Hillel, a student organization dedicated to the Jewish experience at Penn State, announced Tuesday that starting in the fall 2017 semester, the university will open its first Kosher dining service, named Pure.
After discussions between members of Penn State Hillel, the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), Housing and Food Services and Penn State Food Services, the dining facility will be the first certified-kosher kitchen at Penn State and located in the East Food District at Findlay Commons, in East Halls.
“For a lot of prospective Jewish students and their families, kosher food is a top priority when choosing the right university to attend. Prior to the opening of Pure, it was hard to attract students with kosher dietary restrictions, despite having one of the largest, and most vibrant, Hillels and Jewish populations at a public university,” said Penn State Hillel’s Director of Community Engagement, Hannah Giterman in a release.
In the past, the only kosher food options on campus was through Hillel’s kosher kitchen at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, certain religious holidays or homes of local community members.
With the new kosher kitchen, students will have access to food options that meet Jewish dietary laws along with allergen-free stations with no dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, gluten and sesame on the menu.
“The University is committed to supporting cultural and religious diversity among its students, and we are very excited to be creating new spaces for students to come together to share meals, customs and ideas,” said university President Eric Barron in the same release. “The kosher kitchen is a positive example of what can come from creating opportunities to have open dialogues about how to foster a welcoming campus environment. In just one casual conversation, we became aware of a desire for a kosher setting, and that’s a really powerful statement about the importance of bringing different voices to the conversation.”
The kitchen will open in East Halls in August and will serve dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday along with brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.