Update, 20 March 2020
We continue to monitor the mandates of the Israeli Ministry of Health, and we are in communication with our students about them in order to be sure that our students are adhering to the mandates while they are in Israel. We are also monitoring travel advisories from the U.S. State Department, including their travel advisory alert issued last night which pertains largely to Americans who are doing short-term international travel. We have reminded our students that they have the option to return home and finish the semester via distance ed should they choose. All our students remain in good health, and we are continuing our classes via distance ed, as are other educational institutions in Israel.
Update, 18 March 2020
We are continuing to monitor the situation in Israel as it develops, and we are complying with all the mandates of the Ministry of Health. We are committed to continuing the spring semester program on our Mt. Zion campus, with both in-class sessions and online learning formats as appropriate. Everyone’s spirits, and health, are excellent. At the same time, we continue to look forward to our summer programs and fall semester.
A Message From The President, 13 March 2020
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, it is imperative that we respond to the crisis in ways that are healthy and responsible. I want to assure you that the team at Jerusalem University College is doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. At the same time, we are committed to continuing our academic programs without interruption.
No one in the JUC campus community shows any signs or symptoms of the coronavirus. For this, we are most thankful. We are taking all due precautions as outlined by the directives of the CDC and the Israeli Ministry of Health. Ours is a small, strong, careful and largely self-contained community. It is a supportive, caring, and safe place to be.
Many schools and educational institutions in Israel, the US, and around the world are suspending classes and/or switching to online learning formats. We are committed to continuing the spring semester program on our Mt. Zion campus, with in-class sessions as scheduled. Please be assured that while we are able to convert classes to online formats, it is not necessary to do so at this time.
We will assess our two Jordan field studies (one is April 17-20 for the Physical Settings course and the other in May 9-14 for Cultural Backgrounds) in the upcoming weeks, making appropriate adjustments as necessary.
While some of our spring and summer short-term groups have cancelled, others have not, and our May, June and July programs are largely on-track.
Enrollment for our fall 2020 semester remains strong, without any indication of cancellations, and we anticipate running our regular fall program without restrictions.
We can sense what the prophets meant when they spoke of mountains crumbling in their midst, taking their reality as a metaphor. But I am drawn more to one sentence in the book of Isaiah, 40:26, in which the prophet likens the vastness of the starry host to a flock of sheep. The language is shepherding language, leading, protecting and calling by name. Our God takes the unknowable, complex—and scary—vastness of the universe, places us who are as helpless as sheep in it, and guides both the known and the unknowable so that “not one of [us] is missing.”
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number.
He calls them all by name.
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing.
Rev. Dr. Paul Wright,
Jerusalem University College