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Update: March 17, 11:45am

We are living through uncertain times and unprecedented circumstances.

We have a number of updates below, which will hopefully help a little bit. We will continue to provide for our students and community and adapt as needed, as the situation evolves and changes.

We must never lose sight of the importance and power of prayer and Torah study. It is vital that we continue to focus our hearts and minds in prayer to Almighty G‑d, who provides the ultimate means of protection and healing for the entire world. 

As always, the safety of our students, community, and visitors is our number one priority. We are following all updates and regulations from the CDC, Florida and the Alachua County Health Department, University of Florida and SFC College.

We pride ourselves on the unity and closeness of our Jewish Gator Nation and the idea of disbanding and isolating from one another goes against all that we believe in and work hard for. Our function is not just as a gathering place, but as a family and community. We know that many hundreds of students have not or cannot return home and remain in town along with our wonderful local community, all our extended family.

This is why we are not shutting down our operations, G‑d forbid. We are adapting (hopefully temporarily) to the current crisis and continuing to serve. In fact, we will be increasing our efforts and concern for others during these very difficult times and providing some additional services to the students and community.

Thank you to our donors for your unconditional support, your partnership enables the Center’s activities, programs and efforts in good times and in challenging times. Your selflessness and Tzedakah charity is inspiring and humbling and makes it all possible. On behalf of everyone who we serve, may Hashem bless you and your loved ones.

 At Chabad UF, we are dedicated to creating a safe and happy place for everyone. Please be advised of the following important updates and protocols regarding the Center’s regular operations. Obviously, this situation is very fluid and new information and changes will be updated as necessary.
 

1. Assembly at the Center

Due to the risk of spreading the Coronavirus COVID-19) and restrictions on assembly, all regularly scheduled and special programs, and services that include assembly of more than 10 people are suspended until further notice.
 

2. Center Visitors

The Center is open for office hours, scheduled meetings with the Rabbi’s and staff, individual person’s visits, etc. Guidelines to protect yourself and the staff are posted at the entrance of the Center. Please follow these instructions if you visit the Center. If you or any family members, children, etc. are sick or showing any signs of sickness, even a slight cold or cough, headache, etc., please remain home.
 

3. Kosher Food Café/Dining

Jewish Gator Kosher Dining will be available at the regular evening schedule 5:30 – 7:30 PM for TAKEOUT ONLY. You may call or text your order to Jay at (352)441-6832. A nightly exciting special will also be available.
 

4. SHABBAT EATS

shabbat eats.jpegChabad UF is offering Jewish Gator Shabbat Eats for Friday, March 20, 2020. Shabbat Eats will include Shabbat Candles set with Lighting Time, Blessing Prayer and Instructions, Printed Shabbat Kiddush Prayer, Dvar Torah & Instructions, Kiddush Cup, Wine/Grape Juice, Challahs, Fish, Salad/Dips, Chicken and Kugel/Sides, Dessert, Printed Bentching/Grace after Meal Prayer. To request Jewish Gator Shabbat Eats, please visit www.JewishGator.com/ShabbatEats and fill out the form by Wednesday, March 18, 6:00 pm.


5. Helping anyone in need

We are here to help anyone and especially those who have been advised not to leave their homes. We can help with shopping, food, errands, pharmacy pickup, etc. particularly for the Elderly who are stuck home and/or folks that are afraid or unable to go out for basic necessities. If you are aware of neighbors or friends who may be in that category, please reach out to check in on them and let us know if we can help. Please call or email.

For the Students we’re available for practical assistance, advice, or just someone to talk to, or if you are not feeling well and need chicken soup or a doctor reference. If you’re feeling lonely, are alone in your dorm, apartment or home out of caution or necessity, and need assistance providing for your needs, please contact us and we will help make arrangements to assist you.
 

6. Learning Study Options

With increased homebound time, many will have more time to focus on some extra Jewish Learning. Please visit these sites often and get a dose of Torah Study. Virtual Sinai Scholars and other study opportunities will be shared as they become available. 

7. Passover EATS & Seder

We are working hard to plan a Jewish Gator Passover Eats & Seders program - to help the students and community celebrate and/or host Passover Seders, all complete with the Seder plate, Haggadah, Dinner, etc., as well as Kosher for Passover meals throughout the holiday.  Stay tuned for all the details.
 
