Sharing culture and a good meal

Fine dining is one thing that does not happen in the residential colleges.

But the Yale campus still offers good food at Lindy’s.

Tucked away on Wall Street across from Silliman College is the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale. And in the basement of the Slifka Center lies Lindenbaum’s Kitchen, Yale’s fine kosher dining eatery. Yalies affectionally call it Lindy’s, the site of the best food on campus.

But there’s much more inside the Slifka Center than Lindy’s.

The Slifka Center, and Yale’s other religious houses, such as Luther House, the New Haven Zen Center, and Saint Thomas More House, offer space for numerous religious activities, ranging from prayer services to study sessions to social action opportunities.

Of course, there is the University chaplain’s office in the basement of Bingham Hall. But the chaplain’s bereavement groups and family illness groups are limited pickings and the religious houses often duplicate these sessions with superior formats.

The real religious centers on campus are the cultural houses. And they’re open to all.

At Slifka, Jewish and non-Jewish students come together. Friday night dinner, a traditional part of Jewish life, brings hundreds of undergraduates to what is perhaps the campus’ best meal of the week. The meal of course involves traditional Jewish rituals, but non-Jews feel comfortable to join in and learn.

At Slifka, Jews of all levels of observance come together. There are services for Reform, Orthodox and Conservative/Egalitarian Jews. Some Friday nights, as the Jewish Sabbath begins, as many as four prayer services may be taking place simultaneously. People have the chance to experience a diverse range of observance and determine what is right for them.

At Slifka, the Yale and New Haven communities come together. Students pray alongside area residents. Also, many educational programs not only attract large numbers of Yale students, but also members of the local community. Past speakers such as Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres have drawn huge crowds.

And at Slifka, the fortunate help the less fortunate. Yale students help run the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, which meets at various places in the community, preparing food for those who lack the means to do so themselves. On these nights, the fine dining atmosphere of Lindy’s and the brightness of a Yale religious house is shared.

Slifka reminds us that Yale’s religious houses are for everybody.

— Yale Daily News

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