Niles North, West high schools in Skokie add kosher options to menu

SKOKIE, Ill. (WLS) -- Normally, high school students don't find their school lunches remarkable enough for a photo.

But for these Niles North Jewish students, this is a luxury that they didn't have until now.

"We have always had unease that we had to bring our own lunches while every other students had an opportunity to get lunches," said Stone Schwartz, a Niles North student.

District 219 is now offering kosher food at Niles North and Niles West high schools.

Kosher foods are foods that conform to Jewish dietary laws.

"A lot of us just wanted to have a hot lunch at school," said Eva Spiro, a Niles North student.

Jewish students and their parents began pushing in earnest for kosher food after the district added halal options to the menu at the high schools for Muslim students.

"I was impressed with the district's response. They were eager and happy to help us make this happen," said Rabbi Yochanan Posner of Lubavitch Chabad of Skokie.

Dr. Anne Zavell, a Niles North teacher, said she's already seen a difference in Jewish students in just two weeks.

"It's great for equity and inclusiveness. The kids are so happy," she said.

Posner said Zeldas, a Kosher catering company, is making the food for the high schools.

"The message that it sends is that the school cares about all ethnicities and minority groups," said Gaia Levy, a Niles North student.

Now for the first time in this senior's high school career, he doesn't have to remember to pack his lunch.

"It is a lot more comforting to me. I brought my lunch every day. I can just go in the lunchroom and get some food," Schwartz said.

Posner said he's gotten calls from parents from other schools asking how they can make this happen in their district.
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