by Tatianna Losk, Marketing Manager
Passover, which commemorates the ancient Israelites being freed from slavery in Egypt, is the mostly observed holiday on Jewish calendars, and yet finding kosher-for-Passover programs on college campuses is not so easy — unless you’re a Penn student. Falk Dining Commons at Steinhardt Hall at the University of Pennsylvania is the premier kosher dining facility in Philadelphia, and the only university facility in the country that does “full-service” Passover for the entire eight days.
Certified by the Community Kashrus Organization of Greater Philadelphia, Falk Dining Commons has pareve (without meat or dairy), meat, and dairy kitchens; observes and prepares for all major Jewish holidays; and is beloved by Penn students and faculty both Jewish and non-Jewish alike.
Passover at Penn is a testament to Bon Appétit’s dedication to serving the kosher community on campus. While one might expect fewer food choices for Passover due to the various dietary rules, Bon Appétit maintains its diverse selection of fresh foods. Passover food choices included hamburgers and steak, turkey and pastrami, apple and potato blintzes, salads, sodas, cakes, cookies and more.
Students really appreciate the extra effort Bon Appétit goes through to make its kitchens kosher. “The Passover meals at Steinhardt Hall were not only convenient but made Jewish students feel at home and comfortable,” says Penn student Meir Dardashti. “We know how difficult it is to set up a Passover kitchen, so seeing our dining staff make that effort was encouraging and very much appreciated.”
From thoroughly cleaning the kitchen to hiring additional staff to ordering kosher-for-Passover food, the preparations are quite extensive. “But in the end it really pays off, and it’s something students really appreciate,” says recent Penn graduate Andrew Kener. The appreciation is evident in the numbers: during the school year, Falk averages about 1,180 guests, but for the week of Passover, attendance was 2,061 — almost a 100% increase!