Updated March 19, 2020
To the Jewish Gator Nation:
The health and well-being of our community is our top priority. Please know that while our physical distance from one another will increase temporarily, UF Hillel is committed to creating warm and welcoming opportunities for our community to remain connected in creative and positive ways in the coming days.
In accordance with University of Florida guidance, UF Hillel is operating on a modified schedule. We have postponed all student gatherings and the Hillel building is currently closed. Our staff is now working remotely to serve the need of students in keeping with CDC guidelines.
Upcoming Events -- All upcoming events including our Friday night Shabbat experience will not take place until further notice. Cohort- based experiences, including the Jewish Learning Fellowship and Leaders of Change, moved to virtual sessions starting Thursday, March 12, 2020. With students now spread out across Florida and beyond, Hillel has created opportunities to engage in Jewish life virtually. Information on these opportunities is available on our website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Summer Israel Travel -- Birthright Israel has canceled trips departing in May. We are working to reschedule our May trips for August. At this point, Birthright Israel trips in June and our Onward Israel program continue as planned. We expect our partners to make a decision about the status of these programs in the coming weeks. We will continue to be in contact directly with individuals signed up for these programs. The most up to date information is also available on our partners' websites: Onward Israel and our Birthright Israel provider, Israel Outdoors.
AIPAC Policy Conference -- At the direction of the Alachua County Health Department, in coordination with UF’s Student Health Care Center, students who attended the recent AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC have been advised to self-monitor for coronavirus symptoms. They do not need to go under self-quarantine. Since no UF participants are known to have been within 6 feet of the two affected NY-based attendees for an extended period of time, participants are advised to monitor their health. There are no restrictions in going places as long as one does not have symptoms. Students are asked to contact the Alachua County Health Department and Student Health Care Center if symptoms develop.
At this time of uncertainty, UF Hillel staff are here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can help you navigate this stressful situation—and you’ll be hearing from us, too! Please consult our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the most up to date information.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility. Please feel free to be in touch with questions.
Rabbi Jonah Zinn, Executive Director