Communication from Marviette Johnson, Director of Human Resources: An Important Message Regarding Travel for HUC Faculty, Students, and Staff - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Communication from Marviette Johnson, Director of Human Resources: An Important Message Regarding Travel for HUC Faculty, Students, and Staff

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Thursday, March 5, 2020


TO: HUC-JIR Faculty, Students, and Staff 
FROM: Marviette Johnson, Director of Human Resources
RE: An Important Message Regarding Travel for HUC Faculty, Students, and Staff

Date: March 5, 2020

Dear faculty, staff and students,

Effective immediately we are suspending all HUC-JIR-sponsored student travel to international locations over the upcoming spring break period and beyond. This includes international study abroad and service-learning trips.   At this time, all domestic programs are currently moving forward as planned.

This decision is consistent with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in light of the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus and was made out of an abundance of caution.

HUC-JIR strongly encourages faculty, staff and students to not travel internationally at this time.  In accordance with CDC guidelines, those who choose to travel to countries with a CDC level 3 or level 2 travel advisory for coronavirus must self-quarantine for 14 days and must seek an assessment with a health care provider before returning to campus.

“Self-quarantine” means remaining at home, not going to classes or work, limiting time outside of the home and monitoring your health for at least 14 days after you were last in any CDC Warning Level 3 country.  Additional guidance for self-quarantine includes:

  • Do not come onto the HUC-JIR campus.
  • Work or study from home, as possible. HUC-JIR is currently developing policies and protocols for any remote work and study that may be necessary.
  • Avoid non-essential travel outside of the home.
  • Do not share cups, utensils, etc.
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging, kissing, etc.
  • Avoid close contact (keep more than 6 feet between you and other people).
  • Take your temperature twice a day (in the morning and evening), not within an hour of eating a meal.
  • Seek medical assistance immediately if you have any symptoms, such as
      • A temperature reading of 100.4 F or higher
      • Cough
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Any flu-like symptoms

Please Note:  In many countries, there may be new entry and exit control measures, and even quarantines implemented with very little notice during the coming weeks. These actions could severely impact your plans and/or delay your return home with personal cost.  We urge you to pay close attention to the CDC travel health notice information being released about destination countries, and updates from air carriers prior to departure while abroad. 

Lastly, please avoid making assumptions about individuals who you believe may or may not have come into contact with the virus or with someone who is carrying the virus. In some cases, public reactions to the virus have been sensationalized, and there have been individuals at institutions of higher education who reported encountering discrimination and harassment due to biased assumptions and overreactions. It is vital that we support each other and act as a community, avoiding acts of discrimination and bias, by showing compassion for those affected by this disease.

We will, of course, monitor coronavirus developments both at home and abroad and keep you up to date. In addition to direct emails, we have created a dedicated space on the HUC website with information about CONVID-19 as well as HUC-JIR communications.

If you have any questions, please email ( or call (513-487-3215) me.


Marviette D. Johnson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Director of Human Resources

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.