Costly Kosher meal plan proves ineffective

Noa Elliot, Contributing Reporter

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

The Jewish undergraduate student population at Tulane University hovers around 33 percent, and yet the variety of food offered by the new kosher meal plan is both underwhelming and overpriced.

For nearly $1,000 more per semester than other meal plans, students have standard access to Bruff Commons and a limited number of kosher meals each week at Hillel’s Kitchen. Despite a lack of variety or continuity, Lisa Norris, the director of Dining and Auxiliary Services, said the prices will increase because the food and preparation associated with Kosher standards are costly. 

For students who keep a strict kosher diet, Bruff is not an option, as it fails to meet religious standards. Even the most basic options, like the fruit or salad bar, do not meet the standards of kosher preparation and leave students who carefully abide by kosher laws with only Hillel, which can be repetitive, inconvenient and often unavailable. 

Students who choose to eat only the truly kosher food from Hillel must walk to Broadway Street past Freret Street to get a meal. This forces Kosher students to dine without their friends and deprives them of the dining hall experience, an integral part of the first year of college. For students not on the kosher meal plan, alternative meals are expensive and can quickly deplete WaveBucks. Even if students do purchase the kosher meal plan, they are not offered enough swipes to eat three meals a day. The plan needs to be reformed, as prices are likely to increase. 

Norris said this is the first year of the meal plan’s implementation, and she thinks the collaboration with Hillel’s Kitchen made the Kosher meal plan a possibility at Tulane. Hopefully in the future Hillel and dining services can work closer together to improve the meal plan. 

Though the fact that Tulane now offers a kosher meal plan at all reflects a step in the right direction, the plan needs to offer more on-campus options at a more equitable price. 

Noa Elliot is a freshman in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]

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