The Jewish and Muslim student groups at the University of California-San Diego have teamed up to create joint kosher and halal dining options on campus.
While they have struggled to find solutions that meet the requirements of both dietary guidelines, the partnership has succeeded in fostering friendship between the two sometimes adversarial groups.
The groups proposed an on-campus dining hall with a two-sectioned kitchen, one cooking halal food and one kosher.
“Muslim and Jewish students will definitely be seeing each other more and hopefully this will lead to new friendships, if not familiar faces,” said Hibah Khan, a member of the Muslim Students Association, to the LA Times, discussing the plan.
But similar plans at other colleges have had problems. At UCLA, student groups were unable to find a single supplier of both halal and kosher meat, and had to begin searching for separate ones.
However, the collaboration has increased dialogue between the groups. The article notes that issues like the BDS movement had caused tension between some Jewish and Muslim students on campus.
“I don’t think anyone on our project team thinks this will solve those disagreements,” said Zev M. Hurwitz of the Union of Jewish Students at UCSD. But “we also think it’s possible to be progressive and productive on things like campus dining hall offerings.”