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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper β€” Waltham, Mass.

Holiday closures, options continue to frustrate

Published: October 21, 2011
Section: Editorials

Last week this editorial board complained about Einstein Bros. Bagels closing early, cowardly using the excuse of the Jewish holidays. We made the point that Jews eat too, even on holidays. Similarly, the food options in Sherman Dining Hall on Jewish holidays are meager.

On the non-kosher side, which should not logically be affected by the Jewish holidays, there is less food and less variety. Whole sections are closed down and the food and utensils are slow to be replaced.

For students who have special food diets, this can prove especially challenging. Just because you are a vegetarian does not mean you want to eat salad for every meal. There should be other options.

Placing leftover desserts where stir fry or some other equally appetizing option would normally be placed is unacceptable. There is already a dessert bar. Clearly dining services has taken to heart the comment often misattributed to Marie Antoinette: β€œLet them eat cake!”

We need food, not cake.

It is even harder for students who remain kosher because Sherman effectively shuts down the kosher side if Hillel is going to be holding a meal elsewhere. Just because someone keeps kosher does not mean they necessarily want to eat at Hillel.

For example, last night for Simchat Torah, Hillel held its dinner at 10 p.m. Not all kosher students wanted to wait until 10 p.m. but, had they gone to Sherman during regular hours of operation, they would have found the kosher side empty.

We understand that Brandeis is very welcoming and accepting of its Jewish community. We think that is great. But the Jewish community does not require the starvation of themselves or the non-Jewish students at Brandeis to celebrate their holidays.

Furthermore, to coincide these limited options with Jewish holidays, while a money saver, is unfair to students and creates a false perception of the Jewish holidays.