COVID-19 Updates (updated 7.9.20)

What Your Need to Know

 Queens College Update 7.9.20

From the Ad Hoc Working Group on Reopening:

Following are new developments in Queens College's ongoing response to the COVID-19 closure of campus:

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Reopening (AHWGR) has announced three new members:
Zaire Couloute, President, Student Association
Michael Jimenez, DC 37 shop steward for Local 2054 College Assistants 
Simone L. Yearwood, Chair, QC Academic Senate

On July 4, CUNY's Office of Research approved Queens College's proposed research reopening plan. Dean Daniel Weinstein (School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) is working with members of the AHWGR and the research faculty to implement the plan. Researchers who have met the approval requirements will be allowed to return to campus starting on July 13, 2020. Allowing these individuals to resume their work will restart suspended on-site projects, advance discovery and innovation, and aid in the economic recovery of New York City and New York State. QC researchers will be prepared to halt on-campus projects if state or city guidance mandates a second emergency pause. This reopening is NOT mandatory. Anyone who has concerns about returning to a reopened lab is under no obligation to come back. While protecting individual privacy, any COVID-19 cases are to be reported here (QC COVID-19 Form), and anyone who was in contact with someone who reports illness will be notified as has been our policy since March.

As of today, Thursday, July 9, the majority of college functions continue to operate remotely. For the time being, the physical campus remains open with limited access for essential personnel only. Personnel with a valid reason to access the campus may request permission from their supervisor or through the existing faculty process in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety. 

Everyone with permission to access the campus must show their Q-Card ID when signing in at the main gate. If you've misplaced your Q-Card a new one may be obtained online through the IT Service Request portal at New cards will be available for pickup at the main gate.

With regards to our annual QC Summer Camp we have made the very difficult decision to forego camp this season. To our QC Summer Camp families, we extend our sincerest appreciation for your ongoing loyalty and support during these unprecedented and ever-changing times. We have taken great pride in safely serving you and our community over the last 30 years, and it has been touching to see three generations grow through our summer camps. We feel this is the best course of action. Any questions regarding the QC Summer Camp can be emailed to We hope to serve our QC Summer Camp community again soon!

Permission has been requested to offer the CPSM Musical Theater Workshop this summer. The Center for Preparatory Studies in Music has been serving the music community in Queens since 1981. Our program, which is part of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, provides music instruction for children ages 3 to 18. In an effort to take a measured approach, the first two weeks of this 25-person workshop are operating online (July 6-16) and may transition to on-site learning for the remaining two weeks (July 20-30) if approval is granted.

Finally, the number of states that have reopened and then closed down again has led us to a planning process that will also include a more orderly approach to a pause, if one is required.

We encourage you to check your email and for updates.

CUNY Updates 6.9.20

As we do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus through institutional as well as individual actions, we would like to thank all members of the CUNY community for their cooperation and patience. We all have a role to play in flattening the curve, and our collective resilience has been evident in many ways. We have leaned on each other to stay connected and find a path forward.

Just as each of us has been forced to make changes in our personal and work lives, the University has had to make difficult but unavoidable decisions to ensure the health and safety of our community. With that in mind, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez has announced that commencement ceremonies across the University-system will be postponed. College presidents and deans may still consider alternative celebrations that fit their campus communities.

To be clear, this will have no impact on diplomas. At the completion of the spring semester, all degrees will be conferred as scheduled. It will also not impact the official summer start date for our full-time faculty.

Summer 2020
After careful consideration and consultation, the Chancellor announced that CUNY’s Summer 2020 course offerings will be exclusively conducted via distance education format. The decision is consistent with New York State Education Department (NYSED) guidance from April 2. Direction regarding the format of course offerings for Fall 2020 will be provided in the future depending on the COVID-19 emergency time frame, and once consultation with academic leaders and faculty has occurred and direction from NYSED and other accrediting bodies has been received.

