For years J Street has attempted to change to better meet student needs.
And while the University cannot accommodate every dietary restriction or preference, in cycling through different venues, it has left out a key group: those who keep kosher.
Since the kosher eatery Nosh shut down this summer, J Street’s kosher options are limited to a half-filled refrigerator of sandwiches and salads. The Hatchet reported Monday that 40 to 50 students have complained to GW Hillel that Orthodox Jews have few options at J Street. One student said she eats mainly fruit, yogurt and reheatable meals from Whole Foods Market – a scant diet that seems unsustainable.
Students – especially freshmen – should not be forced to spend the required $1,400 yearly at J Street on food they cannot eat.
A deli-style venue with a wide range of options could have broader appeal to the student body while also taking into account those who keep kosher. Delis are commonplace in large cities and it is fairly simple to cook normal foods, like sandwiches, salads, bagels and even pastas while following strict kosher guidelines.
If spending is mandatory at J Street, the University is obligated to meet the needs of students with religion-based dietary restrictions.