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Dairy Stop Closes, Reopens, and Faces New Challenges

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Photo by James Rogers

The Dairy Stop at QC faced an indecisive week recently as they attempted to stay within the regulations of kosher authorities in New York.

On Nov. 3, Queens College announced the popular Dairy Stop restaurant located in Midway Court of the dining hall would be closed until further notice. This decision, however, was reversed on Nov. 9 when QC announced to their students that The Dairy Stop would reopen.

Though The Dairy Stop service was restored on campus, the popular dining option still faces issues. Currently, there is only partial service available. They are serving grab and go sandwiches, salads and beverages.

Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Adam Rockman vows that QC will work with Chartwells Dining Services to ensure that The Dairy Stop is operating full time in a quick and efficient manner.

“We have always strived to meet the dining needs of students, faculty, and staff at the college,” Rockman said in a statement to the Knight News. “More options will be added over the next week, and full service should be restored by the end of the month.”

Kosher supervision has shifted on campus and is now being overseen by the Va’ad Harabonim of Queens, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the Jewish community. This organization implements a standard that establishes kosher certification that is accepted by all denominations of the Jewish faith.

The QC community was impacted by the events of the closing and reopening of the Dairy Stop on campus. Students, alumni and faculty all voiced their opinion on the matter. Taylor Kornstein, a junior, started a petition on change.org to reopen The Dairy Stop which received over 400 signatures.

Kornstein said that the signatures came from a wide variety of people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, current students and alumni. “I think that this petition really shows that The Dairy Stop was more than just a food option, but a community.”

For Kornstein and her friends, The Dairy Stop was always one of the top dining choices on campus. The decision for campus to close it for a brief period of time hit home when she and her friends could not decide where to eat a meal on campus.

“None of us could agree on a place to eat, so we all ended up eating on our own,” Kornstein said.

Kornstein believes that due to the closing of The Dairy Stop, it felt as though something was missing. In her eyes, students turned to off campus dining options.

“I missed the sense of community that came with The Dairy Stop. I missed the food. I missed the services,” Kornstein said

Though Kornstein is happy to see The Dairy Stop reopened on campus, she believes it won’t truly be restored until Jeff Kornreich, the store’s manager, returns. She expressed her discontent with the new Dairy Stop.

“Since Jeff left, I have not been able to get myself to buy anything from the new Dairy Stop,” Kornstein said, “It’s just not the same. The food options are pretty sad with mostly prepackaged meals and prices that are significantly higher than when Jeff was here.”

Jeff Kornreich managed The Dairy Stop for seven years until the recent changes. According to Kornreich, the issue with The Dairy Stop that lead to the closing and reopening was his decision to change kosher supervision to Rabbi Asher Schechter in December 2015.

The QC chapter of Hillel, a nonprofit organization that advocates for Jewish students, believed that Rabbi Schehter’s supervision was not meeting the needs of the campus’s Jewish community.

“Last May, we found out that The Dairy Stop was no longer being supervised by the Va’ad Harabonim of Queens, and that the new supervision could not meet the kosher needs of our diverse community,” The QC Hillel page stated on their Facebook page on Nov. 2. “As always, we are doing everything we can to support The Dairy Stop, and most importantly the Jewish students of QC, whose interests we hold above all others.”

Uri Cohen, Executive Director of the Queens College Chapter of Hillel, was pleased with the cooperation of Queens College and Chartwells.

“Hillel is very pleased with the level of priority and importance Queens College and Chartwells have assigned to this issue.” Cohen said in a statement to the Knight News. “The speed of resolution speaks volumes about the way the college values its service not only to Jewish students, but, indeed, every student on campus.”

Kornreich, a beloved member of the Queens College campus who always wears a tie-dye shirt and is known for his kindness and generosity toward the students of campus, is not upset or angered by the decision to shift the kosher supervision.

“I consider Queens College my extended family,” Kornreich said.

Noting the overwhelming support from the campus through the petition, Kornreich stated how it truly touched his heart to read nice things written about him on change.org. Kornreich has not returned to the store since its new opening and does not plan to.

“I’ve enjoyed and loved taking care of the leaders of tomorrow. I cannot thank people enough for allowing me to be a small part of their lives for a brief time,” Kornreich said. “It really gave me pleasure to know I accomplished something by serving people.”

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