Fall 2020 FAQ

Updated October 21, 2020

Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s work is informed by the following values:

  • Health and Safety: Everything we do is in service of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness of our community. We care about each individual’s health and safety, and create opportunities for connection that elevate wellness.

  • Responsibility and Accountability: As members of the Columbia/Barnard, Morningside Heights, and New York City communities, we are responsible to our broader communities and accountable for the way our actions impact the communities of which are a part. We strive to be good citizens.

  • Celebration: We recognize that celebrations will look different and we will find new and meaningful ways to bring joy and energy to our communal celebrations and observances.

  • Partnership: We operate from a place of trust and joyful partnership between professionals and students. We approach uncertainty with the commitment to work together to make the best possible decisions.

    Click on the questions below to see the corresponding answer:

  • What’s not changing?

    Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s commitment to serving the Jewish community of Columbia/Barnard is unchanged. While policy, procedures, and programming may look different, our core values remain the same.

  • What is the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life?

    The Kraft Center is a 7 story building located at 606 West 115th Street. Open seven days a week, it serves as a resource for Columbia and Barnard students. The building contains lounge space, meeting rooms, large screen televisions, and two outdoor terraces.

  • Is the Kraft Center for Jewish Student life currently open?

    Yes,  the Kraft Center is open every day. Students will need to follow all University protocols in order to enter the Kraft Center (receive a negative gateway test, participate in regular CU/BC testing procedures, have a green pass, be in good health, etc.) Furniture has been moved to ensure that students can study in the Kraft Center while socially distancing. Masks must be worn at all times.

  • What precautions are in place to ensure our health and safety in the Kraft Center?

    The Kraft Center is a University building and is treated the same as any other building on campus. It is being sanitized twice a day, masks are required, and we reduced capacity and marked off socially distant work spaces. Only one person will be permitted in the elevator at a time. Bathrooms are located on the second, fourth, fifth and sixth floors, and hand sanitizer stations have been installed in the lobby and on every floor.

  • I am not an affiliate of Columbia University. Can I visit the Kraft Center?

    Consistent with University policy, only Columbia University affiliates can visit the Kraft Center at this time. No guests are allowed to visit.

  • Will Cafe Nana, the kosher vegetarian cafe at the Kraft Center, be open in the fall?

    Cafe Nana will not be open in the fall. 

  • Does Columbia/Barnard Hillel offer in person and virtual programming?

    Yes. Our programming is virtual and in person. Most of our in person programming is being held outdoors. In addition to in person programming on campus, we are organizing regional outdoor gatherings throughout the fall semester.

  • What type of programs are offered through Hillel?

    Hillel’s programs are as diverse as our students. We offer a range of programs throughout the year, focused on religious observance, holiday celebrations, educational fellowships, lectures, and social programs.

  • I’m a new student (or a returning student who hasn’t yet connected with the Jewish community), and I’m concerned about feeling isolated on campus with social distancing in place. How do I connect to Hillel programming and other communal opportunities? How do I know what’s right for me?

    Our professionals and student leaders will help you find your people and your place. If you’re not sure where to start, connect (virtually or in-person) with a professional or student leader by emailing welcome@hillel.columbia.edu, and we’ll help you navigate Jewish life on campus. Our Kraft Center Kickoff series of opportunities is just for first years and new students, and will also help you feel connected.

  • What do daily services look like (non Shabbat, non holiday)?

    Orthodox services are held every day. Students are asked to reserve a spot for in-person services in advance of the actual service. This will ensure that we have enough space reserved to safely accommodate everyone. We also recommend that you bring a prayer book with you from home. A limited number of prayer books will be available to students to borrow for the semester. 

  • I regularly attend services. Is there anything I should know?

    Students are asked to reserve a spot for in-person services in advance of the actual service. This will ensure that we have enough space reserved to safely accommodate everyone. We also recommend that you bring a prayer book with you from home. A limited number of prayer books are available to students to borrow for the semester.

  • Are Shabbat dinners offered through Hillel?

    Yes. Individually prepared meals are offered to students. Small groups are able to eat together, socially distant and outdoors around campus. Meals are certified kosher and, with advance sign up, we can accommodate most dietary needs. Shabbat meals are offered free of charge for enrolled students. Meals are available for pick up every Friday. During inclement weather, meals are still available to be picked up.

  • What options are available for Shabbat services?

    Hillel offers Conservative, Orthodox and Reform services every Friday night. The Conservative and Orthodox services meet every Saturday as well. Reform Friday night services are held online.

  • Shabbat meals are free of charge?

    Yes! Our team works hard to raise the necessary funds to ensure that any student can enjoy Shabbat dinner at no cost to them. Parents, alumni, and students who are interested in supporting this work, can be in touch with Liz Lebeaux, Director of Development, or can donate online.

  • Can Hillel help direct me to campus support services?

    Yes. Columbia/Barnard Hillel, under its #Here4You initiative, is committed to being responsive to student wellness needs and to ensuring that students have trusted adults to support them. Students can reach out to any Hillel professional with concerns and will be connected with the appropriate campus (or off-campus) resource(s). 

  • I’m not getting any communications from Hillel. How do I get added to a list?

    No problem. Fill out this form and we will quickly get you added to our list. Emails typically go out once a week. First year and transfer students should also fill out this form so we can send you information about Kraft Center Kickoff. We also regularly share updates on Facebook and Instagram (@cbhillel) and encourage you to follow us there.

  • Where can I get kosher food on campus?

    Kosher food is available at restaurants and markets on the Upper West Side. Morton Williams, located at 115th and Broadway, sells pre-packaged kosher meals.

  • Are there places off campus that sell kosher food?

    Yes. Morton Williams, located on the corner of Broadway and 115th Street, sells pre-packaged kosher sandwiches and salads. There are many kosher restaurants on the Upper West Side.

  • I am not on or near campus. What is available to me?

    Much of what we offer this semester is virtual, even for students who are on campus, so all students, regardless of where you are located, are welcome to participate.  Fellowships, virtual meet ups and information about other events can be found throughout our website. We continue to hold in person outdoor gatherings around the country for students who are not living in NYC.