Hillel at Binghamton University COVID Guidelines and FAQs
Updated January 2022
We are excited to welcome back over 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students to campus. We are looking forward to being able to offer a hybrid of at-home, online, and in-person opportunities this semester, with a particular focus on continued 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.
Please find below a list of FAQs that will help you navigate how our Hillel is prepared to safely support 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 within our Hillel office or lounge 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 Broome County Health Department, CDC, and Binghamton University. Therefore, our policies may change to stay aligned with the county’s or university’s policies.
Aligned with the University’s Spring 2022 Policy Update, we encourage all students and staff returning to campus after traveling to get tested before joining Hillel activities, wear a mask in all communal areas regardless of vaccination status, and get boosted as soon as possible.
What’s most important is that our students stay updated with what we will be offering! These FAQs give you a snapshot into how we will be returning to campus. As restrictions ease or become more strict, our offerings and FAQs will change. Please stay up to date by using the resources below.
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 “Hillel at Binghamton Parents” Facebook group to receive important updates throughout the year.
Binghamton University Resources:
The CARE Team - (Consultation, Advocacy, Referral and Education) works to educate and inform members of the Binghamton University community through caring, advocacy and supportive endeavors. Our goal is to empower students and attend to their needs holistically through education and personal development.
Binghamton Support Network - is designed to help you find resources on campus based on various concerns. Please select the category associated with your concern, search for your concern, or check our alphabetical listing of concerns.
Hillel staff members are here for you to help you navigate these resources if you need extra support.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RE: COVID AND HILLEL
I tested positive when I got back to campus but I’m fully vaccinated. When can I attend Hillel activities?
We hope you feel better soon! We remain aligned with the Broome County Health Department, CDC, and Binghamton University in our decision-making. You may join Hillel activities again when 5 days have passed since your symptoms started (or since your test date if you have no symptoms), as long as you don’t have a fever for 24 hours, AND your symptoms have improved. If you are still experiencing symptoms, please do not join Hillel activities. We strongly encourage you to abide by Binghamton University’s recommendation to take a COVID test before leaving isolation and entering Hillel spaces. You can schedule an appointment for testing at the testing site on campus through the Student Health Portal. Out of respect for your peers and the Hillel staff and their health, we do require that all students who have tested positive for COVID and choose to join Hillel activities after 5 days continue to wear a tight-fitting mask for 5 more days (this includes refraining from eating and drinking at our events and in Hillel spaces).
I have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. Can I still come to Hillel?
People who have received their booster shot or are within six months of a two-dose series or two months of a one-dose vaccine do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19, unless they have symptoms, but should wear a tight-fitting mask when around others for 10 days following the exposure. If symptoms develop, individuals should isolate and seek testing immediately.
For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict tight-fitting mask use for an additional 5 days. We strongly encourage you to abide by the Broome County Health Department Recommendation that you receive a negative COVID test result 5 days after exposure before you enter Hillel spaces. You may not attend a Hillel program until you have been quarantined for 5 days, and you must wear a tight-fitting mask. Unvaccinated students are expected to follow University protocols for those with exemptions and refrain from eating or drinking while in public spaces on campus. You may come to events, but you will have to take your food to go.
Please let us know if you are in quarantine or self-isolating so that we can support you with a Shabbat meal.
Will vaccinations be required for students to participate in Hillel programming?
Aligned with the Binghamton University guidelines, vaccinations will be required to enter any Hillel Spaces or attend any Hillel program or Hillel sponsored event. We ask all our students to update their vaccination status and upload their vaccination card for Hillel records. All Hillel staff will be held to the same guidelines.
Aligned with the University’s Spring Guidance Update, we will require that all students, faculty, staff, and community members receive a booster shot by Jan. 20, or within 30 days of becoming eligible for a booster if that date falls after Jan. 20.
*Please reach out to our Assistant Director Jennifer Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are unable to receive the vaccine or booster due to medical reasons.
Will masks be required at Hillel events?
Masks will be required inside our Hillel spaces and during any indoor event, program, or service. Masks are not required for outdoor gatherings at this time but are recommended. Masks can be removed when an attendee is actively eating or drinking. This policy can change based on local and national health department recommendations.
Will the Hillel Office and Lounge be open?
Yes! Our office will be open Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Our Hillel lounge is currently open 12:00pm (noon) - 10:00pm Sunday through Saturday. This includes events, programs, Shabbat services and dinners, Holiday services and meals, and studying for students. Everyone is expected to wear masks inside at all times, even if alone in the Hillel Lounge or main area of the Hillel Office
Will Hillel at Binghamton host in-person and/or virtual programming?
Yes, and if necessary! Hillel at Binghamton will be following all University guidelines, and at this time is hosting primarily in-person events. If the University protocols shift throughout the semester, Hillel will pivot quickly to offer a variety of hybrid and virtual events.
Can we eat in the office, lounge, and at events?
You may eat or drink at events or in the Hillel Lounge. However, masks must be worn when not eating or drinking. If you have tested positive for COVID in the past 10 days or have had direct contact with someone who tested positive, then you are required to wear a tight-fitting face mask. We ask that you respect your peers and staff of Hillel and their health, and refrain from removing your mask to eat in the Hillel building or at any Hillel event. For the safety and wellbeing of our staff, we ask our students and guests to refrain from eating or drinking in the Hillel office at this time. These protocols will be evaluated on a regular basis.
I’m not feeling well and would love some soup, can I get some from Hillel?
Yes! Hillel at Binghamton’s Soup for the Sick services will begin again in early October following the High Holidays and will resume Spring Semester on January 31. To order soup for yourself or someone who is sick, please fill out this form.
Will we be able to travel to Israel on Birthright this Summer?
Birthright Israel trips have resumed and we are optimistic that our summer trip will be running. As of now, we are planning for our Hillel at Binghamton bus, through Shorashim, to depart on May 23rd and return on June 1st!. You can register for our trips on our website. We anticipate high demand for summer trips, register as soon as possible to secure your spot! Our Hillel is dedicated to providing an amazing Israel experience while keeping our students healthy and safe. Trips will be reexamined if local, national, and international guidelines change.
This is all a lot to navigate. I have questions about Hillel’s policy and if I can participate in events?
Our Hillel Staff is available to help you navigate your questions and be responsive to your wellness needs. Please feel free to reach out to any of us to find a time to chat over coffee, or send us an email with your questions. If you have specific questions regarding our COVID policy decisions, please contact our Assistant Director, Jennifer Stone.