WVU Dining Expands Kosher Options
Starting August 30th, West Virginia University will now have access to a wider variety of kosher meals thanks to an innovative new campus partnership.
WVU Dining Services and the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center have finalized a two part agreement to bring fresh, locally prepared kosher dishes to the WVU campus. First, WVU students, faculty, and staff will have access to a rotating menu of Kosher items at three locations on the Evansdale campus: Cavanaugh’s, da Vinci’s, and Brew ‘n Gold Cafe. Second, students with WVU Dining Plans will be able to use their plans at the Chabad Jewish Center’s weekly lunches and dinners. All students are welcome to use their Dining Plans at the Chabad Center, regardless of religious observance.
“This is a real opportunity for West Virginia University and WVU Dining to prove our commitment to welcoming all students,” explains Director of Dining Services David Friend. “Without a nearby kosher kitchen, food service providers are limited in options available to guests with kosher diets. With the Chabad Center being so close to campus, we are extremely fortunate to be able to grow our variety of kosher campus dining options with this partnership.”
The process of establishing a partnership started two years ago, when the Chabad Jewish Center’s Rabbi Gurevitz approached WVU Dining to discuss kosher campus dining options. Since that initial meeting the Chabad Center worked with the Monongalia Health Department to build a certified commercial kosher kitchen. The funding for the project came from Drew and Rhea Shervan of Las Vegas, Nevada, parents of senior WVU student Brittany Shervan. Drew Shervan is the CEO of Desert Kitchens Las Vegas, and donated the funds, equipment, and time to personally oversee the project in Morgantown. The completed renovations and health department certification allow WVU Dining to partner with the Chabad Center to provide an expanded option of fresh and safely prepared kosher dishes.
“For someone who eats kosher, it’s not a matter of preference, like eating Chinese food or Mexican food,” explains Rabbi Gurevitz. “It’s like having a food allergy: compromising is not an option. We don’t want students to have to sacrifice quality of food or religious observance to dine.” The Rabbi also shared that the Chabad Center’s kitchen is the only commercial kosher kitchen in the state of West Virginia that is certified by the health department, with the next closest kitchen located 75 miles north of campus in Pittsburgh.
The Rohr Chabad Jewish Center hosts meals four times a week, with menus consisting of traditional Jewish cuisine like matzo ball soup and knishes. Starting Wednesday, August 30th, students can use their Dining Plans to dine at the center for Wednesday lunches, served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., and Monday and Thursday dinners served from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The center also hosts free Friday night Shabbat dinners as a part of weekly worship services. Service hours may change depending on holidays and university breaks. Up-to-date dining schedules may be found at WVUkosher.com, the Chabad Center’s web hub for dining announcements, and at facebook.com/wvukosher.