The health and well-being of our students is of primary importance at Migdal. The current coronavirus pandemic has presented unique challenges to the gap year yeshiva experience. Led by experts in the medical field, Migdal is developing protocols to adhere to throughout the year, as well as putting in place appropriate responses to any resurgence of coronavirus. Please check here for updates.
Last updated May 25, 2020 8:30AM Israel Daylight Time
May 17, 2020 10:00PM - With conditions in Israel continually improving, we have begun expanding our daily in-person learning schedule. We have included night seder, dining options in the building, and will begin davening together again. We hope to continue our return to a normal daily schedule.
May 3, 2020 7:00AM - As of Sunday May 3, 2020 we have officially returned to the beit midrash for in person shiurim. Shiurim are operating in a limited capacity as we start the return to normalcy. We have resumed morning and afternoon seder in the beit midrash. We are following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health by maintaining social distancing between all in the beit midrash. Temperature checks are conducted prior to each seder, with students being required to wear masks while walking to the building.
Migdal HaTorah 2020-2021 Academic Year Updates
Last updated May 5, 2020 7:00AM Israel Daylight Time
Will students be able to enter Israel this coming fall?
Israel has currently closed its borders to all non-Israelis. Israeli citizens who return to Israel must enter into quarantine. As the situation here stabilizes, we anticipate a change in this restriction and the allowance for students to enter Israel, and are confident the borders will be open.
Will the students be able to come to the yeshiva upon arrival?
Our hope is that quarantine requirements will be lifted in the coming months, prior to the students’ arrival. However, there is the possibility that quarantine will still be required. Currently, hotels are being used to quarantine Israelis returning from overseas. It is unlikely that this would be the case for incoming students. As such, quarantining arrangements would need to be in place for the students arriving.
What arrangements are you making for quarantining?
Ideally, students will spend their quarantine period with relatives or friends who can accommodate them. If this is not possible, the yeshiva will arrange for a quarantine apartment to house students. Since, according to the guidelines, residents of each apartment would be considered its own “family unit” we would be able to small groups to quarantine together. Students will be assisted by the madrichim, av bayit, and faculty to be sure all their needs are being met. All necessary supplies for quarantining will be in place prior to the arrival of students.
Is it safe for my son to come to Israel?
Israel has done a remarkable job in their handling of the current crisis, and the numbers reflect this. For anyone without pre-existing medical conditions, there is no reason to assume coming to Israel would be in any way a concern. We have a robust health insurance plan, which will include telemedicine options as well. If someone does have pre-existing medical conditions, we ask that the doctor treating the student sign a form of medical clearance, and provide for any additional precautions that might be required.
Will mental health counseling be available?
The prospect of quarantining, social distancing and restricted movement can be very stressful for a student. We will provide mental health counseling options as needed. If a student is currently undergoing any type of mental health therapy, or has in the recent past, it is imperative we know prior to their arrival.
What about social distancing?
We anticipate social distancing protocols will still be in place at the time yeshiva begins. This means students will need to maintain distance from their various rebbeim, as well as wearing masks much of the time. It is imperative that the rules be followed.
What supplies will be in place?
Every apartment will have substantial amounts of hand sanitizers and soaps, along with wipes and other cleaning supplies. We ask that students bring an ample supply of masks and gloves with them but will provide as needed.
How will we educate the students regarding health policies?
We will dedicate a section of orientation to reviewing all our updated health policies. This will include a review of social distancing, communication regarding any illness, and all other government health policies.
What will Shabbatot be like? Will there be tiyulim? What about bein hazemanim?
Shabbat, tiyulim, and bein hazemanim are all an important part of the year in Israel experience. If there is no resurgence of the virus, then we anticipate our normal schedule. However, if we are still required to take precautions, then Shabbatot will be limited to the local campus of the yeshiva. Rebbeim will be able to visit and spend Shabbat with students. Tiyulim will depend on the current government policies. It is likely outdoor tiyulim will be easier to attend. We will have plenty of alternate programming available if the need arises. As well, if there is a return of the virus, we will not allow students to travel outside Modi'in during bein hazemanim. However, we will have continued programming during that period of time.
The health and well-being of each and every student is our number one priority. Abiding by the protocols set out by the yeshiva is of the utmost importance. Each student needs to understand that the health of the whole student body is a shared responsibility. Violating the protocols will jeopardize the ability of the student to remain in the yeshiva. We fully anticipate that the guidelines that we have set forth here and continue to develop will allow your son to flourish, grow and enjoy his year in Israel with us.
May 6, 2020 8:00PM - Dr. Steven Eagle, medical director of AIM, came on a site visit to Migdal today. As most of our students have remained in yeshiva throughout the crisis, we have a considerable amount of experience with what is necessary to both ensure a safe environment while offering a great learning experience. Dr. Eagle was very impressed with how Migdal has handled things to date, as well as with our planning for the next year. The setup of the Beit Midrash, along with the various apartments, lend themselves to handling any resurgence of the virus. He will be drafting a letter for our 5781 parents in the coming days.
Israel has decided to allow current 5780 students overseas to return to their respective programs in Israel, provided that quarantining is done as per the guidelines here. This is a positive first step in opening the borders to next year's students. In another important development, MASA has cleared our students here to use public transportation and visit other people throughout the country.