On February 12th an announcement on YU Marketplace shocked students across the university. “Starting today Chop Chop Restaurant ‘No Longer’ to supply Kosher Chinese Food or Sushi to any YU Cafeteria including Nagel Bagel or any YU Event because Chop Chop is under Vaad of Riverdale not an OU restaurant. Thank you so much for the support till today and all of you still part our chop chop Family. Still Baruch HaShem and Thank you for HaShem that kept us till today,” posted Matthew Chan, Chop Chop manager.
Two days later students dining in the Kushner Dining Hall in the 245 Lexington building found that Carlos and Gabby’s food, usually offered on Tuesday nights, was no longer available.
Chan’s announcement on Facebook was in response to a new OU kashrut regulation. The OU recently decided that because Yeshiva University cafeterias are under OU hashgacha, no restaurants which are not under OU hashgacha can be permitted to sell food in the on-campus cafeterias.
Both Carlos and Gabby’s and Chop Chop are supervised by the Va’ad HaKashrut of Riverdale, which is overseen by Rabbi Mordechai Willig, a YU Rosh Yeshiva.
Many students were troubled by the new rule. Some expressed disbelief and wondered why it was necessary. Others were saddened by the prospect that Chop Chop will lose business due to the new regulation, as a large portion of their sales come from catering Yeshiva University events. Chan reassured the commenters on his post that they would, at least, still be accepting the YU caf card in their restaurant.
Mr. Joseph Cook, the executive director for University Operations at YU, told the Observer that he, along with Vice President Josh Joseph and Vice President of University and Community Life Rabbi Kenneth Brander, met on February 15th with OU officials to discuss this regulation. “We agreed with them that they will work with Chop-Chop and Carlos and Gabby’s to find an acceptable solution that will allow them to continue to provide catering and food products on our campus locations. It is expected that this will take approximately two weeks to complete,” Cook reported.
While some students are upset and confused by this new regulation, others have chosen to take a more positive view towards the situation. “I am thankful for the OU and Yeshiva University, and what they are doing, and I really appreciate them working quickly and hard to resolve these issues and get us back our burrito bowls,” Sy Syms senior Zahava Schwartz expressed.