KU Hillel recently started hosting a new Shabbat program for students to learn how to cook basic Shabbat meals. Hillel Program Director Melissa Kingston leads the classes to get students more involved in Shabbat-centered programming.
Kingston said her goal was to give students another model for Shabbat, while also learning a new skill and having the resources to maybe host their own Shabbat.
“This was a less traditional, but mixed with that more traditional idea of coming together with friends and cooking for Shabbat,” Kingston said. “I think students really enjoyed it and we helped students realize that [hosting a dinner] doesn’t have to be scary and can be enjoyable with friends.”
“It definitely made me more excited to host a Shabbat meal, I have always wanted to and loved to host people for Shabbat,” Chargo said. “I enjoyed goofing around with everyone and having a blast while learning how to make delicious things.”
In the first class, students made two different types of salads and a no-bake chocolate layered cheesecake. Kingston said she wanted to choose things that were different than traditional dorm food, but also not hard to make.
“I really enjoyed the simplicity of the recipes...it made it that much easier to contribute,” Kavanaugh said. “I don't know if I'd be able to host my own Shabbat dinner, but it's at least an option now. Regardless of skills gained, though, it [was] a fun time.”
Kingston said she hopes to get other student to come to cooking classes in the future. “I like it because it’s not just a Jewish skill or just a Shabbat skill, it’s a life skill and something you can use in a lot of different places in your life,” Kingston said. “I want to be able to give something like that to students.”