2022 Covid Guidelines & FAQs

University of Michigan Hillel COVID Guidelines and FAQs

Updated March 2022

We are excited to welcome back over 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students to campus. We are looking forward to being able to offer a hybrid of at-home, online, and in-person opportunities this semester, with a particular focus on continued community-building for our freshmen and sophomores. We remain committed to ensuring our programming feels welcoming, accessible, and inclusive. And we will continue to uphold these values to drive our decision-making:

  • Uphold safety and wellbeing of our community (pikuach nefesh),
  • Align with the university (areivut),
  • Seek out opportunities this moment brings (gam zu le’tovah),
  • Pursue our mission and goals,
  • And be flexible and patient to change with the times (savlanut).

Please find below a list of FAQs that will help you navigate how our Hillel is prepared to safely support students to access Jewish life on campus in a meaningful way. We are committed to continuing to enrich the lives of Jewish students on campus through diverse, inclusive and impactful opportunities to engage in Jewish life – whether associated with our Hillel building or across campus in outdoor spaces and the homes of our students.

In our effort to keep all students, staff, and visitors safe, we are following guidelines from Washtenaw County Health DepartmentCDC, and University of Michigan. Therefore, our policies may change to stay aligned with the county’s or university’s policies.

Aligned with the University’s Winter Policy Update, we encourage all students and staff returning to campus after traveling to get tested before joining Hillel activities, wear a mask in all communal areas regardless of vaccination status, and get boosted as soon as possible. 

What’s most important is that our students stay updated with what we will be offering! These FAQs give you a snapshot into how we will be returning to campus. As restrictions ease or become more strict, our offerings and FAQs will change. Please stay up to date by using the resources below.

Hillel Resources:

With the regulations of the state and university in flux, it is more important than ever that you are connected to Hillel. For the most updated information, it is important that you follow us on our social media pages – Instagram and Facebook. We are also committed to keeping information up to date on our website.

Students – submit or update your information online to receive our weekly Student Newsletter and dedicated emails based on your interests.

*Updated Covid Policy – March 2022

To remain aligned with the new University of Michigan and Washtenaw County Health Department Guidelines, we have updated our mask-wearing policy in the Hillel building and at Hillel events.

Just like the University, we examined different aspects of how we gather and how to make our staff, student and guest community feel as safe, comfortable and welcome in our spaces and Hillel offerings as possible.

Public Spaces:

Most public spaces in the Hillel building (study rooms, hallways, restrooms, etc.) will become mask-optional. The restrooms in the basement will remain mask-mandatory to accommodate those who would prefer to use a mask-mandatory restroom. One study space upstairs (room 1) will remain mask-required for those who prefer to study in a mask-required space.

The office space will become mask-optional. We are grateful to have a supportive staff community that cares for each other’s well-being. Therefore, if there is a staff person who requests for a one-on-one or small group meeting to be masked, we ask that staff respect each other’s wishes. We encourage staff to check in with each other before meetings regarding their needs. Staff will also be informed in advance of a larger staff meeting if it will require masks so that they may come prepared.

Classes and Events:

Mask policies around classes and events will depend on the needs of the people in the room, and the size and nature of the event. The policy will be discussed among the staff and student leaders responsible for the event and determined by the staff person responsible. The Platform will note for each event if it will be mask-required or mask-optional. Events outside will all be mask-optional.

Religious Services:

Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor services. Masks will be optional for all outdoor services.

Please note, this policy does not replace our existing COVID policy regarding wearing a tight-fitting mask for five-days after exposure in ALL Hillel spaces if you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive.

Parents – we encourage you to register to receive our monthly Parent Newsletter plus updates around holidays and special events. Also join our closed “Michigan Hillel Parents” Facebook group to receive important updates throughout the year.

University of Michigan Resources:

Maize & Blueprint: University’s Guide to Living, Learning & Working Together Safely

FAQs from M Dining

University Health Services- UHS

CAPS counseling services remain open with a number of remote access opportunities, including telehealth visits.

Wolverine Wellness also has resources like guided meditation videos and more ways to support student well being.

Hillel Staff are here for you to help you navigate these resources if you need extra support.

I tested positive when I got back to campus but I’m fully vaccinated. When can I attend Hillel activities?  

We hope you feel better soon! We remain aligned with the Washtenaw County Health Department and University of Michigan Guidelines in our decision-making. You may join Hillel activities again when 5 days have passed since your symptoms started (or since your test date if you have no symptoms), as long as you don’t have a fever for 24 hours, AND your symptoms have improved. If you are still experiencing symptoms, please do not join Hillel activities. We strongly encourage you to abide by the Washtenaw County Health Department recommendation to take a COVID test before leaving isolation and entering the Hillel building. Out of respect for your peers and the Hillel staff and their health, we do require that all students who have tested positive for COVID and choose to join Hillel activities after 5 days continue to wear a tight-fitting mask for 5 more days (this includes refraining from eating and drinking in our building).

