Rhodes College Recognizes Passover at the Rat

The Catherine Burrow Refectory, the main dining hall on the Rhodes College campus, will be serving Passover-friendly foods during the Jewish holiday, which starts on Friday, March 30, and ends Saturday, April 7.

Rabbi Jeremy Simons, who serves as director for the group Hillels of Memphis, emphasizes that the holiday of Passover actually revolves around food. “Even the Passover service takes place over a meal,” he says.

During the holiday, many Jewish students on the Rhodes campus will abstain from eating foods with leavening—an ingredient in many bread products. Julie Clay, the Senior Food Service Director, has been working with Rabbi Simons to create a menu of Passover-friendly food for Jewish students throughout the week.

Jeanne Wilkinson ’19, an active member of the Rhodes chapter of Hillels of Memphis, says having the option on campus is about more than convenience. “Not only is it convenient for me, but it is also nice to feel like my culture is being represented at Rhodes,” she explains. 

Merit Pinker ’19, another member of Hillels of Memphis, says she's glad the Rat will be serving kosher food for the holiday because it shows the campus is becoming more thoughtful about Jewish culture. “During my time at Rhodes, I’ve seen the Jewish experience on campus continue to change and improve. The efforts that the staff in the Rat are going through show just how supportive Rhodes is of its Jewish community,” says Pinker.

“Silly as it sounds, seeing a matzah ball in a place where there were no matzah balls is a huge deal,” Rabbi Simons adds. “Part of it is giving Jewish students something to eat. But more importantly, it shows this campus is supportive of our Jewish community.”

Rabbi Simons will host an interfaith Passover Seder on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m.