Coronavirus Student Information

Updated: September 9, 2021

NOTE: The JTS Counseling Center welcomes students who wish to reach out for assistance at counseling@jtsa.edu or (212) 280-6161.

Fall Semester

  • All students must be fully vaccinated to enter the JTS campus (except those who have received a formal exemption). 
  • Masks are required in all indoor settings, except when alone in your room.
  • Students may not have visitors from outside JTS. 

Please make sure to read all details below. 

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SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

COVID-19 PROTOCOL REMINDERS/UPDATE ON GATEWAY TESTING  

Fall Semester 2021

Important Reminders to Enter JTS’s Campus: 

Have you signed JTS’s COVID-19 Compact and submitted proof of vaccination?  

Important details are below on what is needed to enter campus!  

  • JTS Student Compact

Prior to entering campus for the fall semester, all students are required to read and sign our 2021-2022 Student Compact  HERE.  

  • COVID-19 Vaccinations

All JTS students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated or receive an exemption from JTS in order to enter campus. The due date to submit vaccine documentation was August 2. Students who have not submitted vaccination proof or applied for an exemption will not be able to access campus for orientation, classes, or other campus activities.  

Details may be found here, in the June 24 message:
https://www.jtsa.edu/coronavirus-student-information

Update on COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Below is an update on our COVID-19 gateway testing protocols for fall semester 2021. All testing must be done through Columbia Health or Barnard.    

  • List College/Joint Program students who will be accessing JTS’s campus and the residence hall during the fall 2021 semester and are entering for the first time since January 2021 are required to complete a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health by September 9. No gateway testing is required for JTS students who have been present on campus during the Spring and Summer 2021 terms as they will have already completed this gateway test. 
  • List College/Double Degree students will be tested through Barnard’s testing program; more information can be found here: https://alert.barnard.edu/health-safety  
  • JTS Graduate Level students who will be accessing JTS’s campus during the fall 2021 semester and are entering for the first time since January 2021 are required to complete a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health. No gateway testing is required for JTS graduate students who have been present on campus during the Spring and Summer 2021 terms as they will have already completed this gateway test. We realize that graduate students may be returning to NYC after Rosh Hashanah. We therefore ask that graduate students complete their gateway test at Columbia Health by October 15.  

Students who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and students who may have a sub-optimal vaccine response due to underlying medical conditions and have received approved medical accommodations, must get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health prior to accessing campus. Those who meet these criteria and live in the residence halls must quarantine while awaiting the result of their gateway test.  

Individuals who have had a positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test in the prior 90 days do not need to undergo gateway testing or surveillance testing during the three months since their positive tests, unless they have symptoms of COVID-19. Read Columbia’s COVID-19 FAQs for more details. 

Surveillance Testing

  • Fully vaccinated students: All fully vaccinated JTS students who are accessing campus for any reason during the Fall 2021 Term are required to participate in the ongoing surveillance testing program at Columbia Health or Barnard. Each week, a random sample of students will be selected and notified by email and will be required to get tested within two weeks of notification. 
  • International students: Any JTS student arriving from an international destination and not considered fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO will be required to undergo once weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing at Columbia Health or Barnard Health until they are fully vaccinated (considered to be 2 weeks after final dose). 
  • Unvaccinated students: Any JTS student who will be accessing the JTS campus during the Fall 2021 Term and who has received a medical or religious exemption for COVID-19 vaccination will be required to undergo once weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing from Columbia Health or Barnard Health throughout the term. 
  • Sub-optimal vaccine response: Any JTS student who will be accessing JTS’s campus during the Fall 2021 Term, and who may have a sub-optimal vaccine response due to underlying medical conditions and has received approved medical accommodations, will be required to undergo once-weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing from Columbia Health or Barnard throughout the term. 

How to Access Gateway and Surveillance Testing

Graduate Level Students  

Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal. If you are unable to schedule a COVID-19 test through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal, email covidtesttrace@columbia.edu for assistance, including your name, JTS email address, and preferred test date and time of day. The team will schedule your appointment as close to your preference as possible.   

List College/Columbia  Joint Program Students 

Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal.   

List College Double Degree/Barnard Students  

Testing is scheduled through Barnard HERE.  Questions about Barnard’s testing program can be sent to covidtesting@barnard.edu.     

NOTE: If you have been informed by a medical provider that you are exempt from COVID-19 testing for a period of time due to a prior diagnosis, you need to submit documentation from Columbia Health or Barnard Health to studentlife@jtsa.edu.      

 
Other Important Health Protocol Reminders
 

Masks

All students will be required to follow the masking protocols in effect. Masks are currently required (even for students who are fully vaccinated) in indoor spaces, including classrooms, the Library, the synagogue, common areas, residence hall lounges, and kitchens. Exceptions to the masking requirement are when (1) students are outdoors, (2) alone in a room with a closed door, or (3) eating indoors and socially distanced from others. Masks should be on while praying before and after meals. Residents, please see below regarding protocols for living with roommates.   

When it is deemed safe enough to relax the current mask requirement for vaccinated individuals, students who are unvaccinated / immunocompromised will still be required to be masked at all times for their own health and the safety of others. Please remember that even if requirements are relaxed, there are individuals who may choose to continue to follow stricter measures and they should be able to do so without judgement from others. 

Physical Distancing

Vaccinated students are currently not required to maintain physical distance; however, students should maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others where possible. Unvaccinated students are required to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. 

Self-Monitor Symptoms Prior to Entering Campus and Stay Home If Unwell

Students will be required to monitor their symptoms each day before they enter JTS’s campus and should not come to campus if they experience symptoms. Students should contact Columbia Health or Barnard Health if they experience symptoms and inform their school dean if they test positive for COVID-19. Students who test positive will need to isolate in their home or a room in the residence hall until cleared to return by Columbia or Barnard Health or their medical provider. Students who live in the residence hall are not required to depart campus as long as they comply with JTS’s COVID-19 residence hall policies.  

Our faculty understands that in the event of symptoms or illness, students will need to miss class without penalty. Please make sure to contact your school dean or professors if you are unable to attend classes. If you are well enough to attend class “virtually,” please be in touch with the professor as soon as possible to discuss options. Do not come to class and risk exposing others. If you are too ill to attend class virtually, please connect with your professors as soon as you are able to discuss making up work.  

Dining

We strongly recommend that students dine outdoors as much as possible. Dining is currently permitted indoors in shared spaces on campus and in the residence halls; however, all should remain physically distanced from others while unmasked as they dine.  

Visitors

For fall term, only JTS students who have signed the Compact, are fully vaccinated (or received an exemption), and are getting tested through Columbia and Barnard’s surveillance program will be permitted to enter JTS’s campus or the residence halls. 

Families Helping Residents Move into the Residence Halls

Students are allowed to have up to two family members help them move into the residence hall. Family members will be required to show proof of vaccination in advance and wear a mask at all times. Consult your e-mails from Residence Life for further information or contact reslife@jtsa.edu.   

Residential Student Rooms

JTS residential students visiting other students in their room will need to wear a mask. JTS residents residing with a roommate should consider themselves a pod and don’t need to wear a mask in their room if only their roommate is present. 

Travel

Students may travel to see family if they do so safely. Please wear a mask while traveling. Upon return, students should monitor their symptoms and not re-enter campus if they feel unwell or have any symptoms. Additional COVID-19 testing may be required following holiday breaks. 

We are blessed to be part of a community of caring students who take responsibility for themselves and each other. We understand the uncertainty of this shifting environment is unsettling, and we hope that as the situation improves, we will be able to ease our guidelines. Nonetheless, it is critical that we all continue to work together to protect ourselves and others, especially those who are more at risk. 

As always, we encourage all students to utilize the support resources available at JTS, including their deans, Student Life and Residence Life staff, and our Counseling Center. 

Please continue to check your JTS e-mail regularly for updates as well as  https://www.jtsa.edu/coronavirus-student-information.  

We will continue to share health and safety information as well as meaningful ways we can safely be together in community. 

Wishing all JTS students a healthy, safe, rewarding, successful, and sweet new year.

AUGUST 19, 2021

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS—FALL SEMESTER OPENING 2021

In just a short time, we can finally come back together as a campus community, welcoming students to orientation, in-person classes, the residence halls, prayer services, and campus life. While the moment we have all yearned for is finally here, and vaccines have made it possible to be together, we must nonetheless remain mindful that COVID-19 continues to spread and pose serious health risks to many.  Please do your part by reading through and following these important health protocols, which are designed to help keep our campus community, loved ones, and neighbors as safe as possible.

The rabbinic tradition understood a verse in Deuteronomy to be the source of a positive mitzvah to guard our health. And it goes without saying that we are responsible for guarding the health of others, as well. Therefore, as we monitor COVID-19 in NYC, we may need to implement stricter protocols. If health conditions improve, we hope to be able to relax some of our measures in the future.

JTS Student Compact:

Prior to entering campus for orientation and/or fall semester classes, all students are required to read and sign our 2021-2022 Student Compact HERE.

COVID-19 Vaccinations:

All JTS students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated or receive an exemption from JTS in order to enter campus. The due date to submit vaccine documentation was August 2. Students who have not submitted vaccination proof or applied for an exemption must do so no later than August 22nd or they will not be able to access campus for orientation, classes, or other campus activities. Details may be found here, in the June 24 message:  https://www.jtsa.edu/coronavirus-student-information.

Masks:

All students will be required to follow the masking protocols in effect. Masks are currently required (even for students who are fully vaccinated) in indoor spaces, including classrooms, the Library, common areas, residence hall lounges, and kitchens. Exceptions to the masking requirement are when (1) students are outdoors, (2)  alone in a room with a closed door, or (3) eating indoors and socially distanced from others.

When it is deemed safe enough to relax the current mask requirement for vaccinated individuals, students who are unvaccinated / immunocompromised will still be required to be masked at all times for their own health and the safety of others. Please remember that even if requirements are relaxed, there are individuals who may choose to continue to follow stricter measures and they should be able to do so without judgement from others.

