KOSHER DINING UALBANY
First a little history:
For decades UAlbany maintained a Kosher Kitchen dining program on Dutch Quad, that later moved for a few years to Indian (now renamed Indigenous) Quad when Dutch closed its dining hall, and during Covid switched to packaged take-out meals from the nearby Kosher Price Chopper in Colonie. The packaged meals (while fresh, not frozen) weren’t seen as fully adequate solutions for the students for all their meals, so for the 2021-2022 year the following arrangement was set up for those on the Kosher Dining Plan:
Students on the (various) UAS meal-plans at UAlbany have the option of checking off Kosher when choosing (or changing) a meal plan for an added cost of $125. Students can opt in by logging into UAlbanyID.com with Net ID and Password. (Or contact by emailing IDcard@albany.edu). Remember that by choosing the Kosher opt-in, this only adds to your meal-plan and does not take away. Students can still use (depending on their type of meal plan) the regular dining halls as well.
Those who are on the Kosher Meal Plan have the following arrangements for the Kosher Meals:
> Lunches prepared by Kosher Price Chopper for daily pickup at the Campus Center’s 518 Market. These meals will be protein sandwiches or salads and the like. To get these lunches, one must pre-order each Monday for the following Wed-Fri and each Thursday for Sat-Tuesday. These are pre-order only and will labeled with the name of the student. In addition to choosing Kosher (opt-in for Kosher via UAlbanyID.com), one should also email IDcard@albany.edu to let them know you are interested in the twice-weekly Kosher sign-up form.
> Packaged Kosher Dinners (also from Kosher Price Chopper in Colonie) will also be available along with the lunches on the above sign-up form. This may be especially helpful for students who want something closer on campus.
> Home-style Dinners served at Shabbos House. We’re calling this program “Kosher on Fuller” and it is part of the UAlbany Kosher Dining plan. This will be Monday night through Sat Night (Sunday night dinners will be similar to lunches above at 518). On evenings of Shabbos House events with dinner (such as Torah Tuesdays, Friday nights etc. for example) there will be no need to swipe, all welcome, open-door as usual. But on nights (most Mondays, Wednesdays etc) without Shabbos House events and programming, those joining for dinner will need to swipe as part of the meal plan or munch-money etc. (It may be helpful for those (Freshmen etc) with GreatDane/Unlimited plans to swipe also on event nights like Torah Tuesday, but we can discuss that separately).
And all Shabbos and holiday meals during the academic calendar will be covered between Shabbos House and UAlbany Hillel. Friday nights alternate between the two organizations (a classic feature of our cooperative sense of campus community), Shabbos (Saturday) Lunches are always at Shabbos House, as are all the holiday meals of Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Passover etc.
“KOSHER ON FULLER”
As explained on “Kosher Dining UAlbany” tab – Shabbos House is stepping up in coordination with UAlbany and UAS to provide Monday through Saturday home-style dinners for students on the Kosher meal plan, in addition to ongoing programing and events at Shabbos House which are open and welcoming to all!
We’re calling this program “Kosher on Fuller”.
Once we have a good sense of who is on the UAlbany UAS Kosher meal plan (or interested in “Kosher on Fuller” meals here using their UAlbany Munch-Money) we will finalize timing and details. But the general tentative plan seems to be a window for dinner 6pm-7:30pm each night.
Each night, we’ll serve a protein, starch, vegetable, salad and dessert, many nights a soup, too. We’re going to set up a two-week meal rotation, but obviously we will work with the dietary needs and tastes of the students as this is a relatively small contingent and we can be flexible.
We will update this page and students with more info, see also the FAQs tab – and students are highly recommended to join the “Kosher on Fuller” Whatspp Group (click for invite link) for updates, menus, and ways to communicate with fellow students (perhaps one student can pick up for another who has a class that night) etc. But we do ask that this group be strictly limited to students and for Kosher Dining matters.
While we will be hiring students to help with this program, we’re going to skip Sundays (our kids asked for that), and on Sundays your Kosher dinners can be ordered through the UAlbany 518 Market system. In addition, students can pre-order the Price Chopper packaged Kosher dinners (2-3 days ahead) using the same process as lunches, if that’s more convenient or desirable.
We will add to this as questions come in… its something new, there are a few parts to it, so it does need some explaining.
Does this mean that we have to pay for meals at Shabbos House?
Not on event nights! We insisted on that! Any night that we have a Shabbos House event with dinner, there will be no swiping. Shabbos House event nights are open, welcoming, and we’re not changing that. But on non-event nights, say a Monday or Wednesday (that’s not a Jewish holiday or doesn’t have an event) swiping (meal plan, discount dollars, munch money) using your UAlbany ID card will be required to keep up the Kosher Meal plan having a good hot plentiful meal option. (It may be very helpful, and no sweat and no cost, for a freshmen student on Great Dane Plan or Unlimited Plan to also swipe on event nights that are not holiday or Shabbat, but we’re not requiring any swipes on event nights).
It seems that there are two options for dinners?
Yes, aside for Sunday night, students on the Kosher Meal Plan have two options: They can come to Shabbos House and enjoy a full hot dinner here (or pack it up to go) or pre-order a packaged Kosher Dinner from Price Chopper to be picked up at the 518 Market on campus.
If we choose the Kosher opt-in meal plan, can our son still eat at the regular dining halls?
Yes. The Kosher add-on allows for students to eat Kosher as well as in the regular dining halls, as they choose. (Depending of course, if that level of meal-plan includes dining hall meals. All freshman plans do). But without the Kosher add-on they can’t utilize the Kosher meal plan options.
Are the “Kosher on Fuller” meals paid for by Chabad?
No. Event nights Shabbat and programs are co-sponsored by alumni, parents, friends and other sources of funding. But “Kosher on Fuller” dinner on non-event nights are paid for by your UAlbany Kosher Meal Plan (or Munch-Money etc) with UAS. Your swipes are needed for that.
What is the cost of eating dinner at “Kosher on Fuller”?
The all-you-can-eat dinner is one meal swipe on the Great Dane/Unlimited Plan, $15 for Munch-Money payments, and a little over $10 (30% discount) for those paying with Discount Dollars on their UAlbany ID card. It depends on your meal plan. Again, there is no swiping (though Great Danes/Unlimited swipes can be helpful) on Shabbos House event nights.
Will “Kosher on Fuller” deliver?
Unless that Covid requirement of packaging returns, we’re not packaging up the food. Its possible one student can package up and bring back for another (will have to figure out the swiping issue) but generally speaking we will not do deliveries. But in the case of very bad weather or situations like that, we hope to be able to do delivery in those situations.
How far is Shabbos House?
It just off campus on the southwestern side, 3 doors down from Great Dane Drive. We’re closest to Dutch Quad (about 10 minutes walk), furthest from State Quad (1 mile, about 20 minutes walk). For those involved Jewishly, Shabbos House Chabad is at the heart of Jewish campus life at UAlbany and is a very familiar and frequent destination.
Is “Kosher on Fuller” open to students who don’t have a UAlbany Dining Plan?
Yes, but two things: (1) They still must opt-in for Kosher using UAlbanyID.com even without purchasing a meal-plan. (2) They have to swipe (on non-event nights) using Munch-Money or roll-over Discount Dollars on their UAlbany ID card (which they can add to as needed). It is important for the success of the plan that swipes are recorded to go towards payment for cost and also to show support and interest in Kosher Dining.
Is there an extra cost to opt-in for Kosher?
It depends. For those on the unlimited Great Dane plans there is an extra $125 fee. For those not on Great-Dane plan, using Discount Dollars or Munch-Money, there is NO COST to opt-in for Kosher at www.UAlbanyID.com and your card can swipe at Shabbos House for “Kosher on Fuller” dinner meals (on non-event nights at Shabbos House).
Is Pre-Order required?
Yes and no. For the packaged lunches (or dinner) pickups at the 518 Market on campus, the answer is yes. Your meal will have your name on it, you may be penalize for repeated non-pick-ups and it has to be pre-ordered using the twice-weekly sign-up order system. Shabbos House isn’t requiring signups, but it would be helpful for us to have an approximate sense of how many to cook for, this is something we may learn in the first few weeks, whether we will or won’t need some type of “let us know” system or not. Either way, the pre-ordering for “Kosher on Fuller” will not be as stringent or required as the on-campus system.
Do I need to opt-in for Kosher Meals?
Yes. Regardless if you have full meal plans, Flex, or no meal plan and just Munch-Money or rollover Discount Dollars – to utilize the Kosher meal plan at 518 Market on campus or Kosher on Fuller ay Shabbos House, you need to opt-on with your NetID number at UAlbanyID.com
There have been some Kosher restaurants in town that have come and gone over the years, but the local Kosher mainstay throughout has been the Kosher Price Chopper Supermarket (there are many Price Choppers, this one is) in Colonie NY just past the intersection of Routes 5 and 155. It is located at 1892 Central Ave in Albany/Colonie. It is well-stocked with lots of Kosher fresh, dairy and meat, frozen and shelf-stable product and features a Kosher deli counter, a Kosher bakery (breads are Pas-Yisrael, all pastries are considered dairy) and a Bagel Shop. The Kosher supervision is by the Vaad HaKashruth of the Capital District.
You can contact the team at the Kosher Price Chopper departments by calling: 518-456-2970