NHC Online Community Norms

This is our first time holding an online Summer Institute, and we want to make this a teaching and learning experience that is as connected, engaging, inclusive, and enjoyable as possible. 


In addition to the NHC Community Safety Policy, which still applies, here are some community norms specifically for an online gathering:


  • Help us connect with each other across the distance by minimizing distractions and being fully present to the extent you are able. 
  • Some sounds, intonation, facial expressions, and body language are lost over the internet. Assume good intentions, be clear, and ask for clarification.
  • Be patient! Not all participants have the same level of familiarity with the technology we are using. If you’d like to familiarize yourself with the platforms we’re using this year, check out these NHC reference pages:
  • Audio Norms
    • We want everyone to experience what is offered and have a chance to participate!
    • Please keep yourself on mute when it’s not your turn to share.
    • Each activity will begin with an announcement from the facilitator about community participation (whether participants are encouraged to unmute anytime to ask questions, type questions in the chat, hold until a designated time, etc).
    • Online platforms do not do a good job transmitting multiple people talking at once, and there is a lag in transmission. Please allow for longer pauses between speakers than you are used to during in-person conversation. 
  • Chat Boxes
    • Please follow guidance from the program facilitator on the use of the chatbox.
    • Private chats on Zoom are the equivalent of whispering to someone in the classroom/shul. For some people, this is an important way to engage and for others it can be distracting. Please be mindful about how and when you use chat. Be aware that some people may choose not to look at the chat window, particularly in prayer settings.
    • Please be similarly mindful about the use of public chats. Use the public chat to enhance the scheduled program rather than carry on side conversations.
  • Staying Social
    • Please use the open socializing time and Slack spaces to reach out and socialize with friends, new and old!
    • Be open to new ways of communicating! Feel free to put your phone number or email address in your profile on the Sched site so friends new and old can reach out! For security and privacy, only people registered for the Institute can see the information shared on Sched. 
  • Please advocate for yourself if you have needs that are not being met. Consider when and how best to communicate to the facilitator– for example, ahead of time for needs that you can anticipate, or via private chat during the session if something arises in the moment. 
  • Communications and confidentiality: Please check before sharing class/workshop content that may be sensitive, and speak up to request confidentiality if you feel it is needed.
  • If you have concerns about activities or behavior that make a community member uncomfortable or may violate community standards, please reach out to communitycouncil@havurah.org.

Centering Jews of Color at the NHC Summer Institute

We are a diverse community that strives for accessibility and welcome for all. This is a Jewish space that welcomes all Jews and our partners, families, friends, and fellow travelers.

Assume everyone is Jewish until they tell you otherwise, and please do not “test” or inquire about other community members’ Jewish status, conversion history, or family background unless they initiate or invite that conversation, as these are often very personal and sensitive matters. It is also important not to expect individuals to be spokespeople for their communities.

Many times in the past, community members who are Jews of Color have faced intrusive and invalidating questions about their presence and identity. While the white Jews who asked these questions may have intended them as friendly conversation, or been simply curious, these words often come across as hurtful, biased, ignorant, or dismissive. 

The NHC is working toward teshuvah (repair and apology) for past incidents of harm, and on better recruitment and support of Jews of Color in the NHC community. For more information, reach out to Rebecca Ennen on Slack or via the NHC office (office@havurah.org).


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