Media Room
Re-engineering Campus Life for a Social Distance Era

They’re confined to campus for two weeks… and they’re delighted! On Sunday, 60 students returned to a Nishmat campus transformed to meet strict regulations of Israel’s Health Ministry. “Students are divided into three ‘capsules’. Each ‘capsule’ studies, eats and lives together, not interacting with the others,” explained Associate Dean Noa Lau. Students sign a health declaration each morning and avoid stepping beyond the campus walls. Fortunately, Nishmat’s campus gardens are in full bloom.

Given only a week to prepare, Nishmat staff divided the beit midrash, reorganized dormitory suites, purchased supplies and disinfected everywhere. Teachers wearing gloves and masks social distance five meters from students and lecture from behind a plexi-glass shield. “So many new rules can be confusing, but our students are adapting with a sense of humor and great joy that they’re back in the beit midrash,” said Associate Dean Lau. Health regulations easing Covid-19 restrictions only allow for fewer than half of Nishmat’s student body to return at this time. Additional video cameras were purchased to enable home-bound students in Israel and the U.S. to participate in the live classes. Each continues to learn with her chavruta (study partner) regularly by Zoom.