Maryland Hillel Re-Opening Plan

See You Soon

We look forward to welcoming new and returning Jewish Terps to campus in Fall 2020! Maryland Hillel staff and student leaders are working together to create amazing programs to take place remotely and/or in-person. While this year will certainly look different, we remain committed to creating vibrant, meaningful, and fun Jewish experiences for all!

Quick Links to UMD Resources: UMD Re-Opening PlanTestudo (Schedule of Classes)Department of Resident Life


Frequently Asked Questions

How will Maryland Hillel operate during the first two weeks of classes?
As was recently communicated by the university, students are asked to stay in their residences, whether living on campus or off campus for two weeks upon arrival. As partners of the university, Maryland Hillel will be following this protocol in all aspects of our work until September 14:

  • Virtual programming, especially geared towards freshmen, will be offered.
  • Hillel’s dining facility will operate on a grab-and-go basis only.
  • Shabbat meals will also be grab-and-go.
  • No in-person prayer services or minyans will be offered.

To keep our community safe, Hillel urges students to comply with the university’s directive and help abate the risks of COVID-19 to our campus community. We look forward to being able to come together in person (at a safe distance) soon for community, events, prayer, and meals. After these two weeks, we hope to implement in-person events and dining.

Getting Involved

How can I get involved with Hillel?
With 27 Jewish student groups, educational opportunities, and specific events geared towards first-year students, there is something for everyone! Follow us on Instagram to get involved with Camp Hillel this summer and we’ll share more news soon about Fall 2020 details.

Can I hangout or study in the Rosenbloom Hillel Center (RHC)?
A Re-Opening Hillel Task Force, comprising health experts, parents, and students are making every effort to create an accessible and safe space for students within the Maryland Hillel building. If it is deemed safe, students will be welcome to schmooze, study, and relax at Hillel.

Will there still be student groups?
Absolutely! Our 200+ Jewish student leaders and 27 Jewish student groups look forward to welcoming you to campus with remote and in-person events.

Can I reserve a room at the RHC?
Yes. Once in-person gatherings are allowed, we’ll re-open the sign-up form to reserve a room. Please note that room capacity has changed, following guidelines of the State of Maryland, the University of Maryland, and the Prince George’s County Health Department.

When is the building open? Can I stop by Hillel at any time?
When school resumes, we will post Maryland Hillel’s open hours.

Will there be Birthright Israel and Alternative Break trips this winter?
At this time, we are unsure if there will be scheduled Birthright Israel or Alternative Break trips this winter break.

Healthy & Safety Protocols

What safety protocols will Maryland Hillel implement?
The safety and well-being of our student community is paramount. This summer, a task force of students, staff, UMD faculty, health professionals, and community leaders are working to establish Hillel’s safety protocols, which will guide all we do over the coming months. Maryland Hillel is adopting as a minimum standard the guidelines and practices of the State of Maryland, the University of Maryland, and the Prince George’s County Health Department. We are also working in close partnership with our local Jewish Federations and Hillels around the country to develop best practices. At this time, these include, but are not limited to, mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing of 6 feet, and additional cleaning protocols in our building.

Do I have to wear a mask at Hillel?
Yes. As noted above, all individuals must wear a mask indoors as well as outdoors when near others.

What if I or someone I know tests positive for COVID-19?
If you are sick or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, do not come to the Hillel building or programs. COVID-19 testing is available for all students at the UMD Health Center.

Shabbat, High Holidays, Daily Minyanim

Are Shabbat services happening with Maryland Hillel? What about Shabbat dinners?
Yes! We look forward to celebrating Shabbat each week. While Friday nights will no longer include 400+ students gathering at Hillel, we are committed to providing opportunities to celebrate Shabbat. We will have online pre-Shabbat and Shabbat events to start the semester. Once permissible, we are working on offering small Shabbat meals at Hillel and around campus, in addition to supporting do-it-yourself Shabbat dinners.

What will High Holidays look like with Maryland Hillel?
This year in particular, many of our students will choose to remain on campus for the High Holidays. Maryland Hillel is looking for ways to provide a meaningful High Holiday experience while keeping safety and well being of our community in mind. This will include pre-registration for services and meals, alternative locations on campus for services and remote learning opportunities. Depending on demand, space may be limited with alternative, abbreviated prayer gatherings made available. Information will be updated on our website and sent out through our email listserve.

Can I travel for the High Holidays?
Many families have emailed us about the High Holidays. Once again, the University has urged students to desist from traveling. Hillel will provide meals, and we are working to create intimate services. Where students feel compelled to return home, we ask that they remain at home for the duration of the holidays to minimize travel, which increases the risk of infection.

When and where will davening be happening?
Until at least September 14, we will not offer in-person services.

Kosher Dining

What’s happening with Kosher dining this year?
Maryland Hillel is committed to ensuring access to Kosher food for our students. For a list of Fall 2020 Kosher Dining FAQs, please visit this page. For Kosher Dining registration please visit this page.

Will there be hot meals?
Yes! There will be at least two hot meals served each day.

How does Kosher dining registration work with the university?
On-campus students will need to register for a UMD meal plan, as part of the sign-up. However, once you have registered and paid for a Maryland Hillel meal plan (registration will open July 22), Hillel will notify the university, who will cancel the plan and the charge. Please note this applies only to full meal plans.

Will food service be take-out or dine-in?
The social component of the dining program is a core benefit of the dining program. Our task-forces and catering company, Sodexo, are working to preserve as much of the social element as possible within the constraints of health protocols. All meals will be available for take-out.

What about Shabbat meals?
We are working on offering small Shabbat meals at Hillel and around campus, in addition to supporting do-it-yourself Shabbat dinners. To start the semester, we will only offer to-go Shabbat meals.