In addition, if you would like to set up a time for a 15-30 minute, one-on-one Facetime or telephone session with any one of us, please be in touch. We can study something together, have an impromptu Q&A, or anything you’d like to discuss. Please see all of our direct contact info below. Let’s study, discuss, inspire and lift each other up.

Rabbi Berl Goldman:
Rabbi@JewishGator.com 352-256-3323
Chanie Goldman:
Chanie@JewishGator.com 352-219-5908
Rabbi Aron Notik:
RabbiA@JewishGator.com 352-219-7621
Pessie Notik: 
Pessie@JewishGator.com 704-299-6927

We are going through trying times. Let’s be there for each other. Every challenge is an opportunity. Let’s make the best of the situation we are all in. If you know of someone that can use a helping hand or if you are available to give a helping hand to someone in need, please contact us. As always, if there is anything we can do to help you, a loved one or anyone else, please reach out to us.

With blessing the world over,

Sincerely,

Rabbi Berl & Chanie Goldman
Rabbi Aharon & Pessie Notik

 
PS Please visit
www.JewishGator.com/Conavirus for previous updates.
 
 

 

Update: March 12, 10:15pm 

We hope you and your loved ones are in good health and spirits.

It is vital that first and foremost we turn our hearts and minds to Almighty G‑d, who can provide the ultimate means of protection and healing for the entire world. We will take all of the practical cautionary advisory steps to keep everyone healthy, but we must never lose sight of the importance and power of Prayer.

As always, the safety of our students, community and visitors is our number one priority. We are following all updates and regulations from the CDC, Alachua County Health Department, University of Florida and SFC College.

As the Coronavirus keeps spreading in the USA, please be advised of the following important information and protocols regarding the Center’s regular and special programs and services. Obviously, this situation is very fluid and the guidance and changes will be updated as necessary. Based on the information we have at this point, our plans for the Center are as follows:

At Chabad UF, we are dedicated to creating a safe and happy place for everyone.

In light of the Coronavirus, we have increased our high standards of hygiene and cleanliness at the Center, and our custodian crew is working overtime. We are implementing the following additional guidelines:

  1. Remain home if you or any family members, children etc. are sick or showing any signs of sickness, even a slight cold, fever or cough.
  2. We reserve the right to ask anyone to leave the premises if we feel they are not 100% healthy.
  3. Share with us if you, a friend or close relative has been on a cruise ship or traveled overseas in the past three weeks or has been in close contact with someone who has.
  4. Everyone must use hand sanitizer before entering the building - available at the main front entrance.
  5. Please wash your hands with soap and water often during your visit at the Center, utilizing the many ceremonial and bathroom sinks in and outside of the Center.
  6. No handshaking, high fives, kisses or hugs.
  7. Visitors or anyone who has recently traveled overseas are asked kindly not to attend the Center for the next three weeks.
  8. Shabbat dinner, lunch and other events with food will be served individually by our staff. No self-serve buffets.
  9. Seating at services and meals will be some distance from each other.
  10. Large attendance will have groups of seating in multiple rooms spaces at the Center.
  11. Please do not Kiss the Torah, Mezuzah, Siddur.
  12. If possible please bring your own Yarmulke, Tallit.

It behooves ALL of us to be more prudent and careful; we are requesting that everyone complies with all official health policies. We are praying for the health and healing of all those who are affected by this illness and the safety and health of the whole world.

For many, the situation is creating significant concerns and uncertainty - and sometimes logistical difficulties. Our function is not just as a gathering place, but as a family and community. We know that many students have not returned home and are staying in town.

As such, we continue to be here for all of you in whatever ways you need. We will be here for Shabbat, your kosher food needs, and we are preparing for Passover. We're available for practical assistance, advice, or just someone to talk to or if you are not feeling well and need chicken soup or a doctor reference. If you are staying in your dorm, apartment or home out of caution and need assistance with providing for your needs, such as food shopping, please contact us and we will help make arrangements with our student volunteers to assist you. For anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Rabbi Berl Goldman: Rabbi@JewishGator.com 352-256-3323
Chanie Goldman: Chanie@JewishGator.com 352-219-5908
Rabbi Aron Notik: RabbiA@JewishGator.com 352-219-7621
Pessie Notik: Pessie@JewishGator.com 704-299-6927

It is imperative to remember:

Taking precautions and listening to medical advice will save lives. At the same time, panic is counterproductive. We all need to continue living and thriving while taking reasonable measures.