Physical Distancing:

Vaccinated students are currently not required to maintain physical distance; however, students should maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others where possible. Unvaccinated students are required to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

Self-Monitor Symptoms Prior to Entering Campus and Stay Home If Unwell:

Students will be required to monitor their symptoms each day before they enter JTS’s campus and should not come to campus if they experience symptoms. In addition, students should not enter campus if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Students should contact Columbia Health or Barnard Health if they experience symptoms and inform their school dean if they test positive for COVID-19. Students who live in the residence hall are not required to depart campus if they experience symptoms as long as they comply with JTS’s COVID-19 residence hall policies.

Our faculty understands that in the event of symptoms, illness, or exposure to someone with COVID-19, students will need to miss class without penalty. Please make sure to contact your school dean or professors if you are unable to attend classes. If you are well enough to attend class “virtually,” please be in touch with the professor as soon as possible to discuss options. Do not come to class and risk exposing others. If you are too ill to attend class virtually, please connect with your professors as soon as you are able to discuss making up work.

Gateway Testing:

  • All students living in the residence halls are required to get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health within 24 hours (or next business day) after they move onto campus. If they are fully vaccinated, students will not need to quarantine while waiting for their gateway test results. 
  • Students living off-campus who are fully vaccinated must get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test at Columbia Health by September 13. Campus access will be allowed while awaiting results of the gateway test.
  • Students who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and students who may have a sub-optimal vaccine response due to underlying medical conditions and have received approved medical accommodations, must get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health prior to accessing campus. Those who meet these criteria and live in the residence halls must quarantine while awaiting the result of their gateway test.
  • Barnard/Double Degree students will be tested through Barnard’s testing program; more information can be found online here:https://alert.barnard.edu/health-safety

Surveillance Testing:

  • Fully vaccinated students: All fully vaccinated JTS students who are accessing campus for any reason during the Fall 2021 Term are required to participate in the ongoing surveillance testing program at Columbia Health or Barnard. Each week, a random sample of students will be selected and notified by email and will be required to get tested within two weeks of notification.
  • International students: Any JTS student arriving from an international destination and not considered fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO will be required to undergo once weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing at Columbia Health or Barnard Health until they are fully vaccinated (considered to be 2 weeks after final dose).
  • Unvaccinated students: Any JTS student who will be accessing the JTS campus during the Fall 2021 Term and who has received a medical or religious exemption for COVID-19 vaccination will be required to undergo once weekly COVID-10 diagnostic PCR testing from Columbia Health or Barnard Health throughout the term.
  • Sub-optimal vaccine response: Any JTS student who will be accessing JTS’s campus during the Fall 2021 Term, and who may have a sub-optimal vaccine response due to underlying medical conditions and has received approved medical accommodations, will be required to undergo once-weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing from Columbia Health or Barnard throughout the term.

How to Access Gateway and Surveillance Testing:

Graduate Level Students 

Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal. If you are unable to schedule a COVID-19 test through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal, email covidtesttrace@columbia.edu for assistance, including your name, JTS email address, and preferred test date and time of day. The team will schedule your appointment as close to your preference as possible.  

List College/Columbia Joint Program Students

Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal

List College Double Degree/Barnard Students 

Testing is scheduled through Barnard HERE. Questions about Barnard’s testing program can be sent to covidtesting@barnard.edu.   

NOTE: If you have been informed by a medical provider that you are exempt from COVID-19 testing for a period of time due to a prior diagnosis, you need to submit documentation from Columbia Health or Barnard Health to studentlife@jtsa.edu.     

Dining:

We strongly recommend that students dine outdoors as much as possible. Dining is currently permitted indoors in shared spaces on campus and in the residence halls; however, all should remain physically distanced from others while unmasked as they dine.

Visitors:

For fall term, only JTS students who have signed the Compact, are fully vaccinated (or received an exemption) and are getting tested through Columbia and Barnard’s surveillance program will be permitted to enter JTS’s campus or the residence halls.

Families Helping Residents Move into the Residence Halls:

Students are allowed to have up to two family members help them move into the residence hall. Family members will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask at all times.

Residential Student Rooms:

JTS residential students visiting other students in their room will need to wear a mask. JTS residents residing with a roommate should consider themselves a pod and don’t need to wear a mask in their room if only their roommate is present.

Travel:

Students may travel to see family if they do so safely and wear a mask. Upon return, they should monitor their symptoms and not re-enter campus if they feel unwell, have any symptoms and/or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Additional COVID-19 testing may be required following holiday breaks.

We are blessed to be part of a community of caring students who take responsibility for themselves and each other. We understand the uncertainty of this shifting environment is unsettling, and we hope that as the situation improves, we will be able to ease our guidelines. Nonetheless, it is critical that we all continue to work together to protect ourselves and others, especially those who are more at risk.

As always, we encourage all students to utilize the support resources available at JTS, including their deans, Student Life and Residence Life staff, and our Counseling Center.

Finally, please continue to visit this page for updates and check your JTS e-mail regularly. We will continue to share health and safety information as well as meaningful ways we can safely be together in community.

Wishing all JTS students a healthy, safe, rewarding, successful, and sweet new year.

JUNE 24, 2021

UPDATE ON COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENT

Important Information for JTS Students: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement 

We are eagerly preparing for students to arrive on campus as we resume in-person classes and activities in the fall 2021 semester. It is with great relief that we have seen COVID-19 cases in New York City and around the U.S. continue to decline, and restrictions are being lifted, thanks to COVID-19 vaccines and other health protocols. This will allow us to all be together again as a JTS community in just a few months.   

As shared in our updates in April and May, a COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all new and returning JTS students who will be living on or utilizing our campus. In addition, later this summer we will issue a Fall Semester 2021 COVID-19 Compact for all students to commit to follow. These measures will help ensure the safe return to the campus life that we all yearn to experience again.  

Below is important information regarding compliance, vaccination information, uploading your proof of vaccination, and applying for an exemption. Any student who does not complete the vaccination requirement or does not receive a medical or religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine will not be permitted to access JTS’s campus during the fall semester nor engage in any in-person JTS activities.  

COVID-19 Vaccination Process and Submitting Documentation to JTS 

All students are expected to complete the vaccine process at least 14 days before first accessing the JTS campus and residence halls to ensure they are considered fully vaccinated at the time of first access. International students: please see the next section for additional guidance. Students must have their vaccine documentation submitted to JTS no later than August 2. 

Completion of the vaccine process is defined as: 

  • At least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine 
  • At least 14 days after receiving a single dose vaccine (currently only the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine) 

Students must upload a photo of their vaccine record in order to complete the vaccine requirement. To verify that you have been vaccinated, please upload a photo of your CDC card, WHO booklet, or a physician letter containing details of your vaccinations HERE by August 2, 2021. To complete the form, you will need to log into your JTSA email account in order to upload a picture of your proof of vaccination. All documents must include: 

  • Student Name 
  • Date of Birth 
  • Name of vaccine received 
  • Date of vaccination(s) 
  • Provider name, signature, or stamp 

Please note that digital vaccine passports do not fulfill the requirement. All documentation will be reviewed by the Registrar’s Office. Students will be contacted if further information is needed.  

International Students 

We strongly recommend that international students be vaccinated as soon as possible and receive the full dose series for optimal protection. JTS accepts all vaccines authorized/approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Vaccines must have been administered on or after December 1, 2020.  

We understand that some international students may not be able to access vaccines or complete a vaccine series before coming to New York this fall. Columbia Health will have vaccines available to administer during the first week you are on campus. If you arrive in the United States earlier, please get your vaccine at the site closest to you. Until fully vaccinated (as defined above) students will be required to comply with additional COVID-19 testing requirements and other preventive measures in place at that time. International students who are unable to be fully vaccinated prior to your arrival to NYC should email registrar@jtsa.edu by August 2, 2021 so we can help you get vaccinated upon your arrival.  

Exemptions 

In order to be considered for a medical or religious exemption, students must submit an exemption form to the Registrar’s Office no later than August 2, 2021. Students seeking an exemption should contact registrar@jtsa.edu well in advance to receive a copy of the form and obtain the necessary documentation prior to the August 2 deadline. All forms must be completed in full including submitting the required documentation. Students who have received an exemption from JTS will be required to comply with additional COVID-19 testing and other preventive health protocols (including wearing masks and physical distancing) for their own protection and for the safety of others.  

Submitting Documentation to Columbia or Barnard  

In addition to submitting vaccine proof to JTS, all JTS students need to submit their documentation or an exemption application directly to Columbia or Barnard as follows: 

JTS graduate level students and List College Joint Program students will need to upload their vaccine documentation to Columbia Health by August 2, 2021 in order to access Columbia’s campus, including the Columbia Health service. Students seeking a medical or religious exemption will need to apply through Columbia Health in addition to submitting an exemption application to JTS. Please upload a picture/copy of your CDC card, WHO booklet, or a physician letter containing details of your vaccinations via the Columbia Health Patient PortalInstructions are available to help you submit your information. The upload process applies to both those who have been vaccinated and those who may be requesting a religious or medical exemption
 
List College Double Degree students will also need to submit their COVID-19 vaccination documentation to the Barnard Health Service or apply for a medical or religious exemption. Please follow instructions sent by Barnard over the summer and visit https://alert.barnard.edu/covid-19-vaccine for further information.   

Obtaining a COVID-19 Vaccine 

As a reminder, below are resources on obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine:  

  • Columbia Health has a good vaccine supply at Columbia-operated sites, with same day or next-day availability in many cases. There are several ways to make an appointment at Columbia-operated locations; all options are online as noted below. 
  • Columbia’s Morningside campus appointments at Lerner Hall can be made through Columbia Health. Booking an appointment can be done via the scheduling section of the Columbia Health Patient Portal.  Walk-in appointments are also available. Please visit HERE for further information.  
  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and appointments at other Columbia locations can be made via vaccinetogetherny.org or through your Connect account (if you use Columbia Doctors providers). The locations include: 650 W. 168th Street, 51 W. 51st Street, and 2702 Broadway. 

