Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Hillel IUP and the IUP Holocaust Remembrance Committee will partner with Rabbi Horowitz from the Altoona Chabad for an outdoor public Chanukah menorah lighting on December 11 at 6:00 p.m.

The event will be held in IUP’s Pratt Circle outside of the main entrance to the Hadley Union Building.

Chanukah games and refreshments will be available in the Ohio Room in the Hadley Union Building following the lighting event. Free parking in the HUB lot is available after 5:00 p.m.

Both events are free and open to the community. Additional event sponsors include the Altoona Chabad, the law firm of Marcus and Mack, and the IUP Social Equity and Title IX Office.

IUP has had a Jewish Student Union group for the past several years; the group’s faculty advisor, Shannon Phillips-Shyrock, led the work of the Jewish Student Union becoming formally affiliated with Hillel International with the assistance of local attorney Robert Marcus of Marcus and Mack.

Phillips-Shyrock, a member of the chemistry faculty in the Madia Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Engineering, is the faculty advisor for Hillel IUP and is also the chair of IUP’s Holocaust Remembrance Committee.

Since its founding in 1923, Hillel has become the world’s largest, most inclusive Jewish campus organization, serving more than 140,000 students each year at 850 colleges and universities around the world.

“I felt this change was necessary to better support our students, and Mr. Marcus was a great support in getting the process started,” Phillips-Shyrock said.

“My main role as the Hillel IUP faculty advisor is to support IUP Jewish students, be an active presence on campus for students, and to attend Hillel advisor meetings. It has been fascinating, uplifting, and frightening at times to attend these meetings and hear firsthand what has been happening on campuses around the country,” she said.

“A study on the national Hillel website states about three-fourths of college students have experienced or witnessed antisemitism on campus. So, increasing antisemitism and wanting to help Jewish students feel safe and supported were factors in forming Hillel IUP.”