Ms. Eija Ayravainen                                                                                                            

Vice President for Student Affairs

Hunter College                                                                                                          


Dear Vice President Ayravainen:

On behalf of the Hunter Hillel Board and the students of the Hillel, I am writing to thank you for your efforts with respect to the scheduling of the 2017 Hunter graduation around the celebration of our Shavuot holiday.

We have come to understand that you went to great lengths to be thoughtful and considerate of the religious observance of the Shavuot holiday that begins at sunset on May 30, 2017. Apparently, graduation was originally scheduled on Shavuot and that date was moved up.  Given that there are several ceremonies that culminate in the final commencement of the day, the graduation is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. We appreciate that you are aware of the needs of the Jewish families to return to their homes in time for candle lighting which occurs at 8:20 that evening and your willingness to make special accommodation on a case by case basis to support families in their ability to take leave of the ceremony and access transportation as expeditiously as possible.

We know how diverse our Hunter community is and accordingly how aware and sensitive you must be to the unique needs of a vast number of students. We reiterate to you the commitment of Hunter Hillel to support you as a partner in caring for the Hunter community and the Jewish community in particular.  Especially with the creation of the Jewish Studies Center and the imminent transition within Hunter Hillel , we very much look forward to finding new and meaningful ways to continue to be a “value added” to you as well as to the faculty and administration.

With gratitude for your consistent support of our Hunter Hillel community and all students at Hunter College,


Lisa Buchsbaum Pollack, Esq.

Executive Director

Hillel at Hunter College


Cc:  President Jennifer Raab