COVID-19 UPDATES

(Updated Aug. 24, 2020)
We hope that you are staying safe and healthy.

In light of the continuing threat of Covid-19, we wanted to update our stakeholders and participants on plans for the summer & Fall 2020. As the situation remains fluid, we will adjust and update policies, as needed. Read Chancellor Gallagher’s message, which challenges us to be responsible and flexible in these unprecedented times.

We’ve been in communication with university administrators and are following school, local, state and CDC guidelines. While safety is both a Jewish imperative and personal value of our organization, we feel that it is also healthy and important to see peers and have a social community in the safest way that is currently known.

All current events will follow the following guidelines:

1) Outdoors only, with social distancing.

2) Masks are required (may be removed for eating, when at a social distance.)

3) Limited in number. Advance registration is required.

4) Sanitary and food safety guidelines will be followed, including having hand sanitizer and/or hand washing stations. High touch surfaces will be regularly sanitized.

5) Currently there is no evidence that handling or consuming food spreads the virus that causes Covid-19 (which is thought to be spread primarily through respiratory droplets.) However, we are following general food safety practices with an additional current recommendation to serve food in individual portions (to prevent sharing of utensils or food items.)
Read more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/food-and-COVID-19.html

6) We ask of all guests: if you begin to experience any Covid-19 symptoms before arriving, please cancel your reservation and stay home. (Time permitting, we will try to deliver a meal to you without contact.) We will likewise cancel if our staff/host begins to feel unwell at any time.

We’ll be updating our RSVP Page with more events shortly. Here is what is currently “in the works.”

I. Shabbat Dinners have always been at the heart of what we do. Much more than a meal, it’s time for grad students and friends to relax, be fed a delicious home-made dinner, meet new people, and connect to our traditions. As long as we can safely host (see above guidelines) we would like to do so! Weather will be a factor and space is limited, see our emails for the schedule and registration links.

II. Virtual Events
While some people may have tired of Virtual/Zoom events, we are still exploring creative ways to use this “moment in history” while broadening our network using national connections. We have a few cool ideas & are always open to hearing yours!

III. High Holidays. If you are in town for Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur, we are considering the following tentative options, which would follow the aforementioned guidelines (outdoors, masks, social distancing, size limits…)
1) Small group (in-person) holiday meals
2) Holiday To-Go packages
2) Small group, outdoor services
3) Shofar blowing meet-ups

IV. Individual support
We are here to support Jewish grad students & friends, and it’s possible that the need for support at this time is even greater than before. Whatever we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out, by email info@jgradspittsburgh.com or call 412-952-4702. (If you become ill or have physical needs for help with food/shopping, need local resources/info, or anything else, we will try to help or find you an appropriate referral.)

Links:
https://www.chancellor.pitt.edu/spotlight/resilience-framework-july-17-update

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/food-and-COVID-19.html