Queer Jewish Student Retreat 2013
Come get your Queer”Ë†Jew on at Nehirim’ÂÂs Queer Jewish Student Retreat!
Join 80â€”100 LGBTQ”Ë†Jewish students, plus friends and ÂÂÂÂ allies, for a weekend of fun, learning, connection, and Judaism. The NQJSR”Ë†is directed by Ethan Sobel, Alex Kaufman, and Rachel Stein ÂÂÂâ€” all current students. It is a participatory, inclusive ÂÂÂÂ space that welcomes Super Jews, atheists,ÂÂÂÂ allies ÂÂÂâ€” and YOU. The program includes relevant workshops, inspiring services, evening activities, and plenty of chill time.ÂÂÂÂ It’s presented by Nehirim, a national LGBT Jewish community, and cosponsored by Keshet, Hillel Council of New England, and NUJLS, the National Union of Jewish LGBTQ Students.
WHEN? ÂÂÂÂ Friday to Sunday, March 1â€”3, 2013
WHO? ÂÂÂÂ We expect between 80-100 LGBTQ Jewish students, plus allies, from across the religious-ideological spectrum and with a wide variety of gender and sexual orientation identities. ÂÂÂÂ This retreat is limited to active students under the age of 30 only.
PARTICIPATE:ÂÂÂÂ Directed by volunteers, this Retreat is largely community-led and teaching opportunities are available. What would you like to teach or share?ÂÂÂÂ Email Ethan, Alex, and Rachel to get in touch.
HOW MUCH? ÂÂÂÂ Thanks to the generosity of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, the pricing for the retreat is heavily subsidized.ÂÂÂÂ In addition, financial aidÂÂÂÂ and travel grants are available for this retreat ÂÂÂâ€” click the link to apply.ÂÂÂÂ Pricing for the Student Retreat is:
Base Rate ÂÂÂâ€” $129
Discounted Rate ÂÂÂâ€” $99
Supporter Rate ÂÂÂâ€” $175 (please pay this if you can)
BU Students: You are eligible for a $20 rebate if you host a visiting student for the retreat. Please email to volunteer. We will hand you a check during the weekend.
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.
WHERE?ÂÂÂÂ The Retreat is taking place at Boston University Hillel in Boston, MA. Free housing with students will be available ÂÂÂâ€” please bring your own sleeping bag and be prepared to sleep on the floor! To offer or request a ride to the retreat, visit ourÂÂÂÂ Ride Board..
RETREAT DIRECTORS: ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ The retreat will be directed by AlexÂÂÂÂ Kaufman (Tufts ‘ÂÂ14), Rachel SteinÂÂÂÂ (GW’ÂÂ12, UMich), and Ethan Sobel”Ë†(Umass ‘ÂÂ12, BU). Contact us.
Alex Kaufman (Tufts Ã¢â‚¬â„¢14) is a junior majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Drama and Communication and Media Studies. He served on Hillel Student Programming Board as Freshmen Programming Chair when he was a freshman, and has been the Jewish and Queer Students at Tufts (JQUEST) Chair since sophomore year. He was student intern at Nehirim for Summer, 2012. Additionally, he is Vice President of TuftsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ chapter of Theta Chi, performs regularly in theatrical productions, and is an editor of the Tufts DailyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s New Media. He is extremely excited for this retreat!
Rachel Stein is a recent graduate of The George Washington University where she studied psychology and explored the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capital. In her junior year, Rachel traveled most of Israel while studying at the University of Haifa. Now you can find her in Ann Arbor as the Berman Fellow at the University of Michigan Hillel! She is excited to bring her passion for community and Jewish learning to the 2013 Nehirim Jewish Students Retreat.
Ethan Sobel recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) and is now pursuing his M.A. in Public Relations at Boston University. While at UMass, Ethan served as the co-founder of LGBT Jews, the university’s queer Jewish organization, and at BU he is the founder of JewQ, LGBTQ Jewish group on campus. Ethan is also a speaker and educator for Parents of Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG) and a Nehirim and NUJLS veteran. In his spare time, Ethan enjoys playing classical cello, healthy eating and cooking, and playing sports.
LeslÃƒÂ©a (pronounced “Lez-LEE-uh”) Newman is the author of 60 books including A Letter to Harvey Milk, Nobody’s Mother, Hachiko Waits, Write from the Heart, The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, The Best Cat in the World, and Heather Has Two Mommies. She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and three Pushcart Prize Nominations. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists. From 2008â€”2010, she served as the Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. She has taught fiction writing at Clark University and currently she is a faculty mentor at Spalding University’s brief residency MFA in Writing program.
Karla Goldman is a professor at the University of Michigan school of social work. Her research focuses on the history of American Jewish experience with special attention to the history of American Jewish communities and the evolving roles and contributions of American Jewish women. She directs the Jewish Communal Leadership Program.
Mordechai Levovitz is the Co-Executive Director and co-founder of JQY, a support and advocacy organization for LGBT Jewish youth in the Orthodox community and the LGBT Coordinator for the United Nations NGO Committee for Human Rights. Mordechai served as social worker and youth leader at the Manhattan LGBT Community Center, Youth Enrichment Service (YES) program. He grew up in a “black-hat” yeshivish rabbinic family, and has been active in creating gay Orthodox community events since 1999. He organized the historic YU (Yeshiva University) Gay Panel, the Orthodox “It Gets Better” video, as well as over 50 gay panels in the Orthodox community, and he meets regularly with Orthodox rabbis in order to educate, spread awareness and advocate for a more inclusive Orthodox Community.
Mycroft Masada Holmes
Mycroft Masada Holmes (right) is an interfaith transgender leader based in hir native Boston. Mycroft is Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political CoalitionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Interfaith Committee, in leadership at TransFaith, and a board member of Congregation Am Tikva. Mycroft is also a thin ally in the movement for fat social justice, and a writer and artist. Ze is partnered with Julia McCrossin (left), the Fat Studies scholar; they co-parent a dog, Ursula.
Joanna Ware is KeshetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Lead Organizer and Training Coordinator, employing grassroots community organizing strategies to build powerful communities of LGBTQ and allied people working for justice, equality, and the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the Jewish world. In Massachusetts, Joanna directs KeshetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s organizing in the Jewish community on behalf of gender justice and trans equality, including organizing the Jewish community in support of the successful passage of the Massachusetts Trans Equal Rights Bill in November, 2011. Nationally, she organizes and trains clergy, educators, communal professionals, and lay leaders working for LGBTQ inclusion across the Jewish world.
Bryan Mann is currently in his second semester of Rabbinical School at Hebrew College. He recently moved from Philadelphia, PA, where he graduated from Temple University with a BA in Jewish Studies. He is an active member of the Moishe Kavod and Keshet Boston communities. Outside of these communities he can be found working as a sales associate at the Microsoft Store in Boston and working as a Hebrew Tutor for Temple Sinai in Brookline.
Friday, March 1
3:00â€”5:00 Registration & Snacks
5:00 Opening Program & Shabbat Candle Lighting (Halachic Candlelighting 5:35 pm)
6:15 Friday Night Services with BU
ÂÂÂâ€” Reform (with music and instruments)
ÂÂÂâ€” Conservative (egalitarian, no instruments)
ÂÂÂâ€” Orthodox (mechitza)
ÂÂÂâ€” Alternative: Shmooze with Ethan
7:30 Shabbat Dinner!
8:45â€”9:45 Michpacha Groups
10:00 Evening Program: Sex Ed
Saturday, March 2
10:00 Shabbat Morning Services with BU
ÂÂÂâ€” Conservative (egalitarian)
ÂÂÂâ€” Orthodox (mechitza)
ÂÂÂâ€” 11:30: Meditation with Bryan Mann
ÂÂÂâ€” Chill out space
12:00 Kiddush & Shmooze
1:40â€”2:40 Afternoon Session 1
ÂÂÂâ€” Inclusion in American Judaism (Karla Goldman)
ÂÂÂâ€” How to make change in the Orthodox World (Mordechai Levovitz)
ÂÂÂâ€” Beit Midrash (Yaakov Reef)
2:50-3:50 Afternoon Session 2
ÂÂÂâ€” Organizing for Change (Joanna Ware)
ÂÂÂâ€” Trans* Activism (Mycroft Masada Holmes)
ÂÂÂâ€” Open Space: Create Your Own Groups
4:00-5:00 Mishpacha Groups
5:00â€”6:15 Break: Nap, Relax, Change for Evening Program
6:15 Havdalah & Dancing
6;45 Light Dinner
7:30 Leave for Evening Program: The Keshet Cabaret
Sunday, March 3
10:00 Brunch is served
10:30 Brunch Talk: How Can You Be a Lesbian? You’re Jewish! (LeslÃƒÂ©a Newman)
11:45 Closing Program/Reflection Time
1:00 Kon bien te ke amaneskas!
The Nehirim Student Retreat is an immersion weekend of community, spirituality, and connection for LGBTQ”Ë†Jewish students and allies. It features a full program of”Ë†Shabbat services, workshops, learning opportunities, social programs, and teachers from a diverse range of religious, gender/sexuality, and geographical backgrounds. Nehirim is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 2003, that has been nationally recognized by the Slingshot Fund as one of the fifty most innovative Jewish organizations in the country.