March 11, 2020
Dear YU Community,
We continue to move forward with an abundance of care and concern for the health and safety of our students, faculty, professionals and community. To that end, we are closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and are deeply thankful to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Office of Emergency Management for their constant contact and guidance.
To our knowledge, we have not had any new, confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 in our student, faculty and administrative bodies. It was announced in Israel that Rabbi Dov Zinger who was a guest speaker on our uptown campus on February 25th has tested positive. At this point, many of us know people who have tested positive. Please keep Rav Zinger and all those infected with this virus in your tefillot.
We have already cancelled all in-person classes for this week. As a precautionary measure, we are moving all undergraduate and graduate classes at Yeshiva University online starting March 16 through April 3, which marks the beginning of our Passover recess. Our online learning platform will utilize Zoom and Canvas. Each student will be receiving a detailed email with further instructions.
Yeshiva is committed to maintaining academic operations so that faculty can teach their courses and students can satisfy their requirements as planned. If students or faculty members have specific questions or concerns, please reach out to your department chair or dean.
We are working with highly qualified instructional designers and technicians who will provide faculty and students with the assistance they need. This move to online instruction presents challenges, and we ask for your understanding and patience, especially in the beginning stages of this implementation.
- For those students who wish to access advising, counseling, disability and other student services, please contact the appropriate office where our professionals will help you by phone or on Zoom.
- Student Life will be contacting you to survey which students will remain on campus. The dorms will remain open for those staying on campus. If you are a student who will not be able to travel home for Passover, please let us know, and we will work to help you with holiday arrangements.
- Dining services will continue to serve food to go.
- We ask all of our students to follow the CDC guidelines to protect themselves and the health of our community.
- The Career Center has virtual walk-in hours every day via WhatsApp.
- All materials have been moved online.
- There is a Google number published on the Career Center site so that all Career Center personnel can be reached online or via phone at any time.
The Office of Student Finance and the Office of the Registrar
- Students can contact these offices through phone and emails.
- They can also access services online through InsideTrack which offers self-service for bill paying, reviewing financial aid, and other such services.
- The Libraries are open.
- There is live chat for real-time exchanges that is available from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9:00 a.m.to 1:00 p.m. Friday.
- Telephone assistance by appointment is also accessible through Ask Us!.
- Please speak with your supervisor about your on-campus work schedule. For those who can work remotely, we continue to recommend this option with approval from your supervisors.
For the purpose of reducing the risk of exposure and transmission of the virus, we are rescheduling all large events. In particular, we are postponing the Chag Hasemikhah and the West Hempstead and Five Towns Shabbat programs until a later time.
It is very important to protect your own health and safety and those of our neighbors and fellow citizens by practicing smart hygiene and the recommended social distancing. If you are experiencing symptoms of this virus or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please speak with your health care professional.
We continue to remain vigilant in our dealing with COVID-19. We do not know what the future holds, and we are preparing for the possibility that we will need to continue addressing this situation for some time to come. It is gratifying to see how our entire YU community is rallying together to handle this unprecedented situation. I am deeply proud of the commitment, ingenuity, and resolve as well as the kindness, understanding and compassion shared by our faculty, staff, students and lay leadership.
I will continue to keep you informed with more updates as they become available.
Dr. Ari Berman