The University’s first private kosher flat has opened at Montague Burton Halls. The flat has been specially adapted to house religious Jews observing the Sabbath Day, which forbids the turning on or off of electricity. The news follows the University’s closure of kosher-friendly accommodation at Leodis Residences, where the use of automatic lights and electric gates was seen as ‘problematic’.
Speaking to this paper, President Max Sherrard explained that Leeds is the ‘first University that has actively pursued anything like this’.
Students can access the flat with a traditional key rather than fob. It is also secured by a non-electric gate, in accordance with Sabbath custom. The Gryphon understands Montague Burton’s residence to be the first unique block for Orthodox Jews.
JSoc Co-Shabbat Officer Benjamin Lee said of the lack of facilities for Jewish students, ‘It became clear to members of the Jewish society committee that this was an unacceptable situation that would prevent observant Jews choosing to study in Leeds in future years’. He added, ‘It ensures that students arriving this September at the university who wish to be Shomrei Shabbat whilst living away from home are able to do so’.