Students are also encouraged to check the covid19.columbia.edu website for updates. 

Please stay tuned for more information regarding our Fall Semester COVID-19 Student Compact and other important updates.  

Again, we want to share our gratitude for your patience and for continuing to do your part to protect yourselves and the lives of others during this pandemic. We have all been through a lot—as individuals and as a community separated through physical distance. We remain here to support all students and look forward to finally welcoming you to our new 3080 Broadway campus very soon.  

Wishing you and your family a healthy, safe, and wonderful summer. 

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

COVID-19 PROTOCOL REMINDERS/UPDATE ON GATEWAY TESTING

Fall Semester 2021

Important Reminders to Enter JTS’s Campus: 

Have you signed JTS’s COVID-19 Compact and submitted proof of vaccination?

Important details are below on what is needed to enter campus!

  • JTS Student Compact:

Prior to entering campus for the fall semester, all students are required to read and sign our 2021-2022 Student Compact  HERE.

  • COVID-19 Vaccinations:

All JTS students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated or receive an exemption from JTS in order to enter campus. The due date to submit vaccine documentation was August 2. Students who have not submitted vaccination proof or applied for an exemption will not be able to access campus for orientation, classes, or other campus activities.

Details may be found here, in the June 24 message:
https://www.jtsa.edu/coronavirus-student-information.

Update on COVID-19 Testing Requirements:

Below is an update on our COVID-19 gateway testing protocols for fall semester 2021. All testing must be done through Columbia Health or Barnard.

  • List College/Joint Program students who will be accessing JTS’s campus and the residence hall during the fall 2021 semester and are entering for the first time since January 2021 are required to complete a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health by September 9. No gateway testing is required for JTS students who have been present on campus during the Spring and Summer 2021 terms as they will have already completed this gateway test.
  • JTS Graduate Level students who will be accessing JTS’s campus during the fall 2021 semester and are entering for the first time since January 2021 are required to complete a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health. No gateway testing is required for JTS graduate students who have been present on campus during the Spring and Summer 2021 terms as they will have already completed this gateway test. We realize that graduate students may be returning to NYC after Rosh Hashanah. We therefore ask that graduate students complete their gateway test at Columbia Health by October 15.

Students who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and students who may have a sub-optimal vaccine response due to underlying medical conditions and have received approved medical accommodations, must get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health prior to accessing campus. Those who meet these criteria and live in the residence halls must quarantine while awaiting the result of their gateway test.

Individuals who have had a positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test in the prior 90 days do not need to undergo gateway testing or surveillance testing during the three months since their positive tests, unless they have symptoms of COVID-19. Read Columbia’s COVID-19 FAQs for more details.

Surveillance Testing:

  • Fully vaccinated students: All fully vaccinated JTS students who are accessing campus for any reason during the Fall 2021 Term are required to participate in the ongoing surveillance testing program at Columbia Health or Barnard. Each week, a random sample of students will be selected and notified by email and will be required to get tested within two weeks of notification.
  • International students: Any JTS student arriving from an international destination and not considered fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO will be required to undergo once weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing at Columbia Health or Barnard Health until they are fully vaccinated (considered to be 2 weeks after final dose).
  • Unvaccinated students: Any JTS student who will be accessing the JTS campus during the Fall 2021 Term and who has received a medical or religious exemption for COVID-19 vaccination will be required to undergo once weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing from Columbia Health or Barnard Health throughout the term.
  • Sub-optimal vaccine response: Any JTS student who will be accessing JTS’s campus during the Fall 2021 Term, and who may have a sub-optimal vaccine response due to underlying medical conditions and has received approved medical accommodations, will be required to undergo once-weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing from Columbia Health or Barnard throughout the term.

How to Access Gateway and Surveillance Testing:

Graduate Level Students  

Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal. If you are unable to schedule a COVID-19 test through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal, email covidtesttrace@columbia.edu for assistance, including your name, JTS email address, and preferred test date and time of day. The team will schedule your appointment as close to your preference as possible.

List College/Columbia  Joint Program Students 

Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal.

List College Double Degree/Barnard Students  

Testing is scheduled through Barnard HERE.  Questions about Barnard’s testing program can be sent to covidtesting@barnard.edu.

NOTE: If you have been informed by a medical provider that you are exempt from COVID-19 testing for a period of time due to a prior diagnosis, you need to submit documentation from Columbia Health or Barnard Health to studentlife@jtsa.edu.      

Other Important Health Protocol Reminders:

Masks:

All students will be required to follow the masking protocols in effect. Masks are currently required (even for students who are fully vaccinated) in indoor spaces, including classrooms, the Library, the synagogue, common areas, residence hall lounges, and kitchens. Exceptions to the masking requirement are when (1) students are outdoors, (2) alone in a room with a closed door, or (3) eating indoors and socially distanced from others. Masks should be on while praying before and after meals. Residents, please see below regarding protocols for living with roommates.

When it is deemed safe enough to relax the current mask requirement for vaccinated individuals, students who are unvaccinated / immunocompromised will still be required to be masked at all times for their own health and the safety of others. Please remember that even if requirements are relaxed, there are individuals who may choose to continue to follow stricter measures and they should be able to do so without judgement from others.

Physical Distancing:

Vaccinated students are currently not required to maintain physical distance; however, students should maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others where possible. Unvaccinated students are required to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

Self-Monitor Symptoms Prior to Entering Campus and Stay Home If Unwell:

Students will be required to monitor their symptoms each day before they enter JTS’s campus and should not come to campus if they experience symptoms. Students should contact Columbia Health or Barnard Health if they experience symptoms and inform their school dean if they test positive for COVID-19. Students who test positive will need to isolate in their home or a room in the residence hall until cleared to return by Columbia or Barnard Health or their medical provider. Students who live in the residence hall are not required to depart campus as long as they comply with JTS’s COVID-19 residence hall policies.

Our faculty understands that in the event of symptoms or illness, students will need to miss class without penalty. Please make sure to contact your school dean or professors if you are unable to attend classes. If you are well enough to attend class “virtually,” please be in touch with the professor as soon as possible to discuss options. Do not come to class and risk exposing others. If you are too ill to attend class virtually, please connect with your professors as soon as you are able to discuss making up work.

Dining:

We strongly recommend that students dine outdoors as much as possible. Dining is currently permitted indoors in shared spaces on campus and in the residence halls; however, all should remain physically distanced from others while unmasked as they dine.

Visitors:

For fall term, only JTS students who have signed the Compact, are fully vaccinated (or received an exemption), and are getting tested through Columbia and Barnard’s surveillance program will be permitted to enter JTS’s campus or the residence halls.

Families Helping Residents Move into the Residence Halls:

Students are allowed to have up to two family members help them move into the residence hall. Family members will be required to show proof of vaccination in advance and wear a mask at all times. Consult your e-mails from Residence Life for further information or contact reslife@jtsa.edu.   

Residential Student Rooms:

JTS residential students visiting other students in their room will need to wear a mask. JTS residents residing with a roommate should consider themselves a pod and don’t need to wear a mask in their room if only their roommate is present.

Travel:

Students may travel to see family if they do so safely. Please wear a mask while traveling. Upon return, students should monitor their symptoms and not re-enter campus if they feel unwell or have any symptoms. Additional COVID-19 testing may be required following holiday breaks.

We are blessed to be part of a community of caring students who take responsibility for themselves and each other. We understand the uncertainty of this shifting environment is unsettling, and we hope that as the situation improves, we will be able to ease our guidelines. Nonetheless, it is critical that we all continue to work together to protect ourselves and others, especially those who are more at risk.

As always, we encourage all students to utilize the support resources available at JTS, including their deans, Student Life and Residence Life staff, and our Counseling Center.

Please continue to check your JTS e-mail regularly for updates as well as  https://www.jtsa.edu/coronavirus-student-information.

We will continue to share health and safety information as well as meaningful ways we can safely be together in community.

Wishing all JTS students a healthy, safe, rewarding, successful, and sweet new year.

AUGUST 19, 2021

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS—FALL SEMESTER OPENING 2021

In just a short time, we can finally come back together as a campus community, welcoming students to orientation, in-person classes, the residence halls, prayer services, and campus life. While the moment we have all yearned for is finally here, and vaccines have made it possible to be together, we must nonetheless remain mindful that COVID-19 continues to spread and pose serious health risks to many.  Please do your part by reading through and following these important health protocols, which are designed to help keep our campus community, loved ones, and neighbors as safe as possible.

The rabbinic tradition understood a verse in Deuteronomy to be the source of a positive mitzvah to guard our health. And it goes without saying that we are responsible for guarding the health of others, as well. Therefore, as we monitor COVID-19 in NYC, we may need to implement stricter protocols. If health conditions improve, we hope to be able to relax some of our measures in the future.

JTS Student Compact:

Prior to entering campus for orientation and/or fall semester classes, all students are required to read and sign our 2021-2022 Student Compact HERE.

COVID-19 Vaccinations:

All JTS students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated or receive an exemption from JTS in order to enter campus. The due date to submit vaccine documentation was August 2. Students who have not submitted vaccination proof or applied for an exemption must do so no later than August 22nd or they will not be able to access campus for orientation, classes, or other campus activities. Details may be found here, in the June 24 message:  https://www.jtsa.edu/coronavirus-student-information.

Masks:

All students will be required to follow the masking protocols in effect. Masks are currently required (even for students who are fully vaccinated) in indoor spaces, including classrooms, the Library, common areas, residence hall lounges, and kitchens. Exceptions to the masking requirement are when (1) students are outdoors, (2)  alone in a room with a closed door, or (3) eating indoors and socially distanced from others.

When it is deemed safe enough to relax the current mask requirement for vaccinated individuals, students who are unvaccinated / immunocompromised will still be required to be masked at all times for their own health and the safety of others. Please remember that even if requirements are relaxed, there are individuals who may choose to continue to follow stricter measures and they should be able to do so without judgement from others.

