Hello Illini Hillel family! We are so excited to welcome you all back to campus and to Hillel in the fall. While things are going to look different this year, Illini Hillel staff are working hard to create fun, safe, and meaningful programming for all students! 
We know you have questions, and we are here to help you find the answers. Below is a list of growing FAQ’s regarding our COVID-19 temporary guidelines and how we plan to provide our community with meaningful experiences in the safest way possible.

Check out our safety guidelines video!

*Guidelines are subject to change as public health recommendations change.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to Erez Cohen at erez@illinihillel.org, Carly Froomkin Burak at carly@illinihillel.org, or Abby Chargo at abby@illinihillel.org.

Is the Illini Hillel building opening?

Yes, we anticipate the building to be open in the fall. While we are excited to welcome students back to Illini Hillel, we are taking the health and safety of students very seriously.

What precautions will be in place to ensure our health and safety at Illini Hillel?

Illini Hillel takes the health and safety of students and staff very seriously. The Illini Hillel building will follow the highest standards for health and safety as established by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department. These guidelines include but are not limited to:

  • Masks required at all times
  • 6-foot social distancing enforced
  • The lounge, meeting rooms, and restrooms will be reconfigured to maintain social distancing
  • Anyone feeling sick will not be allowed to enter
  • Building will be sanitized twice a day
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be set up throughout the building
  • Only one person will be permitted in the elevator at a time
  • One staircase will be for going up stairs and another for down stairs
  • Professional offices will be reconfigured to ensure safety for staff

Do I need to sign in when I enter the building?

Yes, there will be a socially distanced sign in at the front, ensuring that we are properly able to contact trace, while keeping track of occupancy. You will be asked to show us your Illinois COVID Testing App through the University, so we can ensure that you have been tested recently and test results came back negative. You must have this information on hand in order to come into the building AND attend any Hillel programming.

Do we have to social distance?

Yes, social distancing from each other of at least 6 feet will be required at all times. Regardless of being roommates or housemates, social distancing will be enforced at all Illini Hillel programming in order to keep each other safe. Please respect each other’s space!

Do we have to wear masks when in the building or at Illini Hillel programming?

Yes masks will be required at all times, both inside and outside of the building when you are near others.

Are you having Shabbat services and dinner?

Yes! We are so excited to still share Shabbat with all of you! It will just look a little different this year… Registration will be MANDATORY for all Shabbat activities. All services will be held outside of Hillel, spread around the parking lot. There will be wall-less tents for each minyan, all of which will still allow for social distancing. Every student will need to register to attend and also for their meal ahead of time. We will have two options for Shabbat dinner: 1. Curbside Shabbat 2. Dine at Hillel (in our parking lot tents). * All meals will be individually pre-packaged meals. If you choose to dine at Hillel, your meal will be placed at your seat before you arrive. You will be given your table number at check-in, and you will be instructed to go straight to your seat. If you choose to take your meal to-go (curbside option), you will be able to pick up your meal at a specific time each week (likely on Friday afternoon). You will be given specific details regarding your reservation once you register to attend Shabbat services, dinner, or even just to grab a meal to go!

Are you having High Holiday services and dinner?

Yes! We will be holding High Holiday services outdoors, similar to our Shabbat services. There will be wall-less tents for each minyan, all of which will still allow for social distancing. We will not be holding High Holiday meals, other than Friday night of Rosh Hashanah, which doubles as Shabbat. All other chag meals will have pre-packaged to-go options for students to pick up. We are currently figuring out the final details of chag meals, so be sure to check back here for updates.

Will Cafe Sababa be open?

Yes, the cafe we all know and love will be open and serving delicious cRc kosher dairy meals for students to take on-the-go! Students can choose to eat outside on our front patio, in our parking lot, or take their meal to-go.

Can I come in and study at Hillel?

Yes, this will be the main purpose of our building being open! The circular, brown tables in the lounge will be available to have one person per table. *Please do not move the tables or chairs, as they are set up for proper social distancing. Tables will be disinfected after every use!

Will Illini Hillel have in-person and virtual programming?

Yes, Illini Hillel will be creating opportunities to connect both virtually and in-person. We are working on plans that will allow the majority of Hillel gatherings to take place outside. Smaller gatherings and religious services may take place in the building following the most current precautions established by the University and the State. We expect these guidelines to change as public health recommendations change, and we will be continuously updating our guidelines accordingly.

Will there be Birthright Israel trips this winter?

Hillel will be recruiting for Birthright in the fall knowing there is a chance the trips may be cancelled. All deposits will be refundable.

This is a lot to handle. Where can I find help navigating the complexities?

We know this coming year will be challenging, and Illini Hillel is here for students in any ways we can be helpful. Illini Hillel Staff are one click away for emotional support and pastoral care. Additional Illini mental health resources are available here:

Be sure to follow our Facebook, Instagram, and also sign up to receive our weekly newsletter for any updates to our guidelines and programming!