Student Affairs looking to increase kosher, other dietary options with master plan

A+Northwestern+Dining+staff+member+prepares+food+at+the+kosher+station+in+Allison+dining+hall.+Allison+is+currently+the+only+location+with+a+kosher+station%2C+though+NU+may+add+additional+options+for+various+dietary+restrictions.+
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Student Affairs looking to increase kosher, other dietary options with master plan

A Northwestern Dining staff member prepares food at the kosher station in Allison dining hall. Allison is currently the only location with a kosher station, though NU may add additional options for various dietary restrictions.

A Northwestern Dining staff member prepares food at the kosher station in Allison dining hall. Allison is currently the only location with a kosher station, though NU may add additional options for various dietary restrictions.

Sherry Li/The Daily Northwestern

A Northwestern Dining staff member prepares food at the kosher station in Allison dining hall. Allison is currently the only location with a kosher station, though NU may add additional options for various dietary restrictions.

Sherry Li/The Daily Northwestern

Sherry Li/The Daily Northwestern

A Northwestern Dining staff member prepares food at the kosher station in Allison dining hall. Allison is currently the only location with a kosher station, though NU may add additional options for various dietary restrictions.

Julie Fishbach, Reporter

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Due to limited options for kosher food on campus, Weinberg senior Romy Bareket planned his course schedule around the location and hours of Allison dining hall, the only on-campus dining hall with a kosher station.Bareket, a pre-med student who has taken many classes in the Technological Institute located on the opposite side of campus from Allison, said he chose to carefully schedule his classes to ensure he could eat lunch every day. One quarter during his junior year, Northwestern Dining to arranged to have food delivered to Tech Express café when he had only a short break between classes in Technological Institute.

This challenge is being addressed by the Division of Student Affairs’ planned campus improvements to increase options across campus for students with dietary restrictions — including for kosher students — as part of the Dining Master Plan, which is being developed in tandem with the Housing Master Plan.

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, associate vice president for student affairs, said her department wants to be more inclusive by expanding options, such as for those with kosher and halal restrictions.

“One of the foundational, philosophical principles (of the plan) is inclusion,” she said. “We would love these options at every place on campus that serves food.”

Bareket, a pre-med student who has taken many classes in the Technological Institute located on the opposite side of campus from Allison, said he chose to carefully schedule his classes to ensure he could eat lunch every day. One quarter during his junior year, Northwestern Dining to arranged to have food delivered to Tech Express café when he had only a short break between classes in Technological Institute.

The station in Allison is open Sunday through Thursday for lunch and dinner and for lunch on Fridays. During Shabbat, each Friday evening to Saturday evening, the Tannenbaum Chabad House, Fiedler Hillel and campus Jewish organization Meor step in and provide students with meals.

Rachel Tilghman, Sodexo’s director of communications and engagement for Sodexo, said the university does not currently have the capacity to offer kosher food throughout campus dining halls as a kosher kitchen must be separate from a regular dining hall kitchen, with all its food prepared separately from the non-kosher food prepared in the dining hall.

She said when the kosher station was created as a collaboration with various campus partners, Allison was specifically identified as the preferred location. Tilghman said the station has not seen a significant increase in production and has been sufficient in meeting the needs of kosher students.

Bareket, who requested to live in Allison his freshman year so he could have convenient access to the kosher station, was placed in 1835 Hinman and told the location was close enough, he said.

Roger Becks, director of administrative services at Northwestern Residential Services, said this was in line with the University’s housing placement policy, which does not factor in religious dietary restrictions because dining halls can be accessed from anywhere on campus, he said. His office has not had complaints about the process, he added.

Bareket said even though NU’s kosher options are limited, the availability of even one option factored into his college choice

“I wouldn’t have come here if there wasn’t kosher food,” he said. “One advantage to NU is that I can go eat with my other friends that aren’t keeping kosher.”

This article was updated to clarify Bareket’s efforts to keep kosher on an NU meal plan. Bareket chose to schedule his classes around the Allison kosher station’s location and hours, with accommodations from Northwestern Dining to deliver food to him when that was not possible.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated who was involved in the creation of the kosher station. The station was the result of collaboration between various campus partners and Northwestern Dining. The Daily regrets the error.

Email: juliefishbach2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @julie_fishbach

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