Physical Distancing:

Vaccinated students are currently not required to maintain physical distance; however, students should maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others where possible. Unvaccinated students are required to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

Self-Monitor Symptoms Prior to Entering Campus and Stay Home If Unwell:

Students will be required to monitor their symptoms each day before they enter JTS’s campus and should not come to campus if they experience symptoms. In addition, students should not enter campus if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Students should contact Columbia Health or Barnard Health if they experience symptoms and inform their school dean if they test positive for COVID-19. Students who live in the residence hall are not required to depart campus if they experience symptoms as long as they comply with JTS’s COVID-19 residence hall policies.

Our faculty understands that in the event of symptoms, illness, or exposure to someone with COVID-19, students will need to miss class without penalty. Please make sure to contact your school dean or professors if you are unable to attend classes. If you are well enough to attend class “virtually,” please be in touch with the professor as soon as possible to discuss options. Do not come to class and risk exposing others. If you are too ill to attend class virtually, please connect with your professors as soon as you are able to discuss making up work.

Gateway Testing:

  • All students living in the residence halls are required to get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health within 24 hours (or next business day) after they move onto campus. If they are fully vaccinated, students will not need to quarantine while waiting for their gateway test results.
  • Students living off-campus who are fully vaccinated must get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test at Columbia Health by September 13. Campus access will be allowed while awaiting results of the gateway test.
  • Students who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and students who may have a sub-optimal vaccine response due to underlying medical conditions and have received approved medical accommodations, must get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from Columbia Health prior to accessing campus. Those who meet these criteria and live in the residence halls must quarantine while awaiting the result of their gateway test.
  • Barnard/Double Degree students will be tested through Barnard’s testing program; more information can be found online here: https://alert.barnard.edu/health-safety

Surveillance Testing:

  • Fully vaccinated students: All fully vaccinated JTS students who are accessing campus for any reason during the Fall 2021 Term are required to participate in the ongoing surveillance testing program at Columbia Health or Barnard. Each week, a random sample of students will be selected and notified by email and will be required to get tested within two weeks of notification.
  • International students: Any JTS student arriving from an international destination and not considered fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO will be required to undergo once weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing at Columbia Health or Barnard Health until they are fully vaccinated (considered to be 2 weeks after final dose).
  • Unvaccinated students: Any JTS student who will be accessing the JTS campus during the Fall 2021 Term and who has received a medical or religious exemption for COVID-19 vaccination will be required to undergo once weekly COVID-10 diagnostic PCR testing from Columbia Health or Barnard Health throughout the term.
  • Sub-optimal vaccine response: Any JTS student who will be accessing JTS’s campus during the Fall 2021 Term, and who may have a sub-optimal vaccine response due to underlying medical conditions and has received approved medical accommodations, will be required to undergo once-weekly COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing from Columbia Health or Barnard throughout the term.

How to Access Gateway and Surveillance Testing:

Graduate Level Students 

Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal. If you are unable to schedule a COVID-19 test through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal, email covidtesttrace@columbia.edu for assistance, including your name, JTS email address, and preferred test date and time of day. The team will schedule your appointment as close to your preference as possible.

List College/Columbia Joint Program Students

Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal.

List College Double Degree/Barnard Students

Testing is scheduled through Barnard HERE.  Questions about Barnard’s testing program can be sent to covidtesting@barnard.edu.

NOTE: If you have been informed by a medical provider that you are exempt from COVID-19 testing for a period of time due to a prior diagnosis, you need to submit documentation from Columbia Health or Barnard Health to studentlife@jtsa.edu.    

Dining:

We strongly recommend that students dine outdoors as much as possible. Dining is currently permitted indoors in shared spaces on campus and in the residence halls; however, all should remain physically distanced from others while unmasked as they dine.

Visitors:

For fall term, only JTS students who have signed the Compact, are fully vaccinated (or received an exemption) and are getting tested through Columbia and Barnard’s surveillance program will be permitted to enter JTS’s campus or the residence halls.

Families Helping Residents Move into the Residence Halls:

Students are allowed to have up to two family members help them move into the residence hall. Family members will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask at all times.

Residential Student Rooms:

JTS residential students visiting other students in their room will need to wear a mask. JTS residents residing with a roommate should consider themselves a pod and don’t need to wear a mask in their room if only their roommate is present.

Travel:

Students may travel to see family if they do so safely and wear a mask. Upon return, they should monitor their symptoms and not re-enter campus if they feel unwell, have any symptoms and/or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Additional COVID-19 testing may be required following holiday breaks.

We are blessed to be part of a community of caring students who take responsibility for themselves and each other. We understand the uncertainty of this shifting environment is unsettling, and we hope that as the situation improves, we will be able to ease our guidelines. Nonetheless, it is critical that we all continue to work together to protect ourselves and others, especially those who are more at risk.

As always, we encourage all students to utilize the support resources available at JTS, including their deans, Student Life and Residence Life staff, and our Counseling Center.

Finally, please continue to visit this page for updates and check your JTS e-mail regularly. We will continue to share health and safety information as well as meaningful ways we can safely be together in community.

Wishing all JTS students a healthy, safe, rewarding, successful, and sweet new year.

JUNE 24, 2021

UPDATE ON COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENT

Important Information for JTS Students: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement 

We are eagerly preparing for students to arrive on campus as we resume in-person classes and activities in the fall 2021 semester. It is with great relief that we have seen COVID-19 cases in New York City and around the U.S. continue to decline, and restrictions are being lifted, thanks to COVID-19 vaccines and other health protocols. This will allow us to all be together again as a JTS community in just a few months.   

As shared in our updates in April and May, a COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all new and returning JTS students who will be living on or utilizing our campus. In addition, later this summer we will issue a Fall Semester 2021 COVID-19 Compact for all students to commit to follow. These measures will help ensure the safe return to the campus life that we all yearn to experience again.  

Below is important information regarding compliance, vaccination information, uploading your proof of vaccination, and applying for an exemption. Any student who does not complete the vaccination requirement or does not receive a medical or religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine will not be permitted to access JTS’s campus during the fall semester nor engage in any in-person JTS activities.  

COVID-19 Vaccination Process and Submitting Documentation to JTS 

All students are expected to complete the vaccine process at least 14 days before first accessing the JTS campus and residence halls to ensure they are considered fully vaccinated at the time of first access. International students: please see the next section for additional guidance. Students must have their vaccine documentation submitted to JTS no later than August 2. 

Completion of the vaccine process is defined as: 

  • At least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine 
  • At least 14 days after receiving a single dose vaccine (currently only the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine) 

Students must upload a photo of their vaccine record in order to complete the vaccine requirement. To verify that you have been vaccinated, please upload a photo of your CDC card, WHO booklet, or a physician letter containing details of your vaccinations HERE by August 2, 2021To complete the form, you will need to log into your JTSA email account in order to upload a picture of your proof of vaccination. All documents must include: 

  • Student Name 
  • Date of Birth 
  • Name of vaccine received 
  • Date of vaccination(s) 
  • Provider name, signature, or stamp 

Please note that digital vaccine passports do not fulfill the requirement. All documentation will be reviewed by the Registrar’s Office. Students will be contacted if further information is needed.  

International Students 

We strongly recommend that international students be vaccinated as soon as possible and receive the full dose series for optimal protection. JTS accepts all vaccines authorized/approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Vaccines must have been administered on or after December 1, 2020.  

We understand that some international students may not be able to access vaccines or complete a vaccine series before coming to New York this fall. Columbia Health will have vaccines available to administer during the first week you are on campus. If you arrive in the United States earlier, please get your vaccine at the site closest to you. Until fully vaccinated (as defined above) students will be required to comply with additional COVID-19 testing requirements and other preventive measures in place at that time. International students who are unable to be fully vaccinated prior to your arrival to NYC should email registrar@jtsa.edu by August 2, 2021 so we can help you get vaccinated upon your arrival.  

Exemptions 

In order to be considered for a medical or religious exemption, students must submit an exemption form to the Registrar’s Office no later than August 2, 2021. Students seeking an exemption should contact registrar@jtsa.edu well in advance to receive a copy of the form and obtain the necessary documentation prior to the August 2 deadline. All forms must be completed in full including submitting the required documentation. Students who have received an exemption from JTS will be required to comply with additional COVID-19 testing and other preventive health protocols (including wearing masks and physical distancing) for their own protection and for the safety of others.  

Submitting Documentation to Columbia or Barnard  

In addition to submitting vaccine proof to JTS, all JTS students need to submit their documentation or an exemption application directly to Columbia or Barnard as follows: 

JTS graduate level students and List College Joint Program students will need to upload their vaccine documentation to Columbia Health by August 2, 2021 in order to access Columbia’s campus, including the Columbia Health service. Students seeking a medical or religious exemption will need to apply through Columbia Health in addition to submitting an exemption application to JTS. Please upload a picture/copy of your CDC card, WHO booklet, or a physician letter containing details of your vaccinations via the Columbia Health Patient PortalInstructions are available to help you submit your information. The upload process applies to both those who have been vaccinated and those who may be requesting a religious or medical exemption.

List College Double Degree students will also need to submit their COVID-19 vaccination documentation to the Barnard Health Service or apply for a medical or religious exemption. Please follow instructions sent by Barnard over the summer and visit https://alert.barnard.edu/covid-19-vaccine for further information.  

Obtaining a COVID-19 Vaccine 

As a reminder, below are resources on obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine:  

  • Columbia Health has a good vaccine supply at Columbia-operated sites, with same day or next-day availability in many cases. There are several ways to make an appointment at Columbia-operated locations; all options are online as noted below. 
  • Columbia’s Morningside campus appointments at Lerner Hall can be made through Columbia Health. Booking an appointment can be done via the scheduling section of the Columbia Health Patient Portal.  Walk-in appointments are also available. Please visit HERE for further information.  
  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and appointments at other Columbia locations can be made via vaccinetogetherny.org or through your Connect account (if you use Columbia Doctors providers). The locations include: 650 W. 168th Street, 51 W. 51st Street, and 2702 Broadway. 

