Can we cancel an upcoming program? What if I feel uncomfortable having people over? 

  • First and foremost, it’s important that you feel empowered to make decisions about what happens in your own home. If you feel comfortable gathering people in your home then please continue to host programs as usual. If you and/or your roommates do not feel comfortable gathering people in your home then yes, you can cancel a program. We do not want to pressure you to create programs during this time. Please be in contact with your Community Manager to discuss how to cancel a program. 
      • See below for language you can use to inform your community about a canceled program.
      • MHWOW hosts can leave canceled programs in the Mintranet; you do not need to delete them. 

Can we cancel programs for the next month?

  • For now, because the situation is constantly changing, we ask that you evaluate each program individually. 5-7 days before a program please consider if you are comfortable hosting that program and discuss with your Community Manager what you’d like to do. 

If we cancel a program do we have to do an extra program in another month? 

  • No. We do not expect you to create extra programming later in the year because you had to cancel a program due to this situation. 

How should we plan for April? 

  • Please plan for April as if it’s any normal month. This way your community can see that you’re intending to host programs. It’s easier to create the program calendar and then make choices as the program gets nearer than not having the programs at all and then trying to create new ones last minute.

Can we host virtual programs?

  • Yes! There are lots of great virtual program ideas created by other residents in this Google Doc
  • And this thread in the Moishe House Residents Facebook Group

What should I do if my roommates and I disagree on continuing with a program or canceling a program? 

  • Creating consensus on hosting programs can be a difficult decision. We ask that you respect each other’s’ opinions and choose the option that makes you and your community feel the safest and most cared for. If you decide to cancel a program that is okay. We want you to feel supported in your decisions and we do not want you to host programs if you do not feel it’s the right thing to do for yourselves or your community. 

How do you tell people they can’t come if we’ve already hit the cap that we are putting on a program?

  • Be kind, honest, and transparent. First, in your program description please let people know that the program is intended for X number of participants and the first X number that RSVP in the Facebook event, via text or WhatsApp, or email (or however you collect RSVPs) secure their space. Second, once your RSVP list is full please respond to those who have RSVP’d after the cap with a message like: “Thank you for your interest in attending our program. Unfortunately, the RSVP list is full. I’m happy to message you if someone lets us know they’re not attending because we’d love to have you there if possible. Thanks for understanding! Please let us know if you have any questions.” 

How should we tell people we’re canceling or capping a program without creating more panic? 

  • Canceling a program DRAFT LANGUAGE:

Hello Moishe friends,

We regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel our XX program that was scheduled for X date. We are working closely with Moishe House staff and consulting the CDC and WHO for up to date health information and it is with an abundance of caution we feel this is the best decision at the moment. We will keep you posted about future programs for the month.

 

  • Capping a program DRAFT LANGUAGE

Hello Moishe friends,

We know there is a lot of information and concern about COVID-19 and coronavirus at the moment in our community. In consultation with Moishe House and after reading recommendations from local health officials, the CDC, and WHO, we have decided to cap our program to XX people. We feel this is the most responsible thing to do for health and safety reasons. If you are interested in attending the program, it will be on a first come first served basis and we ask that you… [email us, show up at the designated time, fill out this form, etc.] We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to see you all soon! Thank you!

Questions About Funding

Will Moishe House still provide rent subsidy if we cancel a program or multiple programs? Will we receive rent subsidy if we don’t get to the minimum of programs per month or quarter?

  • Moishe House is committed to supporting you with rent subsidy even if you have to cancel programs and regardless of if you are hosting your minimum amount of programs per month. We are not concerned about the number of programs you are creating right now. 

Can we spend House Budget on cleaning supplies or services even if we’re having less programs this month?

  • Every house has a $300 USD House Cleaning budget per year that you can use for cleaning supplies or cleaning services. Now is the time to use this budget! 

Virtual Programs Reimbursement

What will Moishe House reimburse for if you host a virtual program? Please check out below for both residents and hosts.

Remember to track the number of people (for houses) and email addresses and names (for hosts) as well as include three photos. Photos of the zoom call will count for program photos.

Mintranet: Please upload with VIRTUAL at the beginning of the program name in all caps. 

Houses

  • Much of the policy is the same with virtual programs: your monthly program budget remains the same and how you choose to allocate is up to you
  • All reimbursable purchases must be made by Moishe House residents
    • Community members cannot purchase supplies and get reimbursed by residents or Moishe House
  • Food purchases:
    • Food can be purchased for residents or community members as long as it is directly related to a Jewish ritual that is part of the virtual program (e.g. Challah for Shabbat, matzah for Pesach)
    • These items must be purchased by the resident
    • These items can only be delivered to community members through a service/third-party delivery and cannot be delivered directly by a resident
  • If you have an item that is nonperishable over $15, please chat with your CM first 
  • Cleaning supplies and household supplies (up to 10% of the monthly house budget) 
  • Zoom Pro monthly subscription up to $15 per month until further notice

Moishe House Without Walls

Select Hosts – Reimbursable:

  • $50 per program
  • All reimbursable purchases must be made by MHWOW hosts
    • Community members cannot purchase supplies and get reimbursed by hosts or Moishe House
  • Paying an educator or songleader to facilitate 
  • Resources from other organizations 
  • Paid Zoom account

NOT Reimbursable:

  • Cleaning supplies  
  • Supplies or goods sent to community members

If you have questions, please reach out to MHWOW staff at withoutwalls@moishehouse.org  

Questions About Health and Safety

Can we post to our Facebook page/Instagram/Whatsapp group that we are being cautious and ensuring a clean home for programming?

