Commons Going Kosher

The Commons Cafe will follow most kosher rules while operating out of Temple Beth Am


The process of remodeling the Commons, set to begin April 2019, will temporarily move the Commons Cafe from its current location to Temple Beth Am.

The Commons Cafe will make the transition to a kosher menu when it moves operations to the temple on April 22, according to Commons Cafe owner Karen Baber 

“I do not think the transition will affect me very much, as it is not much further to walk and I eat out some days,” sophomore Jackson Wurzer said.                 

Historically, the Commons Cafe has not followed kosher rules and in most cases has not made it a goal to serve kosher products. 

When the Commons Cafe moves to the Temple, there will be stricter guidelines in place.

“There are some restrictions with the kinds of foods or how we serve, like we can’t have meat and cheese served together, so we will have to do that in a separate way. We cannot have pork. For the week of Passover, we are going to have to not have any bread,” Baber said, adding that she does “have some guidance from the Rabbis at the temple.”

“We ask that anyone who eats within the Temple Beth Am observes our kosher laws. This includes bringing absolutely no pork or shellfish into the building,”  Rabbi Jason Levine said. 

When it comes to dairy products, the Temple has worked with the Commons Cafe to establish a way for UPrep students to eat dairy and meat in the same meal.

“Meat and dairy … will be served separately but it is up to the eater to choose if they want to put a slice of cheese on their sandwich,” Levine said.

As UPrep students will be occupying Temple space, the Temple staff has additional requests for UPrep students to abide by. 

“We ask that students remember that this is both a working office as well as a religious institution. As such, we show the appropriate respect for both the space, as well as the people within it,” Levine said. 

There will be an estimated 700 UPrep students entering the Temple on any given day during the Common Cafe’s occupation of the Temple.

The initial week of the cafe’s occupation of the Temple kitchen occurs during Passover. 

Passover “has additional kosher laws, namely not eating bread or anything that is leavened,” Levine said. 

The Commons Cafe plans on offering a menu that is in accordance to the celebration. 

We ask that anyone who eats within the Temple Beth Am observes our kosher laws.”

— Rabbi Jason levine

“I’m sure we will have matzo, I’m sure we will have some things that might be more Passover appropriate, but we certainly won’t try to duplicate a Seder,” Baber said. “If people have suggestions for items, we are open.”