Another scene from the “new normal”: Yehoshua Misgav (right) of Mercaz Shapira, a fourth-year student at the Robert M. Beren Machanaim Hesder Yeshiva, continues his Talmud chevruta with first-year student Eitam Pechter of Haifa – through protective plastic sheeting.
With the relaxing of the Ministry of Health guidelines, students were allowed to return to campus under stringent regulations including maintaining good hygiene, continual sterilization, social distancing, and mask-wearing in common areas. “Approximately 85% of the student body has returned so far,” reports yeshiva administrator Rabbi Nadav Nizri. “One of the conditions, of course, is that they must stay at the yeshiva; they cannot go home for weekends or other visits.”
Another Ministry of Health regulation requires the separation into “capsules” – small groups of students who learn together on a regular basis. “Yehoshua and Eitam, pictured here, are not in the same capsule,” explained Nizri. “But they continue to meet for their daily chevrtua, undeterred.”