Students are also encouraged to check the covid19.columbia.edu website for updates. 

Please stay tuned for more information regarding our Fall Semester COVID-19 Student Compact and other important updates.  

Again, we want to share our gratitude for your patience and for continuing to do your part to protect yourselves and the lives of others during this pandemic. We have all been through a lot—as individuals and as a community separated through physical distance. We remain here to support all students and look forward to finally welcoming you to our new 3080 Broadway campus very soon.  

Wishing you and your family a healthy, safe, and wonderful summer. 

May 25, 2021

Update from Sara Horowitz

COVID-19 Protocols for Students Accessing the JTS Campus—Summer 2021 

We remain grateful to the campus community for helping protect the health of our colleagues, friends, and neighbors by adhering to JTS’s COVID-19 protocols. As we transition into summer, we want to remind all students of the requirements for entering campus to utilize indoor and outdoor study spaces including visiting our beautiful new Library.

We are relieved that vaccines are now available and encourage all students to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Please review the message sent to students on April 30, 2021 which details our plans for mandating COVID-19 vaccines for the fall 2021 semester and includes information on how to get vaccinated.

It is important to remember that we all must continue to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

In an effort to continue to protect all students and employees on campus, the following health measures, including testing protocols, are in place throughout the summer. All individuals must continue to wear masks at all times in indoor settings at JTS and observe current 6-foot distancing protocols, since the vaccination status is unknown for everyone on campus. Vaccinated individuals may remove masks only in outdoor settings on JTS’s campus. Further information regarding the fall semester will be shared in the coming months.

Information for Students Planning to Enter JTS Over the Summer 

JTS students are welcome to come to campus at 3080 Broadway. Large outdoor and indoor study spaces will be available during JTS business hours (Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.). Spaces include the atrium, the courtyard and outdoor patios, and the Beit Midrash. (Note: The Beit Midrash will be open for study until 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and until 4 p.m. on Friday.) Students may also access the JTS Library by appointment.

JTS ID is required to enter campus and our pre-entry protocols must be followed. Students who are not in compliance will be unable to access campus until they fulfill all pre-entry requirements. In order to have JTS IDs reactivated, students should plan ahead for their visit to campus and contact studentlife@jtsa.edu after they have completed the requirements.  

Student Responsibilities   

All JTS students are required to do the following prior to entering JTS’s campus over the summer:

  • Sign JTS’s COVID-19 Spring Semester Community Compact.
  • Conduct daily self-screening.
  • Participate in Columbia or Barnard’s COVID-19 testing program including completing a (new) gateway test on or after May 30 (details below) and ongoing surveillance testing.

The signing of the JTS compact and gateway testing compliance will be linked to your JTS ID card. Only students who fulfill each of these requirements will have their JTS ID activated and be able to access campus.

Details for each responsibility are outlined below:

COVID-19 Student Community Compact  

All JTS students who have not already signed our spring semester compact are required to sign the COVID-19 Community Compact prior to entering campus. The compact outlines your responsibilities as a student in order to be present in-person on campus over the summer. Among other responsibilities, these include wearing face coverings, following physical distancing requirements, washing hands frequently, COVID-19 testing, and staying home when unwell.

Daily Symptom Self-Screening to Enter Campus  

Students will be required to go through a brief screening and symptom self-check each time they enter JTS’s campus. Students who plan to enter campus three or more times during the summer semester should email studentlife@jtsa.edu to reserve an app and smart thermometer.

COVID-19 Testing

Regardless of whether a student has been vaccinated, the following testing protocols are required in order to enter the JTS campus.

Graduate Level Students  

All JTS graduate level students are required to receive a PCR COVID-19 test from Columbia Health (and obtain a negative result) within 7 days prior to entering JTS. Even if students have received a prior PCR COVID-19 gateway test since April 5, they will need to receive a new gateway test on or after May 30 and within 7 days before initial entry to campus in order to enter campus. Tests from outside providers will not be accepted.

Graduate level students will also participate in Columbia Health‘s random sampling surveillance testing program. It is still strongly recommended that JTS graduate students who are accessing campus undergo weekly COVID-19 diagnostic testing at Columbia Health throughout the summer. Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal. If you are unable to schedule a COVID-19 test through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal, email covidtesttrace@columbia.edu for assistance, including your name, JTS email address, and preferred test date and time of day. The team will schedule your appointment as close to your preference as possible.

List College Students  

List College/Columbia  JP students are required to continue to participate in surveillance COVID-19 testing once per week through Columbia Health. Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal.

List College Double Degree/Barnard Students  are required to follow Barnard’s testing protocols and must receive at least weekly surveillance testing (twice weekly if living in Barnard’s residence halls). Questions about Barnard’s testing program can be sent to covidtesting@barnard.edu.

NOTE: If you have been informed by a medical provider that you are exempt from COVID-19 testing for a period of time due to a prior diagnosis, you need to submit documentation from Columbia Health or Barnard Health to studentlife@jtsa.edu.    

Campus Health and Safety Protocols  

All members of the JTS community will be required to follow JTS’s Community Compact and our health and hygiene practices, which include washing hands frequently with soap and water (or using hand sanitizer when these are unavailable), avoiding touching one’s face with unwashed hands, and sneezing or coughing into one’s elbow. In addition, the following protocols will be required at all times of anyone on campus. Your JTS photo ID is required to enter JTS. 

  • Stay home and away from others if not feeling well or if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID-19 or are informed you were exposed, notify your school dean.

  • Anyone entering the JTS campus will be required to sanitize their hands and have a self-screening temperature/symptom check upon entering.    

  • Keep at least 6 feet distance between yourself and other people at all times. 

  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth at all times while indoors. The only exceptions to required face coverings are when alone in a private room with a closed door.

  • Vaccinated individuals may remove masks only in outdoor settings on JTS’s campus.

  • Eating is only permitted in outdoor spaces while remaining at least six feet apart from others. In this case, you should sit side by side not directly across from someone else.

  • Follow signage and protocols on use of campus spaces including elevators and communal areas.

  • Follow workplace and shared-space hygiene. Wipe workplace surfaces used frequently, including desk surfaces, tables, keyboards, light switches, and shared equipment with disinfectant sprays or wipes that JTS will provide. JTS will also conduct frequent, specialized cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout campus.

We continue to mandate and observe extensive health and safety protocols on campus. Remember, however, that the risk of COVID-19 cannot be eliminated from campus. Please take into consideration any individual circumstances or concerns when determining whether to participate in any in-person activities.

Our continued commitment to consistently embracing and following the JTS Student Compact is how we can best collectively promote a safe and healthy campus for everyone.

We wish all students a safe, healthy, restful, and meaningful summer! 

April 30, 2021

Vaccination Update from Sara Horowitz

Dear JTS Students,

As we conclude the spring semester, I want to take a moment to share my gratitude with all of you. Wherever you reside, you have cared for one another and the greater community and helped us all stay connected during this most challenging year. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of JTS students and employees and their loved ones has been our highest priority. The health protocols that we have all followed on and off-campus reflect the value of pikuah nefesh—safeguarding lives. 

We are excited about welcoming all JTS students back to campus for the fall 2021 semester. Based on guidance from the CDC, the New York Department of Health, and Columbia Health, we will continue to implement protocols that maintain the safety of everyone on campus while fostering the sense of community that is such an integral part of JTS. 

To that end, like many area colleges and universities, JTS has decided that at the beginning of the fall semester, the COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all new and returning JTS students who will be living on or utilizing our campus. This decision was made to help protect the health of our JTS campus community as well as our neighbors in New York City. In accordance with New York State public health laws, students may apply for a medical or religious exemption. 

This vaccine requirement will be one important component of our health and safety protocols for the fall semester. Students will also be expected to continue to follow all other measures deemed necessary by health experts, and to sign a Fall Semester 2021 Student Compact. Specific details, including how and where to submit proof of vaccination, will be shared in the coming weeks. In the meantime, as we move toward the fall semester, we strongly encourage all students to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Below is information about finding vaccines in New York City and throughout the United States. Columbia Health will also be able to provide vaccinations to any returning students in the fall, who have not yet been vaccinated.

Vaccine Information:

  • United States Vaccine Finder helps you find clinics, pharmacies, and other locations that offer COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
  • NYC Vaccine Finder:  Use website or call 1-877-VAX-4NYC.
  • Columbia Health has a good vaccine supply at Columbia-operated sites, with same day or next-day availability in many cases. There are several ways to make an appointment at Columbia-operated locations; all options are online as noted below. Appointments are released periodically, so check these online scheduling options often:
    • Columbia’s Morningside campus appointments at Lerner Hall can be made through Columbia Health. Booking an appointment can be done via the scheduling section of the Columbia Health Patient Portal. A limited day-of waiting list can be joined by emailing your name and phone number tovaccineinfo@columbia.edu. 
    • Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and appointments at other Columbia locations can be made viavaccinetogetherny.org or through your Connect account (if you use Columbia Doctors providers). The locations include: 650 W. 168thStreet, 51 W. 51st Street, and 2702 Broadway.

Students are also encouraged to check the covid19.columbia.edu website for updates.

As we transition into being back together in-person, I know we will all want to heed the Jewish tradition’s strong insistence on the obligation to protect one’s health and the health of others in our community, to whom we are bound by ties of mutual trust. Please stay tuned for more information regarding our Fall Semester COVID-19 Student Compact and other important updates.

Nothing makes me smile more than anticipating the arrival of students to our JTS campus this coming fall semester! 

Wishing you and your family a healthy, safe, and wonderful summer.

L’Shalom,

Sara Horowitz 

Dean of Student Life

April 7, 2021

Fall Semester Plans Update from Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz

Dear JTS Community,

As we enter the last weeks of the semester, I want to thank you—students, faculty, and staff—for all you’ve done, in the face of a historic global pandemic, to help us complete the academic year with great success.

