Thursday, December 11, 2008

Food Lure at YU: Preparation for Life


Probably one of the first words that comes to mind to the alumni of any college, as good memories usually wash over the challenging or difficult events experienced as a student. My Yeshiva College experience is no different, and I routinely chuckle and smile fondly back at events that transpired almost 2 decades ago.

Yeshiva College helps reinforce nostalgia through their "keep in touch" email list, and I occasionally scan through their emails to see what's going on.

Yesterday's email from YU to their alumni was a "back to the future" moment:

Dear Alumni,

The Yeshiva University Office of Alumni Affairs and the Career Development Center are hosting a free Speed Networking event on January 12th, 2009 7:00pm at 245 Lexington, New York City.

Speed networking is a networking event with an accelerated twist. It is a way to improve your business networking techniques and grow your business by expanding your contacts and building relationships with other people. In this structured environment you will interact with many individuals with whom you may have never otherwise had the chance to network.

During speed networking you will have the ability to:

  • Reunite with your former classmates and meet fellow alumni
  • Make more business contacts in one night than most make in a month
  • Network face-to-face while perfecting your "30-second" pitch
  • Find a mentor / become a mentor to others
  • Meet YU's Career Development Center (CDC) team
  • Eat free food sponsored by YU

We are in tough times. If you aren't personally feeling it affect your life I assume you know someone who could use a helping hand. Whether you just graduated or are 20 years out of college you have the power to help someone else and benefit from meeting people who could help you achieve what you want

Wow -- Free Food!

Nothing ever changes at YU...

A cursory search of the Yeshiva College student newspaper, The Commentator revealed:


Many times people go to YSU events just for the free food and then leave. This is not the goal of the events. I would like to have free food, but I would also like to hire entertainment that will do just that: ENTERTAIN !!


Students enjoyed free food and live music, while browsing through Israeli vendures.


A formula to pique the interest of its students to partake in Chanukah festivities: some sort of music or promise of faculty embarrassment coupled with the advertisement of free food. So it came to pass that during this past Hanukah, aside from the daily jelly doughnuts and latkes sold in the cafeteria, this formula was applied repeatedly in SOY's (Student Organization of Yeshiva) "Eight Crazy Nights."

Many students showed up on the unseasonably warm, first night of Chanukah for a Kumzits and free Dougies in the Morg lounge. An early gorging of the famous Dougies Buffalo Wings by those that were punctual left little or none for latecomers, so the music of Yacov Young, who led the intimate Kumzits with slower, Carlebach type singing, was the only treat left for those who stayed.

And then I gave up copy/pasting.

Were we all so famished, that the siren song of "free food" caused us to drop everything, and swoon over doughnuts, french-fries, wings, or latkes? (or were we just poor?)

Getting an email from YU offering free-food just makes me laugh.

It's not like it's a hot-fleishiks-kiddush...

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Anonymous said...

it's time honored. way back when, when i was semgirl, we learned very quickly that if we went to our local hyper-shuk at dinner time we could put together enough samples of free food to consider ourselves well-fed. don't worry mom! we're eating just fine!

Commenter Abbi said...

But Jameel, seriously, who could resist those vegetarian scallops and pasta with broccoli and cheese? (that was caf food, but that is my major memory of YU food. Ahh, that rubbery scallop goodness... to this day I try to recreate that soggy pasta at home and i still haven't achieved it.)

Jews and free food go together like PB&J. I would say frum Jews aren't really drinkers and that's why it's not free booze but I don't even think that's true anymore in America.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Abbi: The YC caf was far less impressive than Stern's. "Egg on Roll" was the breakfast of champions.

Gil Student said...

I just spent last Shabbos in YU and I can say that the food is much, much better than in our day. I'm told that the new administration is to be thanked for this and many other minor improvements that make a difference in daily life.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Gil: I'm happy to hear that the food is much better. But why is there such an allure for free food?

Anonymous said...

Eh. The "FREE FOOD" cliche was quite strong at my secular American university as well, and probably at every other university. This has nothing to do with Jews.

The same thing goes for every other "Jews and food" cliche. You (plural) just happen to have been to more kiddushes than office Christmas parties or (chas v'shalom) Wal*Mart Black Friday events.

Shifra said...

They do the same thing at work too - we used to have a "lunch and learn" quarterly but in light of the economic downturn it is now a "snack and learn."

Not that I could eat the lunch anyway... maybe I'll have a better change with the snacks.

Shifra said...

PS Rigatoni and broccoli at the Stern college caf... I don't know what that sauce, was and I think I don't wanna know, but it sure was tasty.

Anonymous said...

To support my point, let's do some Google searches and see how many results we get: - 138K
site "free food" - 41 (~1/3400) - 914K
site "free food" - 302 (~1/3000) - 1030K
site "free food" - 244 (~1/4200) - 55K
site "free food" - 49 (~1/1100) - 5K
site "free food" - 0

So, I conclude that Catholics are more oriented to free food than Jews, who are more oriented, in turn, than Mormons. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, the food is better...and just look at how much it costs friends complain about the high cost of food at Stern/YU frequently...

Jameel, you think a hot fleishig kiddush is a big deal now? If there isn't sushi, the kiddush is a joke for many...

the apple said...

Sadly, due to budget cuts, there won't be nearly as much free food at events as there used to be...

(My word verif: quaventi. Like a four-layered Starbucks drink or something)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Isaac: You failed to note that the google searches were "yu", "nyu" and "byu" -- all including the "YU" name :-)

(Yale University is the other "YU" as well)

Shifra: Good to see you!

Apple: Qauventi sounds more like an Italian sports car (or Ford pretending their new car model is italianish...maybe that's how car makers come up with new names...the just play with word verification all day :)

tnspr: Food was always expensive at the YU caf (and this before the meal plan existed)

Lurker said...

the apple: Sadly, due to budget cuts, there won't be nearly as much free food at events as there used to be...

I wouldn't be surprised, especially after this...

Anonymous said...

The other schools might be using different phrases, for example, "Refreshments will be served."

YMedad said...

a) Does anyone remember the "Greasy Spoon"?

b) and now with Madoff, YU (and Richard Joel) maybe be needing free food themselves - or just plain "eating it".

Saul Mashbaum said...

I hardly ever ate there, but indeed I do remember the "greasy spoon". Go, boomers!

Um, I actually *liked* the food at YU (the caf was called "Parker's then) when I was there. Sunday nights were the best. OTOH, I don't remember free food at any university event when I was there.

I visited YU a few months ago, and found it
physically more friendly than the somewhat spartan setup of many years ago.

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