Jewish and Muslim Students Come Together for Meals at U.S. Colleges

March 13, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 13, 2002, The Boston Globe reported that "last September, Mount Holyoke College held an opening ceremony for a new dining hall. Any other year, it would have been a festive occasion at the nation's oldest women's college... But when Wilder Hall was consecrated, it was two days after Sept. 11. The dining hall opened not merely to hungry students but to a sense of hope, prayer, and spiritual revolution... The kitchen at Wilder Hall, the first of its kind in an American university, serves meals that conform to Jewish and Muslim dietary laws: everything cooked at Wilder is both kosher and halal. More importantly, every meal is a meal that Muslims and Jews can eat together... Although Wilder was ready on Sept. 1, college officials decided to wait until Sept. 13 to avoid the bustle of opening week... What they did not expect was that the dining hall would come to represent one community's 'ray of hope' at such a dark moment...For the majority of Mount Holyoke students, Wilder is viewed as a refuge at a time when the intermingling of religious groups across the globe is marked by conflict." Other Colleges, including Dartmouth and Brown, are also involved in kosher-halal dining.