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Join us at the CJL, but be mindful of Jewish peers

Center for Jewish Life
Naomi Hess / The Daily Princetonian

The following is a guest contribution and reflects the author’s views alone. For information on how to submit an article to the Opinion Section, click here.

How lucky we Princetonians are to have the Center for Jewish Life (CJL) as a bedrock of our community. We’re confident we speak for nearly all of our fellow Jewish students when we say that we celebrate the coming together of Jews and Gentiles for shared meals, engaging programs, and warm fellowship. Of course, the CJL’s convenient location and hospitality make its dining hall one of the busiest during the hectic school week. We would therefore like to encourage Princeton’s non-Jewish students to be aware and considerate of their Kosher-keeping peers’ dining needs.


With the closure of Butler Dining Hall, it seems that more students have taken to eating lunch at the CJL. Far be it from us to say that they are unwelcome! Even so, lines out the door mean that students sometimes wait for upwards of twenty or thirty minutes before arriving at the buffet. For many, that’s time to talk and catch up with friends. For others, it’s a problem. The Kashrut-observant Jew who has nowhere else to eat may end up skipping lunch to bolt to class or scarfing down a meal in just three minutes before rushing to the door. After only one week into the semester, we can report that several of our Kosher-keeping peers have experienced just this.

Make no mistake: we’re not asking for non-Jewish students to forego eating at the CJL altogether. What a lonely environment that would leave us. All we ask is for sensitivity: if you arrive at the CJL to find the lunch line running to the back door, consider eating elsewhere if you can afford to. Keep in mind that the CJL’s dining hall exists first and foremost to serve the needs of Princeton’s Jewish students, and remember that the CJL is the only option for Kosher-keeping Princetonians.

The CJL offers a rich community, an impressive dining service, and convenience. Its welcoming doors have brought Jewish and non-Jewish peers meaningfully together for decades, and it remains a central feature of campus life — metaphorically and geographically. We hope it stays that way for everyone, just as much as we hope that all will remain considerate of the Jewish community’s dietary needs.

Note: The authors of this column offer their perspective as Princeton undergraduates. They do not speak as officers or representatives of the CJL or the University administration.

Myles McKnight ’23 is a senior in the Department of Politics. He can be reached at

Henry Koffler ’23 is a senior in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering. He can be reached at


Adam Hoffman ’23 is a senior in the Department of Politics. He can be reached at

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