Nehirim East Summer Gathering
May 31-June 2, 2013
The Nehirim East Summer Gathering will bring the best of the Nehirim East retreat(now in its 9th year!) to the smaller “Gathering” style Nehirimers tell us they prefer. ÂÂÂÂ We’ll bring about 40 LGBT Jews, partners, and allies together for a heartful, fun weekend where you can…
EXPLORE your connection to Judaism with spiritedÂÂÂÂ Shabbat services, workshops, and community-led programming.
RELAX and enjoy nature and a beautiful 100-acre siteÂÂÂÂ in the Berkshires, and
CONNECT with an inclusive and diverse communityÂÂÂÂ of LGBT Jews, partners, and allies.
What’s new this year:
- Our themeÂÂÂÂ this year is “What Comes Next” — in the LGBT community, after inclusion, after marriage; on our spiritual journeys; in our lives as LGBTQ Jews. ÂÂÂÂ How can we take that “next step”?
- Less hectic model – by doing more retreats at a smaller size, we’re able to provide deeper connection.
-ÂÂÂÂ New teachers and volunteers – if you’d like to offer something, email us before May 1 at email@example.com.
- Registration Costs and Financial Aid
- Transportation and other Logistics
- Tentative Schedule
- Halachic Information
- This Year’s Teachers and Presenters
- Testimonials from Nehirim Retreat Participants
- Is Nehirim for You?
Registration Fee and Financial Aid Information
Registration Fee. To make the retreat as accessible and comfortable as possible, we have several room types available. Prices shown below are per person and include all room & board for two nights, and all your program expenses.
Single:ÂÂÂÂ $450 (economy/shared bath), $525 (standard), $625 (deluxe)
Double:ÂÂÂÂ $350 (economy/shared bath), $425 (standard), $500 (deluxe)
Dorm (triple/quad, bathroom down the hall):ÂÂÂÂ $275 normal — $200 until April 15, 2013
Child in room: $175
Financial Aid. ÂÂÂÂ 100% of Nehirim’s financial aid for retreats is participant-funded. We have created a Crowdrise fundraiser for this retreat, so you can easily donate to help people attend. Donations are 100% tax-deductible and you will receive an immediate receipt, as well as some very good karma/mitzvah points. Please consider donating if you can.
To apply for financial aid, click here. The application
takes about five minutes. ÂÂÂÂ The financial aid deadline is April 15. You will be notified by May 1.ÂÂÂÂ The amount of financial aid available depends on how much people donate.
For directions and transportation information, please visit http://www.nehirim.org/isabella-freedman-retreat-center-information. To offer or
request a ride to the retreat, visit ourÂÂÂÂ Ride Board. The retreat center is available by MetroNorth to Wassaic, and a shuttle is available for $15 (non-refundable) from theÂÂÂÂ Wassaic train station ÂÂÂâ€” please emailÂÂÂÂ info[at]nehirim.org by 5pm on Friday, May 24.ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ to reserve a spot on the shuttle. The shuttle will pick up at the train leaving Grand Central at 1:48pm and arriving Wassaic at 4:03 on Friday, May 31.ÂÂÂÂ The shuttle will drop you off in time for the 2:24pm train on Sunday, arriving Grand Central at 4:41pm.
For other pickup times or locations,ÂÂÂÂ Lakeville Taxi, 860-435-8000, is available. Please note that Lakeville Taxi is a reservation serviceÂÂÂâ€”voicemails for the purpose of reserving rides must be left before 5 pm and at least 24 hours in advance. If you plan to arrive by plane, you must either find a ride via the Ride Board or pay for a taxi through Best Cab, 860-623-0200 (around $115+gratuity). Because Hartford (Bradley) Airport is over an hour away from the retreat center, Isabella Freedman typically cannot provide a shuttle to/from the airport. We recommending coordinating flights with others and sharing a cab if possible.
The weekend lasts from 4pm on Friday until 2pm on Sunday. ÂÂÂÂ In order to maintain the community dynamic, we do ask that retreatants stay for the entire weekend. That said, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be arriving early or leaving late so we can plan ahead.
For more information, pleaseÂÂÂÂ email us at info[at]nehirim.org.
Last Year’s Schedule (for reference)
Friday, June 15
3:00â€”5:00 Arrival, snacks, registration, bookstore shopping
5:00â€”5:30 Welcome and opening program (Rabbi Joel Alter)
5:45â€”6:15 Optional mikvas (bring a towel to opening program!)
