As a community, we just concluded the celebration of Purim, the Jewish holiday in which we recognize the topsy-turvy, unpredictable nature of our world. So perhaps it is fitting that the whole world seems a bit topsy-turvy right now, with the ever-evolving reality of coronavirus affecting all aspects of life. We recognize that conditions are extremely fluid, and we will continue to monitor and adapt Hillel policy as appropriate.
Earlier this week, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our campus population, Rutgers University has instituted the following policies:
- Class are cancelled for March 12 and 13
- There will be virtual classes only after Spring Break, March 23 – April 3.
- Students have been ordered to vacate all residence halls, continue coursework remotely, and not return to New Brunswick.
- All student life events greater than 15 people are suspended through April 15.
Rutgers Hillel is committed to the health and welfare of our students and fully supports these university polices. We are also guided by our commitment to supporting students and providing a strong sense of community, even in this difficult period.
We recognize that some students may remain on campus, for a variety of reasons. Some have no home to return to. Others may prefer the company of their peers. Still others will just want to retain some semblance of normalcy in uncertain times. Rutgers Hillel is therefore dedicated to providing support for our students to the greatest extent possible under current campus conditions.
To that end, we have determined the following:
- Rutgers Hillel will be closed to the public beginning Friday, March 13 through April 15, including The College Ave Cafe.
- We have canceled our Alternative Spring Break trip to Colombia.
- Hillel staff will be available for meetings by appointment with students, individually or in small groups.
- Staff may also work from home, as appropriate.
- In keeping with university policy, programs of 15 or fewer people will be allowed through April 15.
- Through April 15 we will not host our full Shabbat dinners. For any students who remain on campus, we are working to develop alternative Shabbat experiences that honor the health restrictions cited above.
- We are assessing alternative ways to address Passover, services, classes, etc…
- In partnership with Rutgers Counseling and Psychological Services, our Community-Based Counselor Dana Weinstock firstname.lastname@example.org will be available to meet with individual students. Students can call 848-932-7884, option 2 to make an appointment with Dana.
This is a challenging time and Rutgers Hillel staff is committed to supporting our students in whatever ways possible. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 732.545.2407 or contact me directly at Andrew@RutgersHillel.org or Rabbi Esther Reed RabbiReed@RutgersHillel.org if you have specific questions or concerns.