I have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. Can I still come to Hillel? 

People who have received their booster shot or are within six months of a two-dose series or two months of a one-dose vaccine do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19, unless they have symptoms, but should wear a tight-fitting mask when around others for 10 days following the exposure. If symptoms develop, individuals should isolate and seek testing immediately.

For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict tight-fitting mask use for an additional 5 days. We strongly encourage you to abide by the Washtenaw Health Department Recommendation that you receive a negative COVID test result 5 days after exposure before you enter the Hillel building. You may not attend a Hillel program until you have quarantined for 5 days, and you must wear a tight-fitting mask and refrain from eating or drinking inside at a Hillel event for the following five days. 

Please let us know if you are in quarantine or self-isolating so that we can support you with a Shabbat meal.
Will vaccinations be required for students to participate in Hillel programming? 

Aligned with the University of Michigan guidelines, vaccinations will be required to enter our building and attend any Hillel program or Hillel sponsored event. We ask all students to use the ResponsiBLUE app to show proof of vaccination and their daily updated screening check. All Hillel staff will be held to the same guidelines. In addition, any student signing up on our Hillel platform for an event will be asked to submit the date of their latest vaccination.

Aligned with the University’s December COVID Policy Update, we will require that all students, faculty, staff, and community members receive a booster shot by February 4 and record this information in their ResponsiBlue app.

*Please reach out to our Executive Director Tilly Shemer if you are unable to receive the vaccine or booster due to medical reasons.

Will masks be required at Hillel events?

Please refer to the updated mask policy above.

Will the Hillel building be open?

Yes! Our building will be open Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, Saturday for religious services only, Sunday from 11:00 pm – 8:00 pm. This includes events, programs, Shabbat services and dinners, High Holiday services and meals, and studying for students. Everyone is expected to follow our mask policies.

Will Michigan Hillel host in-person and/or virtual programming?

Yes and yes! We are excited to offer a wide variety of programs this year, both in-person and virtual. We will follow all appropriate government and university guidelines for  any in-person program and gathering. The best way to know about and sign up for our programs is to be sure you are connected to Hillel’s social media pages and sign up for our weekly newsletter (refer to Stay Connected section above).

Will Hillel’s student groups be running this year?

Yes! Our student led groups are planning for a mix of virtual and in-person programming. We encourage all students, once again, to fill out our “Hillel Connect” request form and to join us for our Open House BBQ at Hillel on September 4 from 12:00PM – 2:00PM to learn more and speak to all our groups. For more information and to register, click here.

Will there be weekday meals for purchase?

Yes! We will be continuing our highly popular grab and go options for weeknights. These options will include sandwiches, wraps, salads and snacks. In addition, there will be single meals that can be heated at home. You will be able to pay with Venmo or Paypal at the front desk.

Can we eat in the building?

Yes! Kosher food will be available for purchase from the front desk greeters. You may eat or drink at events or while studying. However, masks must be worn when not eating or drinking. If you have tested positive for COVID in the past 5 days or have had direct contact with someone who tested positive and are required to wear a tight-fitting face mask, we ask that you respect your peers and staff of Hillel and their health, and refrain from removing your mask to eat in the Hillel building or at any Hillel event. 

Will student leaders be able to book Hillel spaces for programs and meetings?

Yes! We look forward to student leaders using our Hillel building for programming and meetings this year. Student groups may book spaces through our event planning process. All guidelines apply to these spaces.

Will the Jewish Penicillin Hotline be running?

Yes! JPH will resume at the start of the school year. To order soup for yourself or someone who is sick, please click here.

Will we be able to travel to Israel on Birthright this winter?

 Yes, we are planning for two different trip dates – one in Winter and one in Spring (dates TBD). You can register for our trips on our website once the applications become available (mid-January). Our Hillel is dedicated to providing an amazing Israel experience while keeping our students healthy and safe. Trips will be reexamined if local, national, and international guidelines change.

This is all a lot to navigate. I have questions about Hillel’s policy and if I can participate in events?

Our Hillel Staff is available to help you navigate your questions and be responsive to your wellness needs. Please feel free to reach out to any of us to make a time to chat over coffee, or send us an email with your questions. If you have specific questions regarding our COVID policy decisions, please contact our Executive Director, Tilly Shemer.