Friday, November 19, 2010

Food + Class: What Would You Do?

I told a classmate back at the beginning of the semester that I was going to blog about this, and she was game, but I sort of put it off and put it off, and now I'm ready. Ready?

We're all put in situations where we have to have meals with non-kosher-keeping coworkers or friends. We're all also put in situations where we have to have meals with our friends and coworkers who do keep kosher, but maybe not the same type of kosher that we keep. This issue is compounded, especially, with family. Most of the time, it's doable to either talk those who don't hold to your kashrut into going to a restaurant where you feel comfortable, or having them come to your house, but it doesn't always work out that way. Sure, you can meet people at a coffee shop or a bar for a cup o' Joe or beer (of which kosher versions are abundant), but what about a classroom?

I'm in a class right now where every single student is Jewish, but of varying types of observance and views on Judaism. From the most cultural/secular to graduates of YU and, well, me. We're working on final papers/projects right now, which involve everything from gefilte fish and kugel to delis to Ovadiah ha'Ger. The point? Jewish primary sources (which means a document or even food) built around the idea of what community means.

For our final class, it has been suggested that we bring in gobs of food for noshing. This was brought up a long time ago, but with the impending end of the semester, I'm trying to figure out the best way to approach this with the class. Not everyone will eat the food that anyone makes. There's talk of making gefilte or kugel to bring in. I know in most situations, the best option is to just call up Murray's or something and get some food catered in, but it seems that people really really really want to make food and bring it in.

Sure, I can not eat the food, but I don't want to get into that kind of a situation, especially in an all-Jewish class. Comprende? 

So what should I do? How should I go about starting this conversation? Time is a'tickin' folks.