University plans new Muslim and Jewish prayer spaces
Executive Director of Campus Ministry Kevin O’Brien, S.J., announced plans for the creation of new religious spaces in the Leavey Center to address to the needs of Muslim and Jewish students on campus.
As part of a larger reimagining and renovation of the Leavey Center, in an effort to make it more student-focused, there will be a phased in renovation of the area where the Center Grille currently exists in to permanent prayer space for students.
Current plans for the area include the creation of a Muslim prayer room, Jewish sacred space, an interfaith prayer room, and a kosher/halal kitchen. The interfaith prayer room would be available to any religious group on campus, especially those that do not have a permanent prayer space.
“To have Muslim and Jewish prayer spaces next to each other speaks of our commitment to interreligious understanding,” O’Brien said.
Due to this being a long-term project, O’Brien’s office has made plans for immediate changes as well.
Beginning in the next academic year, the Jewish prayer space will be transferred from the house on 36th Street to a renovated area in the Leavey Center. The area will be near where the planned Jewish sacred space is planned to be.
For Muslim students, daily prayers will continue to be held in Copley Hall until the renovation of the Leavey Center is completed, but Campus Ministry and Student Affairs plan to refurbish Bulldog Alley this summer to make it more aesthetically pleasing for the students. Friday jum’ah prayers are currently held in Bulldog Alley due to the larger attendance at these services.
Campus Ministry met with student leaders of the Muslim and Jewish Student Associations earlier this week to present their plans and will be working with the students over the coming months to finalize the proposals.