Keepin’ it kosher; Jewish students may have options

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By Natalie Koltun, For the Mitzpeh, @Nat_Koltun

 

As any student who keeps kosher will tell you, the University of Maryland is limited in food options that align with the

strict diet. Aviva Pollack, a senior classical languages and literature major, regularly attends university basketball

games and finds the lack of kosher concessions at Xfinity Center limiting to the large population of students who

adhere to the diet.

 

“If you’re coming from class you don’t want to be starving at the games,” Pollack said. “Especially as a soon-to-be

alum, [adding kosher concessions] would definitely be an encouragement to come back to campus and visit.”

 

Early last fall, campus dining services spoke about setting up a stand in Xfinity Center offering kosher food. The

conversation was lengthy, and the plans would not have been ready until well into the basketball season, said Bart

Hipple, assistant director of communication for UMD Dining Services.

 

“Our plan is to start talking this spring about it so it’ll be ready by next basketball season,” Hipple said.

 

“Basketball games are usually during the week, so it might help more Jewish students go and enjoy the full game

experience like the rest of the students,” said Emily Minton, operations associate at Maryland Hillel.

 

Typically, concession stands’ menus are set by UMD Dining Services. In this case, Hipple said he and his team are

willing to work with the Jewish community to determine the menu and run the stand, which would need to be cleaned

and kashered.

 

“We would have to purchase products from a kosher supplier and get them delivered to Xfinity [Center],” Hipple

said. “We don’t have the option for two kitchens, so the stand would either have to serve meat products or dairy

products.”

 

“The [basketball] games could be a great start. If it goes well with sales and food quality, we could potentially expand

to football,” Hipple said. “I don’t think it would feel good to not be able to participate fully in the game experience, so it

would be great if we could do something to remove that block.”

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