After more than five years, the Kosher Bistro in Parmalee dining hall had its grand opening on Monday.
The bistro will act as a home of cultural food for the Jewish community of Colorado State University, and also as a place for all students to eat food they know was made cleanly and safely.
The Kosher Bistro is the brainchild of Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, an adjunct professor at CSU, former ASCSU president Eric Berlinberg and university president Tony Frank.
Tony Frank began the ceremony with a speech about the reasoning behind the building of the bistro.
“When students are on our campus, for whatever period of time they’re here, we consider this their home,” Frank said. ” … When people are in their home, they shouldn’t have to go to extraordinary means to worship and live their lives how they see fit.”
Fort Collins mayor Wade Troxell added that the bistro is important to the community, due to the city’s reputation of inclusion whose arms are open to all. He called the ceremony reflective of the kind of community that exists in Fort Collins.
Finally, Gorelik spoke, and thanked Tony Frank for making the bistro possible. He thanked the community as a whole for making him and his family feel so welcome in Fort Collins.
Gorelik said the addition of the bistro is not just for Jewish students.
“I was never going to pretend that there were hundreds of Jewish kids looking to keep kosher,” Gorelik said. “We intended to provide yet another voice, yet another resource, yet another color to the beautiful rainbow that CSU and Fort Collins represent.”
Gorelik said 50 percent of kosher consumers are not Jewish. He believes the food is the diet for the soul.
“It has tremendous health benefits … and it has benefits of bringing morality and discipline, humane treatment to animals, (and) it’s a community builder … but ultimately it’s a diet for the soul.”
He mentioned that around the time the idea for a kosher location was presented, there was a trend around the nation of colleges and universities opening up places for students to access kosher. There are currently 155 colleges throughout the United States that serve kosher, with CSU and CU Boulder being the only two universities in the northern Midwest that make it available.
“I think it sends a very powerful message for campus life and the community over here,” Gorelik said.
Gorelik said he has gotten positive feedback about the bistro.
“Everyone’s thanking me for this kosher kitchen, but they don’t realize all I wanted is somewhere I can actually go out to eat.”
The Kosher Bistro is open in the Parmalee dining hall every Monday through Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Collegian reporter Stuart Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @notstuartsmith.