COVID Guidelines and FAQs for Fall 2021

University of Michigan Hillel COVID Guidelines and FAQs

We are excited to welcome over 1,000 incoming Jewish freshmen and welcome back over 5,000 more returning upperclassmen and graduate students to campus this fall. We are looking forward to being able to offer more in-person opportunities during fall semester, with a particular focus on 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 Department, CDC, and University of Michigan. Therefore, our policies may change to stay aligned with the county’s or university’s policies. 

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 starting out this school year. As restrictions ease or become more strict, our offerings 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. 

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

University of Michigan Resources:

The Freshmen Resources page of our website has many important University and Hillel resource links, as well as updated information from Housing.

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

Interactive Campus Map

Campus Centers & Resources

FAQs from M Dining

Health and Wellbeing:

University Health Services- UHS

CAPS counseling services remain open even during the summer 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. 




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 ResponiBLUE 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. 

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

Will masks be required at Hillel events?

Masks will be required inside our Hillel building and during any indoor event, program, or service. Masks are not required for outdoor gatherings at this time but are recommended. For the High Holidays, we are requiring masks be worn at all times for both indoor and outdoor gatherings. This policy can change based on local and national health department recommendations.

Will the Hillel building be open in the Fall?

Yes! Our building will be open Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, Saturday for religious services only, Sunday from 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm. This includes events, programs, Shabbat services and dinners, High Holiday services and meals, and studying for students. Everyone is expected to wear masks inside. 

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

Yes and yes! We are excited to offer a wide variety of programs this coming school 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 on August 29 from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm to learn more and speak to all our groups. 

Will there be weekday meals for purchase?

Yes! New this year, Hillel’s kosher kitchen will be offering Grab N Go options for weeknights. These options will include sandwiches, wraps, salads and snacks. In addition, there will be single and group 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. 

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 Fall Semester. Student groups may book spaces through our event planning process. All guidelines apply to these spaces, such as wearing masks when not eating indoors and only serving individually wrapped food items. 

Will the Jewish Penicillin Hotline be running?

Yes! JPH will begin in early October following the High Holidays. This will allow our Hillel Cafe to focus on our Shabbat and High Holiday meal offerings at the beginning of the year. 

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

Presently, you may register for a winter Birthright Israel trip or pre-register for a spring Birthright Israel trip. 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. You can find information on registering on our website.

This is all a lot to navigate. Who can I talk to in order to understand how I can get involved?

If you are a freshman with more questions, please contact Sarah Balis

For all other students, You can fill out a “Hillel Connect” request form, where you can let us know what you are looking for, and then one of our engagement fellows will reach out to you to help you get connected to Jewish community.

If you are looking for more information about what Shabbat will look like this year, please….visit our website for all Shabbat info

If you are looking for more information about High Holidays, please visit our website for all High Holiday info

If you are looking to get involved as a Hillel leader, we suggest that you set up time with a staff member to learn about all the different leadership opportunities. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to apply for certain roles in early November when we start the transition process for our 2022 Student Leader Term. 

You can also reach out to make a meeting with any of our staff if you want to talk through all of the different options we have to get involved and build community. In addition, Hillel Staff is committed to supporting students and being responsive to students’ wellness needs. If you or a friend are in need of support, please feel free to reach out to a staff member who can help you navigate campus and other local resources. See the links above to UHS (health services), CAPS (counseling services) and Wolverine Wellness (well being, stress management, and other support). You can also connect with Wolverine Support Network – a peer-led mental health organization that runs support groups on campus. 

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