Hillel

The first Jewish student organization at UNC was the Menorah Society, active in the 1910s and 1920s. The group was the center of a minor controversy when university president Frank Porter Graham offered the group space in the campus YMCA, despite objections from the YMCA national organization. The Menorah Society and its successor, the Carolina Jewish Society, were short-lived, most likely due to lack of interest from students. In 1935 students began advocating to open a chapter of the Hillel Foundation, the national Jewish student organization. One of the leading advocates was student Maurice Julian, who would later open Julian's clothing store on Franklin Street. The UNC chapter of the Hillel Foundation formally opened on October 9, 1936, with a ceremony attended by Frank Porter Graham. The rabbi who served as director had an office in the Campus Y and began offering religious services in Graham Memorial Hall. The group had a house on Rosemary Street in the 1940s before moving to its current location on Cameron Avenue in 1952. In 1966 the Hillel House hosted a speech by Frank Wilkinson, after he had been prohibited from speaking on campus under the state's Speaker Ban Law.