COVID Support, Guidelines and FAQ

 COVID Guidelines and FAQs

We are excited to continue welcoming Jewish students on campus and in our building. We are proud to offer a wide variety of in-person opportunities during the 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:

In the pursuit of our mission and goals, the following Jewish values drive our policies that are keeping this community safe, healthy, and thriving:

Pikuach Nefesh – Valuing the sanctity of safety
We are tasked with upholding the safety and wellbeing of our community.

Areivut – Responsibility
We have the responsibility to align with the university community.

Gam zu le’tovah – Finding the good
We seek out opportunities this moment might bring.

Savlanut– Patience
We strive to be flexible and patient to change with the times.

See below for a list of FAQs that will help you navigate how Berkeley Hillel is safely supporting 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 Alameda County Health Department, CDC, and UC Berkeley. 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 of how we will be starting out this school year. As restrictions ease or become stricter, our offerings will change. Please stay up to date by using the resources below.

STAY CONNECTED: 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 “Berkeley Hillel Parents Mishpacha” Facebook group




Q: Will vaccinations be required for students to participate in Hillel programming? 

Aligned with the UC Berkeley guidelines, vaccinations will be required to enter our building and attend any Hillel program or Hillel-sponsored event. All Hillel staff will be held to the same guidelines. 

*Please reach out to our Chief Operating Officer Emily Hirschman ( or complete our Vaccination Accommodation Form if you are unable to receive the vaccine due to medical reasons.

 Q: 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. This policy can change based on local and national health department recommendations.

February 14th, 2021  UPDATE: Berkeley Hillel and UC Berkeley will continue to require masking indoors until at least February 28th. Masks do not need to be worn outdoors but are recommended if you are in a crowded outdoor space when you are unable to socially distance. We ask that students continue to follow these guidelines and keep eating and drinking indoors to a minimum.

Q: Will the Hillel building remain open?

Yes! Our building will be open Sunday – Friday. This includes events, programs, Shabbat services and dinners, Holiday services and meals, and studying for students. Everyone is expected to wear masks inside until further notice.

Q: What do I do if I’ve been at Berkeley Hillel and I found out I was exposed to COVID? 
First, you should go get tested. Then, you should email COO Emily ( or Rabbi Adam ( to let us know you have been exposed. If you end up testing positive, let us know so we can inform the community that there was a possibility of exposure. Don’t worry! We will never share your COVID status or identify you by name.

Q: Will Berkeley Hillel host in-person or virtual programming?

Yes! We are excited to offer a wide variety of in-person programs this school year. 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).

We do not currently have any virtual events planned, but are ready to adapt should public health guidelines change.

 Q: Will Hillel’s student groups be running this year?

Yes! Our student-led groups are busy planning for programming this Fall. We encourage all students to fill out our Student Involvement form to learn more.

Q: Can we eat in the building?

Not at this time. Events with meals will have seating outdoors until further notice.

Q: 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 Student Event Request. All guidelines apply to these spaces, such as wearing masks when not eating indoors. 

Q: 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 Jess Nevins our director of engagement.

For all other students, You can fill out a Get Involved Form, where you can let us know what you are looking for, and a member of our engagement team will reach out to you to help you get connected to the 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.

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.

Tested positive for COVID?  You aren’t alone

Bikor Cholim: Visiting the Sick 

Our tradition teaches that a person that visits the sick, removes 1/60th of their illness.  While we can’t physically be together to visit those that have tested positive for COVID, the Berkeley Hillel staff and community is thinking of you.

Students who have tested positive for COVID and are quarantining at Foothill, in their apartment, or at home, we want to send you well wishes, some special treats,  and activities to help you fill your time. Fill out the form below for yourself or a friend.  We’ll get a care package out to you right away.

Please email Emily at if there’s something else you need.