After 10 years, it’s finally here.
Starting last week, kosher food was made available for Bradley students,
and, so far, there has been a positive response to the new kosher sandwiches, although there are also frozen meals that can be purchased and reheated.
“We had 30 sandwiches and 20 salads, and within two days they were gone,” said Ron Gibson, director
of dining services. “We’ve had some interest from the community. We had one guy come in one day and just buy six kosher sandwiches.”
For some, the introduction of kosher foods marks a distinct step toward the goals that founder Lydia Moss Bradley had when she founded
“The university is always interested
in accommodating diversity,” said Seth Katz, faculty advisor to Hillel. “That was always one of Mrs. Bradley’s goals. Bradley remains committed to accepting diversity on campus and one of the best ways to do this is to give them a wide range of dietary options.”
Katz said he believes that the new kosher options will open up Bradley’s ability to recruit primarily
Jewish students from the Northeastern states.
“It goes a long way in recruiting students from the Northeast,” Katz said. “There has already been a lot of recruiting in the Northeast, and this will certainly help. The university
sees this as a win-win.”
Besides offering kosher meals for practicing Jewish students, the addition of the new food will allow non-Jewish students to sample foods they may have never encountered
“We make a lot more students happy,” Katz said. “The benefit for Jewish and non-Jewish students is the opportunity to come together and meet each other. Plus, there’s some really good food.”
Having kosher food on campus requires some additional room and work to bring together. Jewish tradition
requires that meat and dairy be stored separately and that the two cannot be together in a dish. Also, meat and dairy have to be prepared separately, on different surfaces or in different containers.
The meats that may be consumed,
which include beef, sheep and goats, must be slaughtered under the supervision of a rabbi, who has been trained to oversee the animal’s preparation. Rabbi Eli Langsam of Chabad Lubavitch certifies the kosher food served at Bradley.
Katz said he believes the addition
of kosher meal options will incite students from an Orthodox Jewish background to come to Bradley, bringing a new, mostly unseen group of students into the community.
“We’re going to have a new group of students that will be a more religiously observant group,” Katz said. “It will be one more chapter in the diverse history of Bradley University students.”