CUNY continues to respond to the coronavirus by implementing measures to help our students navigate these extraordinary circumstances. Here are some steps we have taken in recent days:

  • Laptops – With the support of Governor Cuomo, we have purchased 30,000 new laptops and tablets for students who need one to fully participate in distance learning. If you are a student in need of a device, please request one through your school here.
  • Credit/No Credit – Because of the disruption caused by the transition to distance learning education, students will have the option to convert any or all of the letter grades they earn in their spring 2020 classes to Credit/No Credit grading. Read more here.
  • Dormitory Fees – Dormitory Fees will be credited to continuing students –and refunded to students set to graduate– on a prorated basis from the student’s move-out date. Read more here.
  • Student Activity Fee – The University will waive 25% of the Spring 2020 Student Activity Fee for students enrolled in CUNY colleges on a 15-week calendar and 50% of the fee for students enrolled on a 12-week or six-week calendar. Read more here.

This period in our lives has been trying on so many levels, but we will come out of it stronger, sharper and with an evolved sense of purpose. We are redefining what it means to be CUNY Strong.

To our students, good luck on your finals. To the greater CUNY community, thank you again for your continued patience, persistence and courage. Take a deep breath, take stock of your inner resolve and keep pushing. The academic finish line is in view. You can get there.


CUNY Continuity for Students

We know you have a lot on your mind and a lot on your plate, so CUNY wants to make the transition to distance learning as easy as possible for you. Use this page as a hub for resources, tools, and tips to help you finish the Spring 2020 semester off strong. Don’t let the idea of distance learning add to your stress: whether through a webinar, or even a text message, the goal is for instructors and students to stay connected and keep learning going. With constant communication and a little bit of flexibility, together, we’ll get through this.

Link Here.

Coronavirus Financial Impact Grants for CUNY Hillel Students go LIVE 4/20/20 - updated 4.17.20

Coronavirus Financial Impact Grants for CUNY Hillel Students provide one-time cash grants of $1,000 to CUNY Hillel students (undergraduates and graduates) with annual, pre-tax household income of $100,000 or less.  Apply Here. 

UJA+CUNY Hillels+ Hebrew Free Loan Society Grant - updated 4.7.20

UJA, CUNY Hillels and Hebrew Free Loan Society are coordinating an effort to get *grants* to students in need. The grant application will go live soon (we will update you when we know the exact date). Please fill out the survey below if you think you might apply. This way, we're able to get you the information you need as quickly as possible. 


Let QC Hillel know how you're doing by filling out this survey:

COVID-19 Resource List from UJA Federation of NY - updated 4.7.20

Our partner, UJA- Federation of NY, is continuing to mobilize and adapt quickly to the evolving needs of the COVID-19 global pandemic. They've compiled resources to help our community navigate these uncharted waters. Here is the link and below is some info we think is important for students right now. Check back regularly as resources will continue to be updated.


A List of Kosher Food Pantries:

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is taking applications:


Interest Free Bridge Loans from Hebrew Free Loan Society:

Ways to Help:

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities:

Resources for Mental Health:

Mental heath professionals are volunteering with the Amudim Anonymous Support Hotline, offering guidance and support to people struggling to cope with issues beyond anything they’ve ever experienced before. The call center can be reached at 888-726-8346, 718-972-3000 or between 8:00 am and 11:00 pm.

OHEL is providing remote crisis counseling. To request a session, please sign up here.

The Institute for Jewish Spirituality is offering opportunities for anyone who is looking for some moments of calm, centeredness, and clarity. You can find more information here.

NYC Well connects you to free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365.


Spring Break and Commencement Information - updated 4.6.20

In accordance with the CUNY-wide calendar, Queens College is holding a three-day spring break this week, from Wednesday, April 8, through Friday, April 10. Students are urged to talk to faculty regarding any scheduling issues arising during the following week due to religious observance.
Commencement ceremonies at QC and across the entire university system will be postponed, as Interim President William Tramontano explained in his message to the college community. (The announcement from Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez is posted  here .) Nonetheless, degrees will be conferred as scheduled at the end of the spring semester. Undergraduate and graduate students who have successfully completed the requirements of their programs will receive their degrees.
Across CUNY, summer course offerings will be provided via distance education format. At QC, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Hendrey will oversee the transition of in-person summer session courses to distance learning. The college continues to encourage all students to utilize all or part of the summer to earn credits needed and advance towards graduation.

