Joseph Pedott’s relationship with our Hillel dates back to 1967, when he was asked to make a donation to our fledgling organization. At the time, Joseph was a young advertising agent working in San Francisco, earning approximately $4,000 annually. While Joseph did not have much money to spare, he did want to lend his support. Thus, he made a promise to give the proceeds from his next sale to Hillel. Remarkably, his next sale garnered $25,000. True to his word, Joseph donated the entire amount to Hillel. This generous gift helped us provide a home away from home for the Jewish college students in our area for many years.
Joseph went on to become a renowned inventor, entrepreneur, and manufacturer of famous products such as the Chia Pet. Joseph reconnected with our Hillel in 2007 and made another promise – to help build a new Hillel House on this very spot. Through his tremendous generosity and vision, Joseph became a vital partner and enabled us to realize our dream of a new home.
On May 4, 2012, we celebrated Joseph’s 80th birthday and our first Shabbat in this beautiful building. Joseph told the crowd of over three hundred people: “Investing in Hillel was the best investment I ever made.” We couldn’t agree more, and are forever grateful to Joseph Pedott for his love, support, and belief in our Hillel.