Though most of us remain physically separate, we have maintained the connections that bind us. We have found new ways to study and work together, to socialize and celebrate, to bring JTS learning to new audiences, and to serve and care for our community and the communities around us. At the same time, we’ve missed the in-person conversations, the spontaneous exchange of ideas, the experience of being together that enhances our work and study in invisible yet tangible ways.

Thankfully, the arrival and distribution of life-saving vaccines has enabled the hope that we can plan realistically to return to campus. If all goes well, this means that we will open for in-person classes and residential life in the fall, while continuing to take all necessary precautions to maintain the safety of our community. After the past year, we all know that circumstances can change quickly and could yet force us to revise our best-laid plans. But right now, we are in the first stage of preparing for a full campus re-opening, as are our partners at Columbia and Barnard. 

The challenges of the past year, though not welcome, have taught us a great deal. At first our campus was closed to all but essential employees, while all other work and all classes went online. Gradually, we were able to open our doors safely on a limited basis to staff, faculty, and students who wanted to use our campus facilities. This spring, we welcomed back a small number of students to our residence hall. The Library re-opened. And we held a small number of class sessions outdoors. How thrilling it was to see colleagues face to face after so many months of solely virtual engagement. And how wonderful it was to hear the sounds of learning through my office window! Thanks to all of these experiences, I believe we are now well-prepared to oversee a larger re-opening of campus in the fall. I am also heartened to know that we can count on our staff and students to take seriously the health precautions needed to maintain a safe environment.

This is only the first of many communications you will receive about the fall semester. I know you already have numerous questions, and I ask you to please hold them for the moment. We are just beginning to develop our fall plan and to address the myriad issues that must be resolved as part of a safe re-opening. I assure you that we will be in touch just as soon as we know more.

Right now, my heart is full at the thought of seeing all of you in person and enabling everyone in the JTS community to join together on our beautifully renovated campus.

Thank you all again for your resilience, your hard work, and the caring support you have shown one another. You have allowed JTS to thrive during this extraordinarily challenging time.

Sincerely, 

Shuly Rubin Schwartz
Chancellor

January 6, 2021

Spring Semester Update from Sara Horowitz, Dean of Student Life

Entering Campus and Keeping our Community Healthy 

Dear Students, 

After a long fall semester, I hope you are taking time over the winter break to recharge and enjoy yourself while staying healthy and safe.   

During this challenging time, I am grateful for JTS students and for the light each of you brings to our vibrant community of learners. You have demonstrated your warmth and deep compassion since the start of this pandemic. My hope and prayer for each of you is that 2021 and this new semester are filled with renewal and meaningful ways to connect with one another from near and far.   

We are all relieved that vaccines for COVID-19 are beginning to be aministered. However, we need to remember that the pandemic is not behind us. It is essential that we all remain vigilant and committed as individuals and as a caring community to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the health protocols that protect ourselves and others. Please take a few minutes to carefully read through this updated information, which applies to students who wish to visit campus during the spring semester. Students living in the List College residence hall will be provided specific pre-entry and arrival testing and quarantine protocols by the Office of Residence Life.  We encourage all students to read this information as these important health measures are applicable everywhere.  

I also want to remind you to be kind to yourselves and encourage you to utilize the many supports and resources available, including Student Life, Residence Life, your deans and faculty, the JTS Counseling Center, and Columbia and Barnard’s health services and counseling support. All resources are available to you online.    

Our diverse student community will continue to take online classes and participate in campus life from around the world. Some students who reside in the NYC area may choose to come to our JTS campus to utilize our large indoor and outdoor (weather permitting) study spaces.  

Below is information regarding resources and protocols for JTS students who wish to enter campus at any point during the spring semester.   

Information for Students Planning to Enter JTS  

At the start of the new semester, JTS students who live in the area are welcome to come to campus at 3080 Broadway. Large outdoor and indoor study spaces will be available during JTS business hours (Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.). Spaces include the atrium, the courtyard and outdoor patios, and the Beit Midrash. (Note: The Beit Midrash will be open for study until 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and until 4 p.m. on Friday.) Students may continue to access the JTS Library’s digital resources. You can learn more about Library services and eventual in-person access here. In addition, our dining service will be open so students may purchase delicious food to take home. Hours of operation and details will follow shortly.   

JTS ID will be required to enter campus.  

Student Responsibilities  

All JTS students are required to do the following prior to entering JTS’s campus: 

  • Sign JTS’s COVID-19 Spring Semester Community Compact. 

  • Complete a brief online COVID-19 course. 

  • Conduct daily self-screening. 

  • Participate in Columbia or Barnard’s COVID-19 testing program including gateway testing and surveillance testing.  

  • Get a flu vaccine. 

  • Follow all NY State quarantine protocols if arriving from outside of NY State. 

The signing of the JTS compact, gateway testing compliance, flu vaccination, and training completion will be linked to your JTS ID card. Students who do not fulfill each of these requirements by January 21s will have their JTS ID deactivated and will be unable to access campus until they fulfill all pre-entry requirements. 

Details for each responsibility are outlined below, including specific requirements for List College students and graduate level students.   

COVID-19 Spring Semester Community Compact 

We are pleased to share our COVID-19 Spring Semester Community Compactwhich all JTS students are required to sign prior to entering campus. The compact outlines your responsibilities as a student in order to be present in-person on campus this semester. Among other responsibilities, these include wearing face coverings, following physical distancing requirements, washing hands frequently, COVID-19 testing, and staying home when unwell. Please read through the compact carefully, and sign electronically by January 10.    

Training 

In addition to committing to abide by the COVID-19 Community Compact, all JTS students who wish to come to campus are expected to take a brief online course created for students by United Educators. This presentation reinforces the critical actions we must all take to help stop the spread of this dangerous virus. To access the online course, please follow the instructions below.    

Daily Symptom Self-Screening to Enter Campus 

Students will be required to go through a brief screening and symptom self-check each time they enter JTS’s campus. Students who plan to enter campus three or more times during the spring semester should email studentlife@jtsa.edu to reserve an app and smart thermometer. Note: all JTS students will be required to receive a negative PCR COVID-19 gateway test from Columbia Health or Barnard Health Service and sign the Community Compact prior to entering campus for the first time. (All COVID-19 testing requirements discussed herein may only be satisfied by a PCR test*.) 

COVID-19 Testing and Tracing Program 

Another crucial part of protecting the health and well-being of ourselves and our community is COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. JTS students are required to participate in Columbia Health’s testing and tracing programwhich includes a gateway test prior to entering campus, surveillance testing, contact tracing, and access to follow-up care and resources as needed. (Students enrolled in the Double Degree Program between List College and Barnard: please see below for testing information.)  

Testing is easy, convenient, and fast. The testing program does not require out-of-pocket costs or insurance billing. All test results will be provided in a timely manner, ideally within 72 hours of specimen collection. Note that testing prior to entering campus in 2021 is required of ALL JTS students, regardless of whether gateway testing was completed in summer and fall 2020 and whether they have been accessing campus previously. Students must receive a negative test result prior to entering JTS. Testing is required through Columbia Health; outside tests will not be accepted.  

List College: Joint Program/Columbia Students (Revised 1/11/2021)

Students living in the List College Residence Hall are required to schedule a COVID-19 gateway test through Columbia Health within one business day of their arrival if they are coming from within New York State or from a contiguous state and per the instructions below (“Quarantine After Arrival”) if coming from any other location. Students returning to campus can move into their residence but are then required to quarantine there except for their testing appointments and until receipt of a negative test result. Surveillance testing: Residents will be required to follow Columbia Health testing protocols and must therefore participate in twice weekly surveillance testing through Columbia Health. Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal.

List College/JP students residing off-campus who will be accessing campus for the spring term are required to have a COVID-19 PCR gateway test at Columbia Health no more than 7 days before their initial entry to JTS. Students must receive a negative test result prior to entering JTS’s campus. Surveillance testing: JTS requires students to participate in surveillance COVID-19 testing once per week through Columbia Health. Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal.

List College Double Degree/Barnard Students 

  • List College students enrolled in the Double Degree program are required to follow Barnard’s testing protocols and must receive a COVID-19 gateway test from Barnard Health service within 7 days of their entry to JTS as well as twice weekly surveillance testing. Questions about Barnard’s testing program can be sent to covidtesting@barnard.edu 

JTS Graduate-Level Students

JTS requires that all graduate-level students participate in Columbia Health’s gateway testing, surveillance,and tracing program 

  • Gateway Test: All JTS graduatelevel students who will be accessing campus for the spring term are required to have a COVID-19 PCR gateway test with Columbia Health and receive negative results within 7 days of their return to campus. Testing takes place at Columbia’s Lerner Hall, by appointment. Allow approximately 72 hours to receive results.  

  • Surveillance Testing: It is strongly recommended that after their initial gateway test, JTS graduate students who are accessing campus during the spring term undergo weekly COVID-19 diagnostic testing at Columbia Health throughout the term. 

  • Scheduling Testing: Testing is scheduled through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal. If you are unable to schedule a COVID-19 test through Columbia Health’s Online Patient Portal, e-mail covidtesttrace@columbia.edu for assistance and include your name, JTS email address, and preferred test date and time of day. The team will schedule your appointment as close to your preference as possible. 

Note on the PCR Test: Also called a molecular test, a PCR test detects genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) into your nostril and taking fluid from the back of your nose or by using a shorter nasal swab (mid-turbinate swab) to get a sample. PCR tests are very accurate when properly performed by a health care professional, but the rapid test can miss some cases. For more information about PCR COVID-19 tests, please click HERE.   

Flu Vaccine 

In light of the continuing pandemic and flu season, flu vaccines are mandatory for students who are on campus (living in the residence hall or off-campus). If you haven’t already received a flu shot, we recommend you obtain the vaccine at the earliest opportunity, before arrival to New York.We strongly advise students who are not living in the area or coming onto campus this academic year to get a flu shot at your local pharmacy or primary care provider as wellit’s the best way to protect yourself from the flu and help conserve vital healthcare resources! 