ÂÂÂâ€” Women’s mikva (Jill Hammer)
ÂÂÂâ€” Men’s mikva (Jay Michaelson)
6:15â€”6:45 Get ready for shabbat / more mikvas
ÂÂÂâ€” Pan-gender mikva (Randall Furash)
ÂÂÂâ€” Alternative to Mikva (Corey Friedlander)
7:00 Candlelighting and Shabbat services (Jill Hammer & Shoshana Jedwab) (temporal shabbat 8:12)
8:15â€”9:45 Shabbos Dinner
10:00â€”10:55 Mishpacha groups
11:00â€”12:00 Night session
ÂÂÂâ€” Tisch (Rabbi Yehuda Greenberg)
ÂÂÂâ€” 12-Step Meeting (participant-led)
Shabbat, June 16
8:00â€”9:00 Morning yoga (Rick Frank)
9:45â€”12:00 Shabbat Morning Davening (Services)
ÂÂÂâ€” Traditional davenning (Rabbi Yehuda Greenberg)
ÂÂÂâ€” Renewal services (Jill Hammer & Shoshana Jedwab)
12:15â€”1:30 Kiddush and Lunch
1:45â€”2:45 Afternoon Session 1 (choose one)
ÂÂÂâ€” Jay Michaelson, The New Testament & Homosexuality
ÂÂÂâ€” Randy Furash, Connecting with Our Bodies, Connecting with the Divine
3:00â€”4:00 Afternoon Session 2 (choose one)
ÂÂÂâ€” Michael Getty & Brian Vetruba, Jews by Choice
ÂÂÂâ€” Barbara Simonivich-Blok, Self Defense
4:15â€”5:15 Afternoon Session 3 (choose one)
ÂÂÂâ€” Traditional Mincha (until 4:45)
5:30-6:30 Afternoon Session 4 (choose one)
ÂÂÂâ€” Yoga (Rick Frank)
ÂÂÂâ€” Penina Weinberg, Full Spectrum Gender in the Bible: The Story of our Foreparent Rebecca
6:40â€”7:45 Seudah Shlishit (Dinner/Third meal)
8:00â€”9:00 Mishpacha groups
9:15â€”9:30 Traditional Maariv
9:45â€”10:15 Havdalah & Dancing (Rabbi Joel Alter)
10:30â€”11:45 Evening Program (choose one)
ÂÂÂâ€” Dream Circle (Rabbi Jill Hammer)
ÂÂÂâ€” Film: Antarctica
Sunday, June 17
9:45â€”10:45 Sunday session (choose one)
ÂÂÂâ€” Arts Workshop (Mimi Yasgur)
ÂÂÂâ€” Writing Workshop (Jonathan Vatner)
11:00â€”12:00 Closing session & final mishpacha group
ÂÂÂâ€” Bookstore will be open
ÂÂÂâ€” Tzeitchem l’shalom!
Rabbi Joel Alter lives in Boston where he serves as Rav Beit HaSefer (School Rabbi) and Assistant Head of School at JCDS, BostonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Jewish Community Day School, a K-8 pluralistic school.Ã‚Â In 1991, just as he began his rabbinical and masters studies at JTS he was coming out to himself, and so he made that journey inside the Seminary closet. Shabbat, Hebrew, hiking, and good friends eating good food are among the things that bring him joy.
Jayson Littman is the founder of He’bro, a nightlife and entertainment group that produces and promotes events for the cultural gay Jew living in New York City. Jayson’s mission is to bridge the identity of gay Jewish life in New York City. Jayson has led and organized LGBT Taglit-Birthright trips and is a founding steering committee member of Out@JNF, the LGBT networking group at the Jewish National Fund. A public speaker and writer on gay Jewish topics, Jayson currently writes for the Huffington Post and Heeb on topics pertaining to the gay Jewish community.
Rabbi Jacob Staub, Ph.D.
Jacob J. Staub, Ph.D., was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1977 and has been on the faculty since 1983 (including 15 years as academic dean). Today, he serves as chair of the Department of Medieval Jewish Civilization, professor of Jewish philosophy and spirituality and director of the Jewish Spiritual Direction Program, which he was instrumental in developing. Spiritual direction is a contemplative practice that helps individuals discern GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presence in their lives.
StaubÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own spiritual quest led him to complete certification in mindfulness leadership training with Sylvia Boorstein, a widely respected teacher of mindfulness meditation. He teaches meditation and spirituality at RRC and has taught Jewish spiritual direction across North America, and served in 2008 as the Conference Spiritual Director for Spiritual Directors International.
Staub is the co-author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach and the author of The Creation of the World According to Gersonides. He has published over 100 articles on contemporary Jewish life and thought, queering Judaism, and medieval Jewish civilization. He is also a published poet.
Bronwen Mullin is a playwright, composer and rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She holds from Sarah Lawrence College in Theater and Religious Studies and was an Arts Fellow in musical theater composition at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. Bronwen’s work employs a reverent yet often haunting exegetical entrance into the world of Jewish text. Bronwen is the co-founder of MetaPhys Ed, a multi-disciplinary performance based collaborative which asserts and exercises the inseparable relationship between spirituality and human creativity.
Still have questions? Please feel free to email us.
Photos from past Nehirim East retreats: