Observant Jewish students at the University of Calgary have only one kosher option available on campus.
For food to be considered kosher, it must be prepared under Jewish dietary guidelines. Starbucks is the only vendor on campus to offer a kosher option, as they serve kosher muffins.
Calgary Hillel director Kira Blumer said her organization hopes to join Muslim Students of Southern Alberta Initiating Change in expanding the U of C’s food options for religious students.
“Now that [the U of C] is looking to bring more halal food to campus, we’d really like to partner with MOSAIC on that,” Blumer said. “If something’s kosher, the vast majority of Muslims will eat it, whereas it doesn’t work in the reverse. This is an opportunity for us to work together and make sure everyone can eat, which is really cool.”
Blumer said that there are between 50–100 Jewish students at the U of C. Of these students, “about half of them would care to some degree if something were kosher,” Blumer said.
According to Blumer, those practicing Judaism tend to move to cities more inclusive to a strict Jewish lifestyle than Calgary.
“They don’t see [Calgary] as a place for Jewish life because kosher food isn’t available and the university isn’t always able to accommodate what we need,” Blumer said. “A lot of thought has been put into this and if we had kosher facilities available, we could actually kind of develop a Jewish life that’s more accommodating.”