List College/Columbia JP Students & JTS GraduateLevel StudentIf you are vaccinated prior to arrival, please follow these instructions to upload proof of your vaccine to the Columbia Health patient portal. You may also your vaccine through Columbia Health. Appointment only, no-charge flu vaccines will be offered on Columbia’s Morningside Campus. Appointments via the online patient portal are required to ensure physical distancing. Visit Columbia Health’s flu season information page for more information. 

If you were vaccinated off-campus, please upload proof of your vaccine to Columbia Health’s patient portal right away. Use this link for instructions. 

For more information visit the Columbia Health flu webpage  

List College/Barnard DD Students 

Barnard DD Students are expected to have a flu vaccine. Below is how you can register your vaccination record with Barnard College:  For  information and copies of forms, please visit https://barnard.edu/primarycare or email pchstravel@barnard.edu 

  • If you received the vaccine through Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service (PCHS), they already have this information and you do not need to take any further action. 

  • If you received the vaccine from an outside provider, please have the Influenza Vaccine Documentation Form completed by the provider and fax to PCHS 212-854-2702. 

  • If you wish to seek a religious or medical exemption from this requirement, please complete the Influenza Vaccine Exemption Form and fax it to PCHS 212-854-2702 for review for a possible exemption. 

Barnard will need this information returned in order for you to move into your on-campus residence or be included in the on-campus testing program for the spring 2021 semester. 

Quarantine upon Arrival: Traveling to NYC from outside of NY State 

All students arriving to New York from outside the United States or from a non-contiguous U.S. state are required to quarantine for a period of 10 days upon arrival consistent with Department of Health regulations for quarantine unless the following testing and quarantine guidance is met per New York State’s Executive Order 205. Contiguous states are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.   

  • To be eligible for a shortened quarantine through testing, students must obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure and quarantine at home for three days prior to their departure to New York. (Note: Students who receive a positive test should not travel to New York and should remain at home and consult their health care provider.) Once in New York, students must quarantine. On day 4 of their quarantine, the student must obtain a COVID-19 test at Columbia Health or Barnard Health Service and return to their residence to continue to quarantine for another 24 to 48 hours until they receive their test result. If the test result is negative, the student may exit quarantine. 

  • Students who are not able to obtain proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before arriving to campus will need to quarantine in their residence for 10 days upon arrival. Students may get their COVID-19 gateway test at Columbia Health during their quarantine; however, they will still need to remain under the 10-day quarantine even if the gateway test result is negative. Please note that Columbia Health will not be open for COVID-19 gateway testing on weekends and holidays. 

Students residing in the List College residence hall will need to follow move-in procedures (including testing and quarantine) sent out by the Office of Residence Life.  

I appreciate your help and understanding as we all try to keep our campus community, neighbors, and loved ones as healthy as possible.  
 
Again, please remember we are here for you and feel blessed that you are part of our vibrant community. Please stay tuned for information about online student activities and fun and meaningful ways through which we can stay connected.  
 
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the rest of winter break and wish you a healthy, safe, and rewarding spring semester. I look forward to seeing you online or on campus soon.    
 
Sincerely, 
 
Sara Horowitz 
Dean of Student Life 

Online Training About COVID-19 
 
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, we are asking students to complete a brief online course “Your Campus and COVID-19: The Road Back” to educate our community.  


All students are required to complete this course prior to entering campus. 

To begin training, follow these steps: 
 
Go to https://learn.ue.org/SD8SI992052/JTSAstudent     
 
Complete the Registration form. 

  1. Enter your first name, last name, and email address and click Register. 

  2. You will receive a welcome email with your username and a temporary password. 

  3. Follow the link in the email to sign in. 

  4. You will be prompted to: 

  • Enter your temporary password. 

  • Create a new password. 

  • Create and answer a security question. 

You will receive a confirmation email upon successful completion of the course.  
 
Need Help?  

If you have any issues with sign-in or accessing the courses, or if you did not receive your welcome email, visit the Support Portal at portalhelp.ue.org. Or click any Support Portal link on the site. 
 
All other questions should be directed to studentlife@jtsa.edu.  
 
Thank you for your time and cooperation in completing this essential training program. 

 

November 6, 2020

Spring 2021 Classes Will Be Offered Entirely Online

Dear JTS Community,

I know that many of you are eager for information about what the next semester at JTS will look like. All of us in the administration share that eagerness and have been working to give you the information you need in a timely way. Further updates will be provided in coming weeks, but we do wish to share the decision that for the spring 2021 semester, all JTS courses will be offered entirely online.

We came to this decision after weighing several factors and, as always, prioritizing the health and safety of our community. Certainly, one important factor we considered was the uptick in coronavirus infections throughout the country and uncertainty about the winter ahead. We also looked closely at our fall semester experience with online instruction. The results show clearly that since beginning classes in September, our faculty and students have displayed remarkable creativity, commitment, and resilience in making online learning the rich and meaningful experience that characterizes a JTS education. Taken together, these factors argued strongly for maintaining a model of full online instruction.

Our faculty members are now planning and designing courses for the spring and continuing to work with education technology specialists to further enrich their classes for the online environment. We are also using the suggestions from students and faculty based on this semester’s course offerings to continue enhancing the instructional experience.

Depending on health and safety conditions in the spring, we will permit small, occasional in-person class sessions on the JTS campus. Whether to hold these will depend on student and faculty interest and availability in any specific course. If such sessions do occur, they will be entirely optional, and all class sessions will continue to be offered online. As during this semester, anyone visiting the campus will be required to follow all health and safety protocols in place at the time.

Over the next couple of weeks, you can expect to receive additional information with details about other aspects of our spring semester planning. We know you are eager for this information, and we will provide it as quickly as possible.

I remind you that spring term will begin January 11, 2021. Here is the spring academic calendar.

I hope you have a successful and enjoyable continuation of the fall semester, followed by a well-deserved winter break. Wherever you are, please accept my sincere wish that you and your entire family are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Stephen Garfinkel
Acting Provost

August 27

Update on Entering Campus and Keeping Our Community Healthy

Dear Students,

I had so hoped to welcome our new and returning students to campus this month. Of course, what is most important is that you and your loved ones stay healthy throughout this pandemic. My prayer is that we can all be together in-person and in good health as soon as possible.

A lot has changed over the past six months but JTS remains a vibrant, diverse community of learners and leaders who care deeply about each other and the world. As we begin a new academic year, I look forward to continuing to build our incredible community in both new and familiar ways. 

I also want to remind you to be kind to yourselves and encourage you to utilize the many supports and resources available, including your deans and faculty, the JTS Counseling Center, and Columbia and Barnard’s health services and counseling support. All resources are available to you online. 

Our diverse community will be taking online classes and participating in campus life from around the globe. Some students who reside in the NYC area may choose to come to the JTS campus to utilize our large indoor and outdoor study spaces. Wherever you are, it is important that we all commit as individuals and as a caring community to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the health protocols that protect ourselves and others. 

Below is information regarding resources and protocols for JTS students who wish to enter campus at any point during the fall semester. However, we encourage all students to read through as these important health measures are applicable everywhere.

Information for Students Planning to Enter JTS

At the start of the new semester, JTS students who live in the area are welcome to come to campus at 3080 Broadway. Large outdoor and indoor study spaces will be available during JTS business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.). Spaces include the atrium, courtyard and outdoor patios (which will be tented), and the Beit Midrash. (Note: Beit Midrash will be open for study until 8 p.m.) Students may continue to access the JTS Library’s digital resources. You can learn more about Library services and eventual in-person access here. JTS ID will be required to enter campus.

Student Responsibilities

COVID-19 Community Compact and Training Presentation: We are pleased to share our COVID-19 Community Compact, which all JTS students are required to sign prior to entering campus. The compact outlines your responsibilities as a student in order to be present in-person on campus this semester. Among other responsibilities, these include: wearing face coverings, following physical distancing requirements, washing hands frequently, and staying home when unwell. Please click here to access the compact, read through it carefully, and sign electronically by September 2. 

In addition to committing to abide by the COVID-19 Community Compact, all JTS students who wish to come to campus are expected to take a brief online course created for students by United Educators. This presentation reinforces the critical actions we must all take to help stop the spread of this dangerous virus. To access the online course, please follow the instructions below.

Daily Symptom Self-Screening to Enter Campus: Students will be required to go through a brief screening and symptom self-check each time they enter JTS’s campus. Students who plan to enter campus three or more times during the fall semester should email studentlife@jtsa.edu to reserve an app and smart thermometer. Note: all JTS students will be required to receive a COVID-19 gateway test from Columbia Health and to sign the Community Compact prior to entering campus for the first time.

COVID-19 Testing and Tracing Program Update: Another crucial part of protecting the health and well-being of ourselves and our community is COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. JTS students will be part of Columbia Health’s testing and tracing program, which includes a gateway test prior to entering campus, surveillance testing, contact tracing, and access to follow-up care and resources as needed. (Students enrolled in the Double Degree Program between List College and Barnard: please see below for testing information.) Testing is easy, convenient, and fast. The testing program does not require out-of-pocket costs or insurance billing. All test results will be provided in a timely manner, ideally within 72 hours of specimen collection.

List College Students:

List College students enrolled in the Joint Program are required to follow Columbia’s School of General Studies protocols, including gateway testing as well as follow-up surveillance testing in order to enter Columbia or JTS’s campus. 

List College students enrolled in the Double Degree program are required to follow Barnard’s testing protocols and must receive a gateway test in order to enter JTS’s campus. An email message will be sent out this week from Barnard’s Primary Care Service with detailed instructions. Questions about Barnard’s testing program can be sent to covidtesting@barnard.edu.

Graduate-level students: JTS requires that all graduate-level students participate in Columbia Health’s gateway testing, surveillance, and tracing program.

