COVID-19 Vaccination Policy -
Aug 2021

We are so excited to be back hosting events in person and doing what we do best - inspiring Jewish students to make a meaningful and enduring commitment to Jewish life so that they may enhance the Jewish community, the campus, and the world.


To protect the health and safety of all members of our community, and in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and in alignment with Northwestern and the Jewish United Fund - Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF), Northwestern Hillel requires COVID-19 vaccinations or a recent (within 24 hours) negative COVID test in order to participate in any Hillel program and/or when in the Friedman Center for Jewish Life at Fiedler Hillel.


The details below describe procedures that will be in place for Fall 2021 until further notice, and the values guiding our approach. Our COVID-19 policies are reviewed regularly to take into consideration evolving recommendations. We reserve the right to change these policies at any time.


Thank you for working with us to keep each other safe and healthy, and to ensure Hillel events continue in-person throughout the fall.


COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

In accordance with the University’s policies, all students, staff, and faculty members of Northwestern are required to be fully vaccinated, unless they have an exemption from the University. “Fully vaccinated” is currently defined by the Illinois Department of Public Health as follows: more than 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, or more than 2 weeks following receipt of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. 


What you can expect from the Northwestern Hillel Staff

All Northwestern Hillel staff are vaccinated and will be wearing masks at all indoor events, and at outdoor events where social distancing is not possible.


Staff are responsible for enforcing Northwestern Hillel’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Please follow their instructions.


If one of us is exposed to COVID-19 and was in person with you at an event or a one-on-one meeting, we will let you know so you can take the necessary precautions.


Event/Building Guidelines

You may not come to the Hillel building or to Hillel events outside of the building  if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • A temperature over 100 degrees.

  • Fever, chills, or repeated shaking/shivering

  • Cough, sore throat

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing

  • Unusual weakness or fatigue

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Muscle pain, headache (more than usual)

  • Runny nose or congestion

  • Diarrhea


Masks are required for everyone in all indoor settings. Disposable masks will be available to all guests who do not arrive with their own mask. Proper mask wearing covers both the nose and mouth.


You may remove your mask briefly to eat or drink; we ask that you please put your mask back on as soon as you are done.


You should not come to any Hillel event or to the Hillel building if you are sick or have knowingly been exposed to COVID-19.


You will act responsibly for your own well-being, but also for the well-being of other students, guests, and staff. Personal safety measures differ from person to person, but at a Hillel event, you will comply with these guidelines.


You will assess your own comfort and respect others’ comfort level for physical contact and space as we engage with one another. You will respect others’ boundaries, and ask before engaging in physical touch, hugs or handshakes. 


You will strive to maintain positive attitudes and speech regarding Northwestern Hillel’s guidelines, even if these pose an inconvenience.


Cancellation Policy

In the event that weather or other circumstances require Northwestern Hillel to cancel an event, this will be communicated 2 hours before the event begins. For events that are scheduled to take place during Shabbat or during the High Holidays, we will communicate any cancellations 2 hours before the start of Shabbat or the holiday.

What happens if you’re exposed to COVID-19?

We can't help being exposed to COVID-19. Our personal and professional lives are built around being with people - exposure is going to happen, and it is no one's fault. 


If you have been to an event in the last 7 days and found out you have been exposed to COVID-19, please let us know as soon as possible. It would also be helpful if you allow us to share your name with other participants so they can also take the necessary safety precautions. 


Current CDC guidelines recommend that people in close proximity to someone with COVID-19 should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, when the viral load is large enough to be detected. 


Until you receive a negative test after exposure, please do not attend in-person Hillel events. We love to see you, but unfortunately we need to prioritize everyone’s health and safety. 


If you have attended an event with someone who, it turns out, tested positive for COVID, we will inform you as soon as we know so you can go through the necessary school/community processes and get tested. 


Northwestern Hillel’s COVID-19 safety guidelines are rooted in our Jewish values 

  • Pikuach nefesh is the Jewish mandate to save a life. It is so important that it takes precedence over all other Jewish ethical obligations.


  • Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh means that we are all responsible for one another, not just ourselves. We take precautions for our own safety, but also for the other members of our community, especially the most vulnerable. We agree to follow all precautions, even if they do not resonate with us individually so that we may be able to be in community and spend time together. As we practice communal responsibility, we may, at times, hold ourselves to a different standard of safety than other places we frequent.  


  • We are guided by the principle that all human beings are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image. Everyone across the spectrum of identity, background, and belief deserves respect and belongs in our community.


  • Emunah is the trust we put in others. Personal safety measures may differ for each of us, but in our community we trust the policies and processes outlined by our staff, lay, and student leaders.


Thank you for being a part of our community and for taking responsibility for our collective health and safety.  


If you need help or want to give help during this difficult time, please reach out to any Northwestern Hillel staff.