Fall 2021 FAQ

Updated July 22, 2021

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 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.

  • Will the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life be open in the fall?

    Yes. The Kraft Center is open every day starting with move-in. 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.)  Until the first day of classes, masks must be worn at all times while indoors.

  • What are the COVID policies for the Kraft Center?

    All Columbia University COVID policies will apply to the Kraft Center. To see the latest information, please visit Columbia University’s COVID website.

  • Do I need to wear a mask while inside the Kraft Center?

    All of Columbia University’s policies apply to the Kraft Center. As of now, masks will be required to be worn inside the Kraft Center until the first day of classes. Masks will be required for all indoor Rosh Hashanah programs, including services. Meals will be held outdoors. After the first day of classes, masks will no longer be required for vaccinated students and affiliates.

  • What is Hillel doing for Rosh Hashanah?

    Hillel will be offering conservative, orthodox and reform services throughout Rosh Hashanah.  Free meals and creative ways to celebrate will also be offered. For more information, please view the high holiday page on our website.

  • Does Columbia/Barnard Hillel offer anything for graduate students?

    Yes! The Grad Network, powered by Columbia/Barnard Hillel, offers Shabbat dinners, events, and other opportunities to build community with Jewish graduate students. Check out The Grad Network’s website or reach out to Melissa Kansky, Director of The Grad Network.

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

    Beginning this fall, Columbia University ID holders will be able to register and sign in non-affiliates to the Kraft Center. All visitors must complete a symptom attestation form and must abide by all Kraft Center and Columbia University policies.

  • 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. Our plan is to have most of our programming be in person, with some hybrid and virtual programming offered too.

  • 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. 

  • Are Shabbat dinners offered through Hillel?

    Yes. Individually prepared meals are offered to students. Prior to Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat dinners will be held outdoors on campus. Meals will be held at the Kraft Center after the first day of classes. Meals are certified kosher and, with advance sign up, we can accommodate most dietary needs. Shabbat meals are offered free of charge for enrolled undergraduate students.

  • 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. 

  • 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?

    In addition to the kosher meal plan at Barnard College (open to Columbia students), 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.