CSU – Hillel Colorado Memo on Covid-19

Dear CSU Hillel students and families:

Hillel is here for you!

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, Colorado State University has cancelled in-person classes https://safety.colostate.edu/coronavirus/ 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.

Beginning March 23rd, Merage Hillel House at CSU also will be open with modified programming for students still in Ft. Collins 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 CSU 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:
Mariah DeGear, CSU Hillel Campus Director, mariah@hillelcolorado.org, 970-519-1925

1. Despite being on break, our student board and interns will connect virtually soon – so expect an update from me after that.
2. Also – check CSU Hillel’s Facebook and Instagram for regular updates.
3. While university classes will be online for now, 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.
4. We have posted signs on the entry door of the CSU Hillel House with safety protocols.
5. Our staff is here to serve you as we continue to monitor directives from the Colorado State University, the City of Ft. Collins, and State of Colorado infectious disease professionals.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Finally, you are awesome! May we soon return to securing a great Jewish future together at CSU Hillel. If you have any doubts, just consider the amazing things we have done together in the past six weeks:

1/24: Jewish Unity Shabbat
1/28: Tuesday Shmoozeday discussion (a weekly event)
1/31: Israel-themed Shabbat
2/14: “Lonely Hearts” Valentine Shabbat
2/21: Avi Shafer Shabbat in collaboration with the Multi-Faith Partners Council
2/27: Black History Shabbat in Collaboration with Black African American Center
3/2: CSU Hillel and PRISM, CSU’s LGBTQ Student Organization: Invisible Identities
3/8: ADL Words to Action anti-Semitism training (w/SAEpi and No. CO Chabad)
3/9: Purim Party at Pin Ball Jones with Northern Colorado Chabad, SAEpi and AEpi
3/10: Diversity Discussions with CSU Health Network and Counseling Department on how to address anti-Semitism on Campus
Ongoing: work to assure CSU acts on its promise to consider policy changes to address bigotry, anti-Semitism, and acts of racism; link of public letter with student demands regarding the initiative: STUDENT LETTER TO CSU ADMINISTRATION

With love, l’shalom,