Yesterday an email went out from the Chicago Rabbinical Council stating that our Hillel was no longer under its certification. Below is our statement explaining the situation.

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Hillel is proud to be a place where students share in many meaningful experiences.  Kosher dining experiences are key among them and as such, we wish to share some updates with you.

Five years ago, Fiedler Hillel began a relationship with the Chicago Rabbinical Council to supervise the kashrut of our meat kitchen. Under this arrangement, student supervisors (mashgichim) were appointed by the CRC to ensure the kosher preparation of food. Beginning in 2005, when Rabbi Josh Feigelson was hired as our Campus Rabbi, the CRC entrusted him with maintaining the kashrut of the meat kitchen. Since Rabbi Josh is an Orthodox rabbi, the CRC felt comfortable doing this, and he has maintained a relationship with Rabbi Yaakov Eisenbach of the CRC, who has been our account manager.

Each year since, Rabbi Josh has worked with student mashgichim to supervise use of the kitchen. Every time the kitchen is used, it is under the supervision of an Orthodox student or Rabbi Josh himself, or, more recently, Rabbi Isser Coopersmith, who has been our chef since November 2008.  Also, during Passover the CRC certification has not applied, and food preparation has taken place under Rabbi Josh’s supervision and certification. Food prepared in the dairy kitchen has never been under CRC certification, and has always been under Rabbi Josh’s certification.

The expense of a certificate of kashrut from the CRC is considerable – nearly $3,000 this year.  In the current economic climate, when Fiedler Hillel has been forced to let go of two staff members and cut a significant percentage of its budget, we felt that this was not an expense we could justify based upon our staff’s ability – and consistent leadership thus far – in supervising and certifying kosher food preparation.  We therefore made the decision that all food prepared at Hillel’s kitchens will be under Rabbi Josh’s certification. Please be assured that we will continue to maintain the exact same standards of kashrut as we have been following. And of course, feel free to contact Rabbi Josh or myself should you have any questions about this.

We are committed to meeting our responsibilities both in the area of kashrut, and in Hillel’s financial health, so that we can continue to serve the students of Northwestern University.

B’shalom,

Lisa F. Kudish

Executive Director

Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University

629 Foster Street  –  Evanston, IL 60201

P) 847.467.4442     F) 847.467.4445

lisakudish@northwestern.edu

www.nuhillel.org

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