DU – Hillel Colorado Memo on Covid-19

Dear DU Hillel students and families:

Jews have historically been at our best when we come together to address challenges; the Megillat Esther story we read this week for Purim is but one example. As you know, the University of Denver has cancelled in-person classes (DU’s recently announced policies) and has set up remote-learning opportunities for students. This is a fluid situation, and as of now, university facilities, offices and buildings remain open.

Our Merage & Allon Hillel Center at DU also remains open, with modified programming for students still in Denver and new, virtual programming for all – and the same level of commitment we have always had to your family and our students. Our prime concern is for the safety of our students! Our next highest value is to be mensches, to be here for them – that’s what DU Hillel is all about.

While most of us have never experienced anything like this before, our Jewish tradition teaches us to be thoughtful, resourceful, and calm in the face of challenges both great and small – providing us a template for how to serve each other, our community, and the wider community best during challenging times. During this period of uncertainty, your Hillel community will remain a constant.

The Jewish text Pirkei Avot teaches, “al tifrosh min hatzibur – don’t separate yourself from the community.” If students or parents need support, wish to chat, or simply want to connect in this challenging time, please contact me: Noam Dahary, DU Hillel Campus Director, [email protected], 720-434-1131.

Students:

1. Our student board and interns are meeting virtually this Sunday – so expect an update from me after that. Also – check DU Hillel’s Instagram and Facebook for regular updates.
2. While university classes will be online for now, and we all need to be vigilant in preventing the spread of any unwanted germs in light of Coronavirus awareness, we are also deeply aware of our role to ensure Hillel remains a supportive, safe and welcoming place.
3. Our House is open for all students still in Denver: we have posted signs on the entry door of each Hillel House with those safety protocols.
4. Our staff is here to serve you as we continue to monitor directives from the University of Denver, the City and County of Denver, and State of Colorado infectious diseases professionals.
5. The challenge we all face will become an opportunity for Hillel students and staff to create innovative virtual and lower-or-no-contact programs; stay tuned.
6. Our community may look different, but we continue to operate as the uber-inclusive student community we are – where all are welcome to enjoy our space, share in our fellowship, and attend our programs.
7. Finally, you are awesome! Just a reminder of the amazing things we have done together in the past six weeks. May we soon return to securing a great Jewish future together at DU Hillel!!

1/24: Multicultural Shabbat at Hillel in collaboration with DU Cultural Center and the Black, Muslim, Latin, African and Queer Student associations
1/31: Israel Shabbat with our DU Shinshinim, JCO’s young Israel community emissaries
2/14: Tu B’shvat Shabbat and Sustainability program supported by Hazon
2/18: Special screening of “Golda” in collaboration with DU Center for Judaic Studies, and the Denver JCC Jewish Film Festival – with follow-up discussion with the directors
2/20: Mentorship program: DU Hillel students with Hebrew Educational Alliance Chai School (High School) students
2/21: pre-midterm “De-stress” Shabbat
2/28: Special once-in-four-years Shabbat Leap Year Party
3/6: Purim Shabbat Party
3/11: Hillel outing to the Avalanche Game: cancelled

With love, l’shalom,

Noam,