Mason Dining Launches Kosher Program at Southside Dining Hall

Mason Dining has worked closely with Mason Hillel and the Chabad at GMU to provide students and faculty/staff with an eclectic mix of Kosher cuisine that will be served at Southside, enabling Jewish students to easily follow Kosher dietary rules. Rabbi Daniel Novick from Mason Hillel said his team is so grateful to their colleagues at Mason and Chabad at GMU for years of partnership to get us to this point.

“We are not only excited about what this means for our Jewish community now, but how this will help our efforts to make George Mason University an attractive destination for Jewish students for years to come.”

Pictured (l. to r.) are Rabbi Ezra and Bracha (Meisel) Wiemer and Michael Chelst.

The station, known as Mason Mensch, will launch on Monday, January 23, as students return for the spring semester and serve Kosher dinners from 6 pm – 8 pm, Sunday-Thursday on a first-come, first-served basis. The station will be located in between desserts and Simple Servings.

Rabbi Ezra Wiemer, Co-director of Chabad at GMU

“We are thankful to the Mason administration for their true commitment to inclusion,” said Rabbi Ezra Wiemer, co-director of Chabad at GMU. “There’s a Jewish expression, ‘may we go from strength to strength!’ This is a huge milestone for the Jewish community, and we know that together with Mason Hillel, our community will continue to grow and strengthen.”

Char Bar, a well-known Kosher establishment in downtown D.C., will be providing a selection of brisket tacos, hot honey chicken, burgers, kabobs, sandwiches, and more. Production and service will be overseen by a Mashgiach – an expert Kosher supervisor – to ensure the highest standards of Kosher are followed. Char Bar’s owner, Michael Chelst, said he’s honored to be part of the inaugural Kosher food program at George Mason. “The university’s commitment to inclusion for everyone is a blessing for the Jewish community,” Chelst said.

“Kosher food is part of our tradition and how we live our lives,” said senior Emma Sameth, a Global Affairs major. “It’s a commandment from the Torah, it makes us feel proud to be Jewish, and more connected to who we are,” Sameth stated.

This addition to the dining program has been in the works for years and aligns with the University’s overall mission of inclusion. Mason Dining is thrilled to be able to bring the Mason community food that are both delicious and respectful of Kosher rules. “We are very excited to bring this innovative and inclusive concept to fruition at Mason,” shared Pascal Petter, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services. “With such a diverse campus and requests for foods that fit into a Kosher lifestyle, we know that Char Bar’s Kosher selections will be a great addition to Mason’s dining line-up.”

Joel Hirsch, Sodexo’s Executive Chef at Southside also noted that he is excited to be able to offer Kosher meals for Mason’s students with dietary requirements. “I look forward to rapid growth of the Kosher program,” Hirsch said, “to be able to offer [this program] not only to Mason students, but also the Fairfax community as a whole in the future.”