  • Yes! Check out this great message from Moishe House New York City – Williamsburg:

“Hey MoHoBurg Community!

Ahead of our near-future events, we want to be diligent in our efforts about health and safety.

If you feel sick at all, please refrain from attending events, especially at those with food and/or that are in close quarters. In an effort to maintain good hygiene at our home, there will be plenty of soap and water to go around along with hand sanitizer.

For events with food, we will take extra precautions for protection (such as rubber gloves and disposables).

We believe that community is a powerful antidote to fear, and we want to ensure that we are creating a safe and healthy environment for everyone.

We are grateful to be able to host you!

xo,

MoHoBurg”

    • Great things to include: Have folks stay home if they feel ill or have been exposed; ask folks to wash their hands when they come in and when they leave; provide soap and paper towels for this purpose; consider changing events that have community members preparing food; outline what measures residents are taking when they prepare food at events; be sure to have serving utensils available so people are not taking food with their hands or have the residents serve food themselves to lower the number of people touching food.

How do we best make sure to serve food at our events if we are having Shabbat?

  • If you’re serving food at a program, here are some suggestions to lower the risk of contamination:
    • You and your roommates can serve food so your community members don’t have to touch anything. You could do this by serving from the buffet or even by serving everything on individual plates from your kitchen!
    • Serve individual portions, like smoothies in compostable cups.
    • Make sure everyone washes their hands and/or uses hand-sanitizer before getting food. 
    • Have extra disposable serving utensils available on any buffet table so community members are not tempted to use their hands.
    • Be sure to disinfect all surfaces before and after serving the food.

What happens when a resident is quarantined at home?

  • If a resident is in quarantine at home, either because they feel ill or were exposed to someone with the virus, programs at the house should be canceled and the resident should not attend programs outside the house.

What happens if all of us are exposed or could have been exposed if there was a person recently at a large scale event that tested positive? Do we cancel events?

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention symptoms may appear within 2-14 days from exposure. If you were potentially exposed and are experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath), please contact your doctor, self-quarantine, and let your community manager know you will be pausing in-house programs for the time being. If you are not experiencing symptoms, but are worried that you may become sick because of exposure please discuss with your roommates 
  • If you have traveled to another country in the last two weeks where the virus has been pervasive (e.g. China, Italy, Iran, South Korea), we encourage you to cancel programs and evaluate your own health for a couple of weeks before resuming programming. See the CDC recommendations HERE.

What if we have COVID-19 and don’t know we have it and we expose it to other people at programs?

  • It’s important for you to control only what you can control. In this case, if you feel sick, the CDC (and Moishe House) recommends you stay home and do not host programs at your house. If you have been exposed to others, we also recommend you stay home and do not host programs at your house for 2-14 days, when symptoms appear. If you do not have symptoms and do not have reason to believe you’ve been exposed and feel comfortable hosting programs, we recommend you do so and continue washing your hands regularly, disinfecting surfaces, and other recommendations to prevent illness as outlined by the CDC and WHO. 

Questions About How Moishe House Is Handling the Situation

Where is MH getting its information?

  • Moishe House, led by David Cygielman, CEO, and Ann Baumgarten, Chief Human Resources Officer, is closely monitoring the situation by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the actions and recommendations of specific countries and cities where we have Moishe Houses, retreats, and MHWOW hosts. 

General Questions About Coronavirus

What does it mean when my state declares a state of emergency? Should I be alarmed?

  • In the United States, a “state of emergency” allows local government officials to take actions that are normally regulated and take time or multiple levels of approval. For example, in California, the Governor temporarily changed regulations to make it easier for out-of-state doctors and nurses to provide assistance in the state. Check out this article for more information.

Questions About Virtual Programming

  • What if I don’t want to host a virtual program and instead want to host an in-person gathering? Can I do that? 
    • Until further notice, we do not want to host in-person gatherings. If you do feel that it is important and okay in your city, please be in touch with your Community Manager before hosting. 
  • What if I don’t want to host any gatherings, virtual or otherwise? 
    • That’s ok! We will let you know as soon as it is safe and healthy to begin hosting again. 
  • Will our rent subsidy be the same?
    • Yes, this will not impact your rent subsidy 
  • How will programming budget work?
    • If there are costs to your virtual programming, we will still make the program budgets available. 
  • How many virtual programs should we host? 
    • As many or as few as you like!
  • How should we host those virtual programs? 
    • We recommend that you use Zoom for a program under 40 minutes or google hangouts for a longer program. Both are free! Zoom Pro is $15 per month. You can purchase a Zoom Pro subscription as part of your monthly program budget! 
  • How do we mark those virtual programs in the Mintranet? 
    • The same way you do all other programs. 
  • What are some ideas for virtual programs? 
    1. Check out this program ideas LIST from BBYO
    2. Check out this LIST created by MH Residents
    3. Program spotlights: Moishe House Toronto set up their computer at the Shabbat table and community members called in. Moishe House Williamsburg hosted a virtual Havdalah event with over 60 people! Moishe House Cleveland hosted a virtual Torah on Tap with a local Rabbi.