Food culture on campus part two: Queen’s Hillel Shabbat dinner

By Carolyn Flanagan
Assistant Blogs Editor

Four times a semester, Queen’s Hillel hosts a traditional Shabbat Dinner at the Hillel House, located at 124 Centre St.

Alex Lulka, Shabbat and Kashrut chair, begins preparing for the meal two days in advance.

“All food is kosher, and the kitchen remains kosher at all times,” she said.

Abiding by rules of the Jewish Shabbat, everything is prepared before sunset on Friday evening.

At 7 p.m., between 60 and 120 students gather at the Hillel House to eat. Attendees included mostly Hillel members but non-members and guests as well.

After a short blessing is said on the wine and challah, egg bread braided into a loaf, food is served.

This past Friday’s menu included meatballs, chicken, potatoes, chicken soup, cooked vegetables, pasta and quinoa salads. Traditional items included potato and noodle kugel, a casserole-type dish. Everything was delicious. A personal highlight was the noodle kugel, thanks to its use of cinnamon and raisin.

There’s food in abundance and second and third helpings are whole-heartedly encouraged. At the end of the night, aluminum foil is brought out for those who want leftovers.

Hillel Vice-President Naomi Rosenfeld said attending the Shabbat dinner can feel like a home away from home for students.

“Many people grew up sharing these traditions with their families; this is a chance to carry them on,” she said.

Hillel Co-President Ashlee Woolfson said it also draws students who have never participated in a Shabbat dinner before. “It is really for all students at Queen’s who want to come,” she said. “Everyone is welcome.” She added that Hillel House aims to be pluralistic among the denominations of Judaism as well.

Dinner is free with Hillel membership which costs $35 per year, $20 per semester or $10 per meal. The next Shabbat dinner is scheduled for March 16.

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