the summer of 2023. 

Weissberg Commons is located in Belfer Hall and is adjacent to the building’s security desk in its lobby. Last year, the space was transformed into a COVID-19 vaccination site for all eligible New Yorkers, and later used as part of YU’s COVID Monitoring Program for Wilf students. It is also used to host the annual Seforim Sale, as it did this past February. 

However, the space is due for an update. It “has not been renovated in many years and is used often for special events and lectures. The acoustics are poor and there is no built-in audio or video,” noted Apfelbaum. 

According to his deputy chief of staff and director of communications, since Espaillat is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he has the ability to “request local projects in his congressional district to receive direct federal funding through the Appropriations process in upcoming annual federal spending bills.” Espaillat was glad to be able to secure Community Project Funding to support YU in their work for students, university faculty and the residents of NY-13. He believes that this project will “foster economic development, making a real difference in the lives of so many in our community.”

“Yeshiva University is an epicenter of education in the Jewish community, both in the United States and around the world,” said Espaillat. “I am delighted to deliver this federal funding to assist in the renovation of the Weissberg Commons and help further the university's mission as an educational institution and strong community partner.”

The funds were part of the Fiscal Year 2022 federal spending bill.

Senator Schumer’s office did not respond to The Commentator’s requests for comment.

Jonathan Levin contributed to this story.

Photo Caption: Belfer Hall’s Weissberg Commons 

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University