Campus Dining is looking to make Jewish students feel at home on campus by offering kosher meals in observance of the Feast of Passover for the first time in campus history. Daily brunch and dinner began on Saturday, April 20 and will continue until Friday, April 26 at the Canyon Cafe in Poly Canyon Village (PCV).
“Passover is the holiday that celebrates the birth of the Jewish people, so from a holiday perspective this is the one that makes all the other ones possible,” Rabbi Chaim Hilel of Chabad San Luis Obispo said.
Hilel will be overseeing food production and ensuring that all meals are kosher-certified, according to University Spokesperson Matt Lazier.
Kosher meals cost $8.50, or for students on a dining plan, one meal credit. Offerings are open to the entire campus community and will be prepared in a kosher-certified kitchen, according to Lazier.
“Months of planning and preparation went into making this event possible, and we are proud to be able to offer these meals for the first time,” Campus Dining Registered Dietitian Kaitlin Gibbons said.
Gibbons said Campus Dining started offering kosher meals based on feedback from the Jewish student community.
“On a macro level it is important for students to have access to these meals and traditions, because this is part of our heritage, and being able to practice and observe our traditions is what allows the continuity of the Jewish people,” Hilel said.
Roast chicken, beef brisket, smoked salmon, gefilte fish, vegetable frittata, matzo bread and latkes are some featured menu items, according to Campus Dining.
Electrical engineering sophomore Josh Raikin said kosher food being offered on campus has meant a lot to him and eliminated the 40 minute walks he took last year to get to Chabad SLO, where they were offering Passover meals.
“Now after class I can get food on campus that meets my religious dietary restrictions,” Raikin said. “I’m really happy freshmen can use their campus dining plan to purchase the food, as that would have been awesome for me last year.”
However, Raikin said he hopes the location where the meals are offered is moved in the future, since PCV is out of the way for the majority of students living on campus.
Director of the SLO Hillel club Jake Kaufman said these meals not only help Jewish students celebrate, but give students from different religious backgrounds the chance to learn more about what Passover means.
“Here’s an opportunity to see what a passover meal is all about,” Kaufman said. “It’s not just for the Jewish community. It’s an opportunity for other students to see what Judaism is all about.”
Reservations for Passover meals can be made through Campus Dining. Students can also learn how to make kosher meals at the upcoming Cooking in the Canyon Class Tuesday, April 30.