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KU dining center to serve kosher food once a week

For the past several years, Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, director of the Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Life, known to most simply as KU Chabad, has been working tirelessly to get kosher food served in a cafeteria for students at the University of Kansas. His wish comes true next week when a weekly kosher meal will be served at Mrs. E’s Dining Center, located at Lewis Hall on Daisy Hill. The cafeteria serves approximately 3,500 students daily. Any student with a dining plan may eat at Mrs. E’s.

The hot kosher dinners will be served when school is in session on Monday nights, beginning Sept. 16. They will be available from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Reservations are not needed. Those without a dining pass may purchase an off-campus dining plan or they may choose to pay $9.50 at the door. (Due to tax guidelines, dining hall meals are not readily available to the general public. Guests associated with the university such as prospective students, parents of students, faculty and staff may eat there.)

The Jewish student population at KU is estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000 students. The total enrollment at the Lawrence campus is estimated to be 23,000 students.

In keeping with KU Chabad’s goal to serve as a resource for anything Jewish at KU, Rabbi Tiechtel said he is very excited about this newest venture.

“There are so many students who perhaps kept kosher at some level back home, but when in college needed to drop their level of observance due to the lack of kosher food availability. Now it has become a reality to enjoy a solid kosher dinner even while at KU. This will also serve as a great incentive for potential Jewish students who may be considering KU as an option for their college experience,” he explained, noting that it’s hard to say how many students will take advantage of this new offering until the program gets up and running.

“There are some students at KU who strictly observe kosher dietary laws and they will definitely take advantage of this. There are also many Jewish students at KU who, even if they don’t strictly observe kosher, will take advantage of the opportunity if kosher food is being offered on site,” he said.

Rabbi Tiechtel said that a broad menu of items will be offered including soups, sandwiches, salads, kosher pasta entrees, kosher beef tacos and kosher chicken dishes.

“It is important to note that all foods being served at the kosher station at Mrs. E’s will be kosher meat or pareve. There will be no dairy meals. And it will all also be gluten free,” the rabbi noted.

Over the last several years Rabbi Tiechtel has worked tirelessly to bring kosher options to KU students and KU supporters. In the winter of 2012 a kosher concession stand, open only during midweek games, opened and serves kosher hotdogs. During the 2012-13 school year the Kosher Stand opened at the Kansas Union. It sells kosher hot dogs, corned beef sandwiches and potato knishes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday.

“KU Chabad has been working on this for close to four years now. I should highlight how much we appreciate the partnership of KU Dining in making this happen. KU Dining has really shown a tremendous amount of caring and sensitivity to the individual needs of every student at KU. Their partnership in making kosher happen at KU is greatly appreciated and will go a long way for the current and future Jewhawks at KU,” Rabbi Tiechtel said this week.

The rabbi said KU Chabad is open for ideas and input from the broader community in regard to the kosher program. Anyone who would like to share a suggestion on how to make kosher an even greater reality at KU is invited to contact Rabbi Tiechtel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .