Students: Planning for Remote Teaching and Learning with Zoom and Sakai - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Skip to main content

Students: Planning for Remote Teaching and Learning with Zoom and Sakai

Main Content
Thursday, March 5, 2020


TO: HUC-JIR Students 
FROM: John Bruggeman, Chief Technology Officer
RE: Planning for Remote Teaching and Learning with Zoom and Sakai 

Date: March 5, 2020 

In the event that it becomes impossible for faculty to teach and/or students to attend classes on-campus for some period of time this semester due to the coronavirus, we will rely on our online learning tools, Zoom and Sakai, for teaching and learning at HUC-JIR. 

At the College-Institute, we already rely heavily on Zoom, our videoconference and audioconference solution that enables communication across virtually all mobile devices, desktop computers, and video-enabled classrooms.

In the event that we need to host classes on a given campus via Zoom, the IT department will create a Zoom room for each physical classroom. Class schedules will remain the same, with classes meeting at the same day and time, but they will meet remotely via Zoom, rather than in a physical classroom.

In such a scenario, we will use Sakai to post and distribute course content, communicate with students, and collect and return assignments.

Current Zoom Protocol

For now, we will continue to follow our existing protocol for using Zoom video calls for class or administrative purposes.

If students are unable to attend a class on campus, students first need to contact the instructor to request the approval to join the class remotely. The instructor then will fill out an online video conference request form at least 24 hours in advance of the class

Why is 24 hours’ notice needed?  If the class does not meet in a classroom with the proper video technology, the class will have to be relocated. In addition, we want to make sure we have the staff available to support the video call and ensure that the class runs smoothly. 

If students are unable to attend a class and there is not sufficient time for the instructor to set up a Zoom call, students can join the class by calling a classmate’s cell phone and using Facetime or a speaker phone. Cell phone technology also can be used to record a class for students who are ill and unable to join a class remotely. 

If you have any questions, please email

The IT staff is here to help:
John Bruggeman or Shane Sampson in Cincinnati
Larry Albin or Edgar Rivera in New York
Moses Ball or Andrew Durbin in Los Angeles


John Bruggeman
Chief Technology Officer
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion


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.