Faculty: Preparations for Remote Teaching and Learning - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Skip to main content

Faculty: Preparations for Remote Teaching and Learning

Main Content
Monday, March 9, 2020

To: HUC-JIR Faculty
From: Provost Andrea Weiss
Re: Preparations for Remote Teaching and Learning
Date: March 9, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As the coronavirus situation continues to unfold, the HUC-JIR senior leadership is monitoring the situation closely and taking recommended precautions to keep our students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible.

1. Remote Teaching Contingency Plans: To prepare for the possibility of a campus closure or other need for widespread remote teaching, John Bruggeman has assigned every physical classroom a Zoom number. In the event that we need to execute this contingency plan, each class will meet at its appointed day and time using a designated Zoom link. For now, we will follow our current protocols (see below).

2. Training for HUC-JIR Teaching on Zoom: To make sure that our faculty are prepared to teach remotely, Lesley Litman and Kathy Feller are preparing two Zoom training sessions. Drawing upon years of expertise gained through the EMA program, these sessions will offer tips for effective teaching on Zoom. The sessions will be recorded and made available on Sakai, and written tips will be shared with all faculty members. Here are the links to join the training sessions (also see the Zoom information provided below):

Zoom has created resources to help education customers leverage Zoom in a virtual learning environment. Here are a few links that might be helpful:

3. Help with Zoom and Sakai: If you are not comfortable with the basics of Zoom or Sakai, please contact desupport@huc.edu to set up a brief one-on-one tutorial with your local IT support staff: John Bruggeman or Shane Sampson in Cincinnati, Larry Albin or Edgar Rivera in New York, and Moses Ball or Andrew Durbin in Los Angeles. These tutorial sessions can be conducted in person or remotely. We want to make sure every faculty member is as prepared as possible in case illness or campus closure necessitates remote teaching.

4. Taking Precautions: Remote Teaching Protocol: As we track this rapidly evolving situation, we continue to follow CDC guidelines and the recommendations of our partner and proximate institutions and local communities. If you are sick or feel vulnerable, please take all necessary precautions and utilize the protocols we have in place for teaching remotely. 

If you are unable to come to campus but are able to teach from home, you can request a zoom connection by clicking on this link and filling out the videoconference request form. In order to enable the IT team to make the necessary arrangements on campus, we ask that you make this request at least 24 hours before your class.

If students are unable to come to campus but still able to join the class remotely, they should first notify the instructor; then the instructor click on this link and fill out the videoconference request form. If there is not sufficient time to set up a Zoom call, students who have received the instructor’s permission 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. Classes taught by Zoom will be automatically recorded so that students can access the material afterward, in the event that they are unable to participate in the class in real time. 

Please take care of yourself—physically and emotionally—as we navigate this unprecedented situation. We want to make it as easy as possible for teaching and learning at the College-Institute to continue even if faculty or students are unable to come to campus. Please be in touch with me, your dean, or your program director with any questions or concerns. We will keep everyone notified frequently through email and the HUC-JIR COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness webpage.  


Zoom Training Session: Friday March 13, 12:00 pm ET / 9 am PT
Meeting ID: 603 991 335
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,603991335# US (New York)
+16699006833,,603991335# US (San Jose)

Zoom Training Session: Sunday March 15, 4:00 pm Jer
Meeting ID: 463 503 713
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,463503713# US (New York)
+16699006833,,463503713# US (San Jose)



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. www.huc.edu