Cabrini embraces Jewish community, respects tradition

By Domenique Pinho
December 1, 2005

Cabrini College is currently home to many different students, all who have different skin color, hair color, heritage and last but not least, different religions. Because Cabrini is a Catholic University, many students think the college only caters to Catholics. But this is not the case, because Cabrini is now catering to students who practice Judaism.

The Jewish religion consists of many festive holidays, certain religious laws to be followed and its own language, which is Hebrew. Some of the holidays the Jewish people celebrate are Yom Kippur, which is a day when Jews must refrain from work, fast and or attend a synagogue.

Dr. Seth Frechie, an English and communication professor, is Jewish and said that Yom Kippur is his favorite holiday. “It is, quite simply, the most central of all religious festivals in the Jewish calendar.”

Frechie then went on to explain that this holiday is the Jewish Day of Atonement. This is when one asks for forgiveness of one’s sins from God. “It’s a model, really, for the confessional character we observe in other Western religions.”

In the Jewish religion, a Jew is supposed to follow the body of Jewish law dealing with foods Jews can and cannot eat and how these foods must be prepared. This law is known as Kashrut, or as many know “kosher,” which is a way to describe food that meets these standards.

Since Cabrini is a Catholic college, many may wonder if the cafeteria meets the needs of students who follow the Jewish religion.

Michael Antolini, the general manager of dining services, said, “Kosher food can be available on request, although some items may be kosher by design from the manufacturer.”

Jewish people at Cabrini can receive kosher food, but if they would like to heat up their food in the microwave it would not be acceptable to the Jewish Law. The microwave in the cafeteria is no longer Kosher, according to Antolini.

There are a large number of Jewish students on campus and it is a wonder if Cabrini meets the needs of many Jewish students.

Chris Friel, a senior religious studies major, who is currently a Catholic, says, “I think Jewish students have every opportunity to share their religion. I know that Father Michael would be more then willing to work with students in search of services of another faith.”

Frechie seemed confident in saying, “Students and faculty share a sense of institutional respect for those who are not Catholic but are a part of the college community. There is a feeling of shared celebration across faiths at Cabrini.”

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Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Domenique Pinho

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