Harvard Elbows Out Non-Jews at Kosher Dining Hall

Only Jewish Students and Guests Can Eat at Hillel Chow Spot

getty images

By JTA

Published November 16, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Harvard University Dining Services has moved to curb the number of non-Jewish students at Harvard Hillel who eat at the kosher dining hall.

A sign posted last Friday at the entrance of the dining hall limited entry to “a member or an invited guest of Harvard’s diverse Jewish community,” The Harvard Crimson newspaper reported.

“The most important part of Hillel’s mission is hospitality,” Harvard Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Jonah Steinberg told The Crimson. “[The restriction] creates conflict with our inclusive and welcoming environment, but I understand HUDS’s concern about its budget.”

According to Steinberg, who has been in contact with HUDS, kosher meals at Hillel costs twice as much to prepare as meals in other dining halls.

“I don’t know how you could visually single out individuals as belonging or not belonging in a community,” Steinberg said. “I just hope we will work out a way with HUDS to make Hillel both a cost-efficient and a welcoming institution.”

The sudden change to the dining restriction has created confusion among students the 100 or so students who eat there, the paper reported. It’s not known exactly how many of those are Jewish.

“Nobody is happy about it,” Arun A. Viswanath, a former president of Hillel’s steering committee, told the paper. “This is not a question of who is Jewish and who isn’t, but more about how HUDS is going to pay for the meals.”

Likewise, Sara Kantor, the current president of Hillel, said the decision was an “unfortunate one.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.