Class of 2008
Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Jewish Studies and International Politics
Schreyer Honors Scholar
Penn State University Park
Jeremy received this award for his work facilitating the introduction of kosher and halal food options to students through Penn State Food Services.
Four years ago, as a first-year, observant Jewish student attempting to keep Kosher while living on campus, Jeremy Weisblatt found himself with precious few options. Economic constraints and basic logistical difficulties made it seemingly impossible for Penn State’s Food Services to provide Jewish students with kosher products. As Jeremy began to research possible solutions to this dilemma, he soon discovered that Muslim students interested in keeping their own religious dietary traditions were in a similar predicament. In a remarkable act of unity across faiths, Jeremy joined with two students from the Muslim Student Association, and together they approached Food Services to discuss the possibility of integrating both kosher and halal foods into the dining options at Penn State. After much work and creative cooperation between the students and Food Services, the Penn State Muslim and Jewish communities now both have unprecedented access to foods that will help them in their desire to live out their faith.
Beginning in January of this year, Muslim students have been provided with halal-certified food on the University Park campus. And thanks to Jeremy’s efforts, last December, a new kosher foods section opened at The Mix convenience store in Pollock Commons. And this month, for the first time, kosher-for-Passover meals will be available at Waring Dining Commons. Food Services was so impressed with Jeremy’s commitment and his attention to detail, they hired him as official Student Kosher Food Coordinator. Jeremy also undertook extensive training under a rabbi so that he can now act as resident Mashgiah, insuring that all foods designated kosher and served at Penn State have met the strict requirements of Jewish Law.
After he graduates in May, Jeremy will attend the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. Ultimately, Jeremy plans to be ordained and to serve as a congregational Rabbi for a growing, Conservative Jewish community. He also hopes to work as a community activist for interfaith cooperation and dialogue.
Watch & learn about his ethical leadership
Do you know a Penn State undergraduate student who stands up for a belief, a cause, or an idea?
The Rock Ethics Institute inaugurated the Stand Up Award to honor Penn State undergraduate students who have demonstrated courage, fortitude, and ethical leadership by taking a stand for a person, a cause, or a belief. This award and the individuals it honors should remind the entire Penn State community of how often the extraordinary act is possible in ordinary circumstances.