By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer

What you can come to expect from the selection at the BU Hillel House./PHOTO VIA David Danesh

The gorgeous marbled floors and beautiful outside facade should be enough to reel any passersby inside the Hillel House at Boston University. But if the architecture isn’t reason enough to get you to step inside Hillel, I’ll give you one now: free Friday night dinners.

That’s right folks, for those of you who don’t have an unlimited meal plan or just want a break from the dining hall food, you get a chance every week to meet some new people and enjoy a tasty, feels-like-home-cooked meal.

In order to claim your wonderful Hillel dining experience, the first thing you gotta do is secure a meal ticket. All it takes is a few minutes to sign yourself up on the BU Hillel website and you’re set.

After signing myself up, I waited for Friday to finally come around. Religious services started at 6 p.m. and went on for about an hour and a half. Afterwards, everyone made their way to the third floor of the Hillel house.

The dining room layout was almost like a wedding: round tables with seats surrounding them with dinner rolls and grape juice (mimicking wine) as the centerpiece. Once everyone was settled, someone came out and said grace, or Kiddush, and the meal was finally open.

Our first food option was matzah ball soup. What’s matzah ball soup, you say? It’s a broth based soup, usually with carrots and celery, which also consists of dozens of fluffy soft balls made from ground up matzah and spices. They become so delicate from sitting inside the soup and soaking up all the juices and spices, which makes for a delicious and hearty appetizer. That, accompanied with challah, an eggy, sweet bread, made this meal like one from my grandmother’s house.

After the soup and bread, there was much more to come: salad, brisket, chicken, vegetable medleys and roasted potatoes were all delivered to each table to make up the bulk of our meals. The food was absolutely scrumptious and it felt like a huge shift from what I’m used to having at Warren.

In addition to the wonderful food, the atmosphere of the dinner was great. Everyone was talking to each other and it felt very comforting being in a place with so many friendly people. Jews and non-Jews alike attended the festive meal, enforcing BU’s emphasis on diversity and learning about new cultures and people.

Though I can’t fly down to Houston on Friday nights to eat a family dinner, it feels nice to find a place where I can still feel comfortable with my new family in Boston.