Gateway Test: JTS graduate-level students must receive an initial gateway test at Columbia’s Lerner Hall, by appointment, within 14 days of your first planned visit to JTS’s campus. Allow approximately 72 hours to receive results. To schedule your gateway test (Monday through Friday), email covidtesttrace@columbia.edu and include your name, JTS e-mail address, and preferred test date and time of day. The team will schedule your appointment as close to your preference as possible.

Ongoing Surveillance Testing: JTS graduate students, after their initial gateway test, will be randomly sampled for COVID-19, with an initial cohort of 5% each week during the semester; this frequency and sample size will be adapted based on key COVID-19 indicators. The frequency of the testing will be re-evaluated over time in view of the status of the epidemic in New York City and the campus.

We appreciate your help and understanding as we all try to keep our campus community, neighbors and loved ones as healthy as possible.

Again, please remember we are here for you and feel blessed that you are part of our vibrant community. I can’t wait to meet our new students online very soon! Please stay tuned for information about online student activities and fun and meaningful ways through which we can stay connected.

In the meantime, I wish you a healthy, safe, and rewarding semester. For those whom I may soon see on campus or in Morningside Heights, please know that I will be enthusiastically smiling at you from behind my mask.

Sincerely,

Sara Horowitz
Dean of Student Life

Online Course About COVID-19

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, we are asking students to complete a brief online course “Your Campus and COVID-19: The Road Back” to educate our community.

The deadline to complete this course is September 2.

To begin training, follow these steps:

Go to https://learn.ue.org/SD8SI992052/JTSAstudent    

Complete the Registration form.

  1. Enter your first name, last name, and email address and click Register.
  2. You will receive a welcome email with your username and a temporary password.
  3. Follow the link in the email to sign in.
  4. You will be prompted to:
    • Enter your temporary password
    • Create a new password
    • Create and answer a security question

You will receive a confirmation email upon successful completion of the course.

Need Help?

If you have any issues with sign-in or accessing the courses, or if you did not receive your welcome email, visit the Support Portal at portalhelp.ue.org. Or click any Support Portal link on the site.

All other questions should be directed to studentlife@jtsa.edu.

Thank you for your time and cooperation in completing this essential training program.

August 18

Details on Fall Semester

Dear List College Students, 

Following up on Chancellor Schwartz’s Friday letter, I would like to provide further details about the fall semester at JTS. 

Thanks to the hard work and creativity of our faculty and staff, you will find a semester filled with engaging academics, a warm sense of community, and inspiring religious life. While we would have all preferred to be able to see each other in person, we have confidence that you will still be deeply enriched by the JTS experience, albeit in a different way. 

Here are the details:
 
Academics
Last March, JTS, along with almost all North American colleges and universities, made the emergency decision to shift immediately to online learning. Courses were moved quickly to Zoom, and thanks to our faculty’s hard work and our students’ positive attitude, we were able to complete the semester quite effectively. As soon as it became likely—and then certain—that the fall 2020 semester would also be virtual, we expended significant time, effort, and funds working with faculty to prepare online courses that we expect to be as interactive, exciting, and challenging as classes held onsite.

Working with the Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning, we developed an approach to faculty training based on feedback from student surveys and faculty members’ own reflections on the spring semester. Faculty members undertook additional work by themselves and with colleagues in their disciplines, participating in workshops and discussions both as a whole and in smaller groups. To further enhance our online program, JTS has engaged a full-time learning designer and educational technologist who will be available to help faculty in crafting their courses to employ a wide variety of digital options. 

Among the advantages we have at JTS are our small class size and low faculty to student ratio, which allow us to create an intimate learning experience regardless of the medium. You can expect fall courses to include segments when the instructor and entire class study together—that is, “synchronously”—while making sure to take periodic breaks. Most courses will also include components where students work with a few other classmates in Zoom breakout rooms or ḥevruta partnering groups and then rejoin the whole class to continue discussions of themes, primary sources, and secondary material. At other times, students may have one-on-one discussions with faculty members, work on group projects, or be guided toward other innovative ways to explore foundational course issues.

Although high-quality virtual instruction takes extra effort and training, our faculty members are eager to reconnect with students, from first-year undergraduates to experienced doctoral candidates, and to guide and inspire them throughout the coming semester.

Student Life
Our Office of Student Life has planned many opportunities to build community and create an “online campus” this fall. Staff and student leaders are eager to welcome first-year students during orientation week, which begins Sunday, August 30. First-years will have a chance to learn about student services and get to know their classmates by participating in workshops, information sessions, and various community-building activities. Orientation will also include online events with Columbia’s School of General Studies and Barnard College. 

Throughout the semester, there will be activities for all students to enjoy, including informal learning and conversation with JTS faculty, social justice initiatives, our artist-in-residence program, cooking events, virtual tours of NYC museums and parks, movie nights, talent nights, and more. Our Jewish Life directors will offer online events to help all students explore their Jewish identities, deepen their understanding of holidays, and celebrate together as a community. The creative leaders of our List College Student Council will keep our vibrant and spirited List College community connected and active.   

In addition to campus life at JTS, we encourage students to participate in online activities with the Columbia/Barnard Hillel. Their excellent team will give you a chance to gather with the diverse Columbia and Barnard Jewish community. 

Health and Wellness  
Your physical and mental health remain our highest priority. During the semester, students will have access to online resources from wherever you reside. 
  
JTS: Our JTS Counseling Center team will be available to provide individual counseling to students and will offer online programming to assist with stress reduction and other challenges that many of us are facing at this moment in our lives. Please don’t hesitate to contact counseling@jtsa.edu or call 212-280-6161.   

Columbia: Columbia Health will be available to students through telehealth. In addition, students have access to Columbia’s Counseling and Psychological Services for individual counseling as well as Alice! (Columbia’s health education program), which will provide virtual programming and supportive online spaces.  

Barnard: Barnard’s Primary Care Health Services will be available to all Barnard students online. Furman Counseling Center services will include individual counseling sessions via telehealth, consultation for outside referrals, virtual groups, and an emergency, after-hours clinician on call. Well Woman and Health Education will continue all programming sessions virtually. 

Tuition and Fees
You will receive your updated fall semester bill in the coming weeks. Recognizing that many students and families are facing financial hardship during these trying times, we made the decision earlier this summer that there would be no increase in JTS tuition for the coming year. In addition, we are reducing the service fee and the orientation fee by 10 percent. 

Financial Aid
We are committed to maintaining the same proportion of need-based financial aid that was previously awarded. All students receiving need-based financial aid will receive an updated award letter from the Financial Aid Office in the coming weeks. This letter will outline a reduced cost of attendance based on a student’s living arrangements for the fall semester. As a default, the Financial Aid Office will use an “at-home” housing rate to calculate a student’s cost of attendance. If you will be living in an off-campus apartment in New York City, you must email the Financial Aid Office at financialaid@jtsa.edu no later than Wednesday, August 19, to ensure your financial aid letter is accurate.

For Students Living in the Area
If you reside in the New York area, you will have access to the JTS campus. You will be informed about on-campus activities such as religious services and Library operations in future communications. 

Spring Semester
We remain hopeful that we will be able to welcome students to our new residence hall and our beautiful new campus for the spring semester. JTS will continue to monitor the public health situation as well as all guidelines and New York State regulations in the coming months, and we will let you know as soon as possible during the fall semester if we are able to offer residential life in the spring. 

While we had very much hoped to welcome you to campus this fall, we are confident that the upcoming semester will offer the academic excellence and rich community engagement that define a JTS education. With the commitment to innovation we’ve seen from the faculty, staff, and administration throughout the summer, I have no doubt that we will continue to meet the needs of all our students in the semester ahead.

Please know that my colleagues and I are here to answer all of your questions, and we look forward to being in touch with you in the coming days. 

Sincerely, 

Marc Gary
Executive Vice Chancellor and COO

August 14

Chancellor Announces Residence Hall Will Be Closed for Fall; All Classes Offered Online 

Dear Students,

I write to you today with a sense of tremendous sadness. As I explained when I announced our fall plans earlier this summer, we would continue to monitor the trajectory of the pandemic and change course if the situation warranted it. With great regret, I must now share the news that the undergraduate residence hall will not open for the fall semester. 

As you may know, earlier today, our partners at Columbia and Barnard announced a move to all-remote learning for the fall and with few exceptions will have no undergraduates living on campus. Our undergraduate dual-degree programs are so entwined with theirs that a residential experience for JTS students would suffer considerably without the integrative experiences with Columbia/Barnard so essential to our program’s mission.

Our decision was influenced as well by the alarming nationwide spike in the rate of coronavirus infections since I wrote to you in July. While the strict measures taken by New York have succeeded in controlling the virus, we could not ignore the uncertainty presented by surging caseloads in so many other regions.

We know that many questions will arise as a result of this decision, and I assure you that we will provide you with further details next week.

All fall courses will continue to be offered online. Our faculty have spent the summer months working with education technology specialists to design their courses in ways that will offer robust learning and discussion. I have no doubt you will find these courses engaging, stimulating and meaningful. Moreover, you will also find connection and community through creative virtual programming, gatherings, activities and tefillah, offered through the deans’ offices, the Office of Student Life, Women’s League Seminary Synagogue, and other JTS departments. Please remember that your deans, administration, and counseling center staff are available, as always, to support you.

I appreciate how difficult it is to shift course once your expectations have been set. I know how excited many of you were about returning to campus and how disappointed you must feel to learn that you won’t be able to do so. I share your disappointment. My colleagues and I miss you terribly; your energy and passion are the lifeblood of this institution, and it won’t be the same until you are back.

We feel especially saddened for our first-year students, who were eager to begin college with the traditional experience of residential and campus life. I know this beginning will be different than you imagined, but everyone at JTS is eager to welcome you and help you integrate into our community.

We look forward to a time soon when we can see you all here in person, and we will do everything in our power to make that return possible. In the meantime, we will rededicate our efforts to further strengthening the rich academic, religious, and communal experiences that—even virtually—define a JTS education.

I hope that all of us will respond to this time of challenge by deepening our sense of unity and purpose, finding nourishing support and friendship in this extraordinary community.

Shabbat Shalom,

Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz

Chancellor