Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor ruled Friday in favor of the City of San Diego and Hillel of San Diego, upholding Hillel’s right to build the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center across La Jolla Village Drive from UC San Diego. This legal victory is a crucial step forward in Hillel’s effort to build a facility to serve Jewish students at UC San Diego. Approved in October 2017 by a unanimous vote of the San Diego City Council, the Glickman Center will provide a permanent home for Hillel in La Jolla.
Numerous lawsuits against this project, dating back to as early as 2006, have been filed by “TRLU,” an organization with only one listed member. The latest suit, filed in 2017, sought to invalidate the City Council’s most-recent approval of Hillel’s Glickman Center by alleging myriad violations of law. Earlier this year, Judge Taylor threw out TRLU’s claims that the City violated the U.S. and California constitutions.
Judge Taylor’s decision Thursday denied TRLU’s petition and decisively stated, “the court’s review is limited to determining whether the City proceeded in a manner required by law (which it did); and whether the March, 2017 determinations in the EIR were supported by substantial evidence (which they were).” In response to TRLU’s argument that the Glickman Hillel Center should be relocated elsewhere, Judge Taylor stated in court, “We don’t do that in the United States … That is evocative of Eastern Europe and not appropriate.”
“This was a baseless lawsuit, and we are heartened that Judge Taylor confirmed Hillel’s lawful right to build,” said Joel Smith, President of the Board of Directors of Hillel of San Diego. “We are especially delighted that our project will serve as a welcoming beacon of inclusivity at the entrance to La Jolla, a neighborhood that once forbade Jewish ownership. We will not be bullied any longer; the time to build is now.”
Led by a $5 million pledge from Joseph “Chickie” Glickman, Hillel has already received over $12 million in contributions and pledges on its way to its $15 million fundraising goal. With successful fundraising well underway, Hillel is immediately moving forward with steps to make the project “shovel ready” for construction. Hillel has engaged its architect to prepare construction drawings and building plans. On December 2nd, Hillel will host a Hannukah celebration on the planned site to kick off the public phase of fundraising.
“Our successful fundraising so far demonstrates the great enthusiasm our community has to see this project realized,” said Rabbi David Singer, Executive Director of UC San Diego Hillel. “The Glickman Hillel Center will be a hub for Jewish life at UC San Diego and is critical to ensuring that Jewish students are welcomed into community and have a place to gather, celebrate holidays, and learn. Our community has been waiting a long time for this center and we are eager to move forward swiftly.”
“We want to be sure to thank our many supporters with a special appreciation to the entire legal team at Cooley LLP who have represented Hillel for many years. Cooley lawyers Summer Wynn, Barrett Anderson, and Catherine O’Connor have contributed enormous amounts of their time and energy to our cause,” said Singer.
To learn more about the Glickman Hillel Center project and campaign, visit glickmancenter.org.