Keeping Kosher at College: Meals, Meal Plans, and More

Keeping Kosher at College: Meals, Meal Plans, and More

Hillel is an international foundation for Jewish students that can be found on many college campuses around the country.  It offers programs for Jewish students to explore their faith, reach out to the community, and grow socially.  Through local Hillel branches, universities accommodate students who are keeping kosher.  On campus, many Hillels offer kosher meals throughout the week and on holidays.  University dining halls may also appeal to Jewish students by offering kosher options in dining halls and cafes.

Perhaps the most comprehensive kosher dining program is at Boston University.  There is a kosher dining room in the Florence & Chafetz Hillel House, which serves lunch and dinner throughout the week.  On the first floor of the Hillel House is the Granby St. Café, which offers kosher options (like sandwiches, teas, and pastries) for students on the go.

The kosher dining plan at BU allows students to eat at the Hillel House for all meals, including Shabbat, Passover, and other festive days for no extra charge.  Students without the kosher meal plan may also eat at the Hillel, but they will have to pay extra points or cash.

Harvard offers similar options through their campus Hillel but does not have a separate meal plan.  The Harvard Hillel offers Friday dinners and Saturday lunches after Shabbat services.  It also provides students with a list of kosher foods available in the dining halls across campus.

Washington University in St. Louis offers a comparable program to BU, but without a separate meal plan.  The St. Louis Hillel offers Shabbat dinners on Fridays and expands to offer lunch and dinner throughout Passover.  Kosher dinner options are offered Sunday-Thursday on campus at South Forty House Bear’s Den from 5-10 pm.  Kosher options are also available at cafes around campus.

Many other universities offer kosher dining options through their Hillels such as Princeton, MIT, and Stanford.  Cornell has a dining hall that offers many kosher options as well.

Beware of universities who do not address kosher diets and do not have resources put into place.  Swarthmore College, for example, does not mention how they accommodate students keeping kosher on their website.  Some universities may encourage students who adhere to kosher diets to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet at school.

Know of any another colleges with great kosher food? Share with us in the comment box below.