Passover Seders for Those In Need updated 3.26.20

QC Hillel is working with our partner, UJA-Federation of NY, to provide delivered, kosher Passover Seder Meals to QC students (and their families) and isolated seniors in need. As of 3.26.20 we have 40 meals left. Please fill out this form if you are interested:


Recalibration Period for Educational Equity updated 3.26.20

Earlier this week, CUNY announced a plan to pause for a Recalibration Period for Educational Equity beginning this Friday, March 27, through Wednesday April 1. Distance learning will resume on Thursday, April 2.

The primary reason for moving up some days from the Spring Recess is to provide time to get a substantial number of laptops and tablets into the hands of students who need them. These students have been without access to technology since March 19, and could have a tough time catching up, and likely to drop out of the semester, if CUNY does not  do this now.

The University’s previously scheduled Spring Recess will now run from Wednesday April 8 through Friday April 10, encompassing the beginning of Passover and Good Friday. For faculty, staff and students whose religious observation extends into the week of April 13, as always you have the right to request a religious exemption to observe the holiday and we will offer maximum flexibility in addressing the requests. CUNY’s guidance for religious exemptions can be found here and we will remind faculty and staff about our guidance as we get closer to that date.


In the case that a professor requests a written letter, QC Hillel has prepared them for you. An email will be sent this week with more information. If you have not done so already, please sign up here for our weekly emails so you have the most up to date resources for you.


More Tips and Tricks From CUNY:





Today, we received word that Queens College will have a 5-day instructional recess (no physical classes) March 12-18th. Starting March 19th, classes will resume in an online format for the rest of the Spring semester. Additionally, we are being advised to cancel non-essential community gatherings of 50 or more people. The health and well-being of you, our students, is our greatest priority. As such, QC Hillel will be closed and all QC Hillel programs have been cancelled from March 12-15th. We will provide an update about programs and office hours from March 16 through the end of the semester as soon as possible. 

We know many of you are stressed and anxious. We want you to know that QC Hillel is here for you. So, while professors prepare for the transition to online learning, QC Hillel staff and interns will brainstorm creative ways to bring online community-building to you. Here’s some ways you can reflect, connect and build community now:

Reflect: QC Hillel has 2 Rabbis who are trained to give guidance, advice, and help students process. Rabbi Benny Berlin and Rav Sara Zacharia are here for you. 

Connect: The QC Hillel team, including OU-JLIC staff, are available for virtual coffee conversations. Just reach out! If you already have a coffee conversation scheduled, it’s still on - just over Zoom or Google Meets (we’ll let you know).

Build Community: Over the next few days we look forward to sharing virtual community-building opportunities designed for you. Just because we can’t get together in person, doesn’t mean we can’t be in community virtually! If you have any ideas, please reach out to Larry and Spencer.   Plus! JLF, Mizrahi LEAD, Internship meetings, Fellowship meetings, OU-JLIC Chaburot and OU-JLIC classes will all meet online. 

We care deeply for the health and safety of each of you. Unfortunately, these upcoming events have therefore been cancelled/postponed:

       Shacharit (morning prayers) - Thursday, March 12
       Hebrew and Arabic Calligraphy Workshop - Thursday, March 12
       Fauda Screening - Thursday, March 12
       OU-JLIC Shabbaton - Friday-Saturday, March 13-14

Moving Forward

Please be on the lookout for a follow-up email about what to expect  from March 16 through the end of the semester and thank you for your patience as we navigate this constantly changing situation. 

Resources For You

Food Pantries: The Knights Table Food Pantry (on campus!), Food Bank NYC and  City Harvest  

Live Alone or with Roommates? Here’s what you should always have in your pantry.

For students and families that might be hesitant about accessing services, there are options online that might be helpful. Check this out. 

Hebrew Free Loan Society provides interest-free loans of $2,000-$5,000 to residents of NYC’s Five   Boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus.

QC Petrie Emergency Grant provides quick response emergency grants to matriculated students in good academic standing who are experiencing personal emergencies. 

From all of us at Queens College Hillel, we are sending you well wishes and strength during this time. Please reach out to any member of our staff if you need anything, or just want to chat. We're here for you.

Jenna Citron Schwab
Executive Director
Queens College Hillel

Staff Directory
More Information from CUNY

© 2018 Queens College Hillel