As we take extra precautions to avoid contagion, it's important to strengthen those areas of our 'spiritual' health that have a direct effect on our physical health. We encourage you all to keep finding safe ways to exercise your soul. As classes move on-line, we will be ramping up efforts to offer Jewish learning opportunities and conversations through Zoom and other online mediums. We encourage you to look out for these resources and utilize them. B'ezrat Hashem - with G‑d's help - we will all get through this and take lessons to heart to improve as individuals, as a community, and as a society.

The following are a number of suggestions of things that can be done to strengthen one’s 'spiritual' immunity:

  1. Be sure that the Mezuzahs of your household are Kosher.
  2. Be sure your Tefillin are Kosher.
  3. Woman and girls, be sure to light Shabbat candles on Friday at sunset before Shabbat begins.
  4. Give extra charity on a daily basis. Have a dedicated Tzedakah box in your home. Women have a custom of giving charity before candle lighting on Friday.
  5. Recite chapters of Psalms daily: Suggested chapters 20, 22, 69, 150.
  6. Acquire a letter in a Torah scroll.
  7. Ensure that you and your fellows have some Shmurah Matzah in anticipation of the holiday of Passover. In the Kabbalah, Matzah is referred to as both "the food of faith" and "the food of healing."
  8. Most importantly, strengthen oneself and others in the faith that: "if one thinks good, it will be good."

If your or anyone you know needs any help with the above Mitzvot, please let us know and we are here to provide this and any other resource.

We will be monitoring the situation and will continue to update you on any changes to our programs, services or cancelations. If we can ever be of any assistance to you or if you know of a student on campus or person in the community who we can help, please contact us. We must continue to look out for each other!

Wishing everyone health, safety and happiness at this time. May we see the end of the coronavirus TODAY!

Sincerely,

Rabbi Berl & Chanie Goldman
Rabbi Aharon & Pessie Notik  

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We are following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), among others, and are taking their precautions. We are asking all students, community members and visitors to the Center to do the same. We ask you to please take public health guidelines seriously and visit the following sites regularly for updates.

CDC Center for Disease Control
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

University of Florida Updates
http://www.ufl.edu/health-updates/

Alachua County Florida Updates
http://alachua.floridahealth.gov/

SF College Updates
https://www.sfcollege.edu/alerts/covid19/index

Coronavirus Important Information (COVID-19). The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Wear gloves when handling and serving food
  • Clean and disinfect countertops and tables before preparing and serving food.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Boost your health and your immune system - eat properly and get enough sleep. Don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if there is anything that concerns you.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Patients with COVID-19 have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Contact your health care provider for guidance.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Large gatherings:

The Health Department’s guidance includes information about those who should NOT attend large gatherings in the community. That includes those who:

  • are a contact to a known or suspected case of COVID-19
  • are over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions
  • are immune compromised
  • are ill
  • have been exposed to someone with a respiratory illness in the last 14 days
  • have chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease
  • have traveled internationally within the last 14 days, especially to destinations under a level 3 travel advisory
  • have traveled to or from a geographic area with widespread community transmission of COVID-19

Student/staff travel:

The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who travel internationally to follow new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which are:

  • Level 3: CDC recommends 14-day self-isolation and social distancing upon return to the United States. Social distancing includes avoiding going out in public and close personal interactions. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your County Health Department (CHD) or health care provider.
  • Level 2 and Cruises: Travelers should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your CHD or health care provider.

UF and SFC students!

Chabad is your home away from home and the heart of Jewish life on campus! If there is ANYTHING you ever need or that we can help you with, don't hesitate to contact us ANYTIME. Do you need a ride somewhere or a ride home at night? Stuck downtown with a flat tire? Having a housing or dorm issue? Not feeling well and need Chicken soup or a doctor reference? A letter of recommendation or networking for a job? Feeling lonely or depressed?

For anything - Contact, Call or Email us anytime:
Rabbi Berl Goldman: Rabbi@JewishGator.com 352-256-3323
Chanie Goldman: Chanie@JewishGator.com 352-219-5908
Rabbi Aron Notik: RabbiA@JewishGator.com 352-219-7621
Pessie Notik: - Pessie@JewishGator.com 704-299-6927