A new building for the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston that will go up as part of a planned expansion project for the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston will be named after two of its biggest donors.

The Velva G. and H. Fred Levine Jewish Federation of Greater Houston Building will be named for the Houston philanthropy duo after the couple recently donated a substantial financial gift for the new building, according to a July 22 announcement from the federation.

“The Federation is equally proud and grateful that Velva and Fred continue to ensure our community’s strength by leading this historic endeavor for the Federation,” said Jewish Federation of Greater Houston Board Chair Bobby Lapin in a news release. “The Levines have always prioritized community and, because of that commitment to all of us, their generosity will leave a lasting legacy on Houston’s Jewish community and help ensure Jewish lives are supported throughout our city and the world.”

The new building relocated closer the South Braeswood Boulevard and Atwell Drive as part of the ERJCC's $50 million expansion and renovation project, focusing on creating a central and welcoming experience, expanding core program spaces, enhancing security and accessibility into and around the campus, mitigate against future flooding, and provide a more modern destination for members. The Federation building will include new technology and meeting spaces.

September 2020 was the expected groundbreaking date for the project when it was first announced in February, though that timeline may change because of COVID-19 concerns, said Joel Dinkin, CEO of the Jewish community center.

Thus far, the ERJCC has raised $37.5 million through its capital campaign, and is launching the The Sherry and Gerald Merfish and Family Matching Gift Program until Labor Day. For every $2 donated, the program will give another $1 with commitments beginning at $10,000.

To support the renovation or programming during the pandemic, contact Anita Bormaster, at [email protected]