JLD@Home: Jewish Life at Duke is Here For You, Wherever You Are

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Dear JLD Family,

As we all work to understand and move through the unprecedented change surrounding COVID-19, please know that we are here for our students and the entire Duke Jewish community. I recognize that the uncertainties surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19 extend beyond campus, and that many of you are also facing new realities back at home. 

As you are likely aware, all of Duke’s on-campus programs and events planned through May 7 have been impacted. See the listing below this email of Jewish Life at Duke programs and events that have been cancelled, postponed, or that will become virtual. As we are navigating this “new normal” together, we will share updates to programs and events with you as soon as we have details confirmed.

In this time of transition, I want to assure you that Jewish Life at Duke remains a constant for our students. From first-years to graduate students, coping with change and facing a new normal is a shared reality. Our team at Jewish Life at Duke is doubling down on our commitment to support Duke’s Jewish students over the next few months, no matter where they are, and to provide opportunities to build meaningful relationships and deep connections to Judaism. 

Right now, our team is hard at work innovating and striving to increase our availability through daily connection by phone, email, Instagram, Facebook Live and online via Zoom. We are gearing up to create interactive and creative programs to engage with and provide comfort and care for our students.  

As we continue to strive to be our students' home away from home, we are especially proud to introduce JLD@Home to provide virtual programming and new opportunities for connection and healing. Students should install the Zoom app for easy access to JLD@Home activities. Here's a glimpse of what's ahead:

Daily Hang with JLD@Home  

Monday-Thursday at 4:00 pm (EST): A time for students to pop in and visit with JLD staff members to chat, play games or have discussions. Our staff members will rotate with a topic of conversation, structured activity, or just a chance to hang out. This week: podcast recommendations, bracketology, talking movies, and game time with Rabbi Elana, Joyce, Ethan, Reuven!

Shabbat with JLD@Home 

Fridays at 5:00 pm (EST): A virtual Shabbat experience, including songs from our Shabbat Shira (song session), continuing the beloved tradition of sharing each person’s “good thing of the week,” and engaging in Shabbat prayer and intentions for healing. A great way to enter Shabbat wherever students are. You are always welcome to join us!

Torah Lunch Club 

Wednesdays at 1:00 pm (EST), starting March 25:  Each week, study a Torah teaching with Rabbi Elana over lunch (B.Y.O.Lunch). Topics range from the weekly Torah portion to upcoming holidays and classic stories. No experience is necessary and all are welcome.

Virtual Coffee Conversations  

Ongoing: Taking the heart of our individualized engagement online! Students are scheduling one-on-one coffee conversations via Zoom with Rabbi Elana, Ethan Helfand, Reuven Remez, and me.

Finally, we’re excited to dive in to Hillel@Home, a wholly unique global online platform from Hillel International for students to learn and connect. Hillel@Home offers virtual ways to join discussions with world-renowned thought leaders and speakers, including Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Obama administration speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz, Comedy Central executive Tara Schuster, six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire and many more.

Although the next few months may be a challenging time for our JLD community, know that our team is here to support you.  

For the most up-to-date information on Duke's response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, visit: https://coronavirus.duke.edu/. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for JLD@Home programming and updates.

With gratitude for all the ways you continue to support and partner with us,

Joyce Gordon  
Director, Jewish Life at Duke 


April 8 & 9: First and Second Night Passover Seders


March 17: An Evening with Carly Pildis
March 24: Rudnick Lecture Presents Bari Weiss
March 27-28: Freeman Center for Jewish Life 20th Anniversary Celebration

April 17-19: Duke Reunion Weekend

April 19-20: Coalition for Preserving Memory
24-hour name reading of genocide victims