For the second time in Lory Student Center history, the kitchen allowed the Chabad Jewish Student Alliance to close off a section of the kitchen to prepare kosher food, this time for Passover dinner.
More than a hundred Jewish students and community members celebrated the dinner at the LSC on Saturday.
The process of making a kitchen kosher is an especially arduous one, said Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, the faculty adviser for Chabad on campus.
To kosher the kitchen, the cooking appliances are immersed in boiling water or burnt with a propane torch to kill any contamination from non-kosher foods that were prepared previously. The LSC allowed Chabad to kosher the LSC kitchen for the first time in March for a celebration of the Jewish Sabbath.
“Passover is the most celebrated holiday in the Jewish community,” Gorelik said. “The university needed to step up and it did.”
Chabad continues to gain privileges to celebrate Jewish culture on campus, and student leaders want to institute Passover on campus as an annual event.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” said David Perloe, president of Chabad on campus. “I hope this is something people can come to CSU and expect to take part in.”
To accommodate for the logistical problems caused by koshering the kitchen, the food was prepared over spring break and stored until the dinner. Gorelik and only a few students prepared the entire meal themselves because it was over break, said Jeremy Sharpe, the vice president of Chabad
The holiday honors the Biblicalexodus of the Hebrews from Egypt under Moses and the freedom it brought to the people.
Gorelik and Sharpe stressed that the holiday is not just a celebration of the past but a holiday that is relevant to modern society.
Throughout the ceremony, Gorelik emphasized the personal liberation the celebration granted participants from their everyday worries and flaws. The ceremony consists of 15 stages that remind the participants of their trying past while at the same time celebrating their freedom.
“By understanding Passover, we can remember why we do it,” Sharpe said. “All of us have our own exodus.”
While the majority of participants in the dinner were Jewish, Chabad welcomes outsiders to educate the community about Jewish culture on campus.
“I’m really happy that [the university] is trying to create a diverse culture at CSU,” Perloe said.
The celebration continues for eight more days. The rest of the holiday is a festival in which Jews celebrate by continuing to abstain from eating bread leavened with yeast.
Staff writer Jacob Whitsitt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.