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Kosher options adds variety to meals

March 24, 2011

Adding to the variety of dining options, students have yet another choice.

On March 21, a new kosher option was made available at Wilson Hall, said Samuel Appel, president of the Jewish Student Union. Having food to make students feel at home makes the transition from home life to being at a Big Ten university easier, Appel said.

“It’s important and will be utilized by many students on campus,” he said. “We’ve been trying to spread the word so everyone can use it and enjoy the convenience.”

To serve food that is certified kosher, the meat products have to be kept separate from dairy products and cannot be consumed at the same time, said Rabbi Jason Miller, director of Kosher Michigan, which certified MSU’s kosher option.

“It was a very important endeavor,” said Guy Procopio, director of MSU culinary services, in an email. “We are committed to meeting our students’, faculty, staff and guests’ special dietary needs based on everything from religious practices to food allergies and lifestyle choices.”

Cindy Hughey, the executive director of the MSU Hillel Jewish Student Center, said she went to MSU Residential and Hospitality Services and asked them to consider this option.

“It’s just another dietary observance the university should recognize,” she said. “There’s a selection of students who keep kosher and now they will have the opportunity to eat a full meal including a protein.”

Miller worked with Chuck Raad, the owner of Woody’s Oasis Bar & Grill, 211 E. Grand River Ave., for about a year to make the kosher option available.

“Kosher Michigan supervises the kosher kitchen as well as the area where the food is served to make sure all foods are strictly kosher,” Miller said. “We purchased all new equipment, utensils, pots and pans — everything in the kosher kitchen is segregated from the restaurant.”

Raad was interested in opening a restaurant near campus that would include a kosher kitchen, Procopio said.

“It seemed like a perfect match,” he said. “Our guests are thankful and thrilled that we’re offering a fresh, complete and hot kosher meal option.”

Miller, an MSU alumni, said it was difficult to keep kosher on campus when he was a freshman and is thrilled the option is available to students now.

Showing the university there was a need for this option was the main way to turn the idea into a reality, Appel said.

“It really helps cater to all people on MSU’s campus,” he said. “It helps bring in new students and helps them feel welcome. Those who keep kosher as well as Muslim students, who also have diet restrictions, will benefit from this option.”

Lauryn Holmes, a psychology freshman, said it is good students now have this choice.

“It’s better that students have this option,” she said. “The university needs to cater to everyone.”

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