Camp Nehirim for Nice Jewish Boys & Their Friends
Camp Nehirim is back!
August 21-25, 2013
It’s the gayest Jewish summer camp ever!ÂÂÂÂ Now in its fourth year, the Nehirim Summer Camp is five days of swimming, hiking, volleyball, river tubing, campfires, hot tubbing, cookouts, delicious food, inspiring workshops, and that special Nehirim ruach (spirit) of community and spirituality. Imagine the best of Jewish summer campâ€¦ but everyone’s gay!
Leadership this summer includes first-time camper Rabbi Jason Klein, returning music maven Jonathan Comisar, Judeo-GoGo specialist Zachary Wager Scholl, and communications teacher and Esprit de Camp Extraordinaire Harvey Perle. Mishpachah Groups will be directed by Corey Friedlander, making sure that everyone feels connected and included in the camp experience.
Once again the summer camp program takes place at the Easton Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York. Easton has a swimming pool, miles of hiking trails, sauna, hot tub, a gorgeous lakeside setting, and hotel-style accommodations. (Sure, it’s summer camp, but we’re not going to stay in bunks!) Camp Nehirim is a little “lighter” than the average Nehirim retreat ÂÂÂâ€” we’ll still be building warm & supportive community with one another, but we’ll have fewer workshops and more time outside, a little less organized spiritual practice and a little more sports, swimming, and free time. Bring a siddur. Bring a frisbee. The program runs from Wednesday afternoon through Sunday afternoon.
The 2013 Schedule will be posted in a few weeks.
Here is the 2012 Schedule (for reference)
3:00â€”4:30 Arrival and registration
5:00â€”6:00 Opening Program & Orientation
7:30â€”8:45 Opening Pow-Wow & Intros from Teachers
8:45â€”10:00 Evening Activity: Zimriyah
10:00â€”12:00 Games, Hot Tub, Sauna
8:00â€”9:00 Early Morning Session
ÂÂÂâ€” 12-Step Meeting
10:15â€”11:15 Jesus, Mary, and Akiva ben Joseph: Christians and Jews Sparring in Fourth Century Babylonia and How It Affects the Current Debate on Gay Marriage
11:30â€”12:45 Morning Session
ÂÂÂâ€” Music Project: “The Sounds of Kabbalah”
ÂÂÂâ€” Art Project
ÂÂÂâ€” The Great Look DownwardsÂÂÂâ€”Talking about circumcision and brit milah
2:00â€”5:00 Tubing down the Battenkill River
2:30â€”3:30 Theater Project
3:45â€”5:00 Fabulous Fringes! Tzitzit Tying for Gay Men
5:15â€”6:15 Heart Circles
6:30â€”8:00 Barbecue Dinner
8:15â€”9:30 Judeo Go-Go Dance
10:00â€”11:00 Games, Hot Tub, Sauna
10:15â€”11:15 Morning Session 1
ÂÂÂâ€” Queer Jews from the North: Jewish gay themes in contemporary Canadian literature
ÂÂÂâ€” Art Project
11:30â€”12:30ÂÂÂÂ Morning Session 2
ÂÂÂâ€” Brodsky Class #2: Talmud & Yoga
ÂÂÂâ€” Challah Baking Part 1
2:00â€”3:30 Afternoon Session
ÂÂÂâ€” Introduction to the Throught of Harry Hay
ÂÂÂâ€” Challah Baking Part 2
3:30â€”5:00 Shabbat Music Learning
3:30â€”4:15 How and Why to Meditate
4:00â€”5:00 Registration and settling for new arrivals
5:00â€”6:00ÂÂÂÂ Pow Wow/Welcoming New Participants
7:00â€”8:00 Kabbalat Shabbat
9:30â€”10:30 Evening Session
10:30â€”11:30 Games, Hot Tub, Sauna
8:00â€”9:00 Early Morning Session
ÂÂÂâ€” 12-Step Meeting
10:00â€”12:00 Shabbat Services
2:00â€”3:00 Afternoon Session
ÂÂÂâ€” Discussion of Building a Movement of Allies to Jews within LGBTQ (etc.) Communities
ÂÂÂâ€” Nature Walk/Birding
5:00â€”6:00 Heart Circles
7:15â€”8:30 Performance Playshops
ÂÂÂâ€” Drag/Lip Sync
8:30â€”9:15 Performance Playhouse
9:30â€”? Disco Madness
10:15â€”11:15 Judeo-Christian Queerness
11:30â€”12:30 Closing Session & Heart Circle
David Dunn Bauer
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer is the Director of West Coast Programming for Nehirim and brings to his work over 20 years of professional theater experience, nine years in the congregational rabbinate, and 20 years of yoga practice, as well as academic study on sexuality and spirituality. David earned his B.A. in Theatre Studies and English Literature at Yale University, studied Talmud at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and received his rabbinical ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. In 2011, he became the first Jew to earn the Certificate in Sexuality and Religion from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, writing on “Blessings for the Erotic Body” and Jewish Queer Sexual Ethics. David interned at CBST in New York and from 2003 to 2010 served as the rabbi of the Jewish Community of Amherst, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Based now in San Francisco, he has a private practice in Queer Spiritual Counseling.
2012 Faculty (for reference)
David Brodsky is currently a visiting scholar at New York University. He was previously co-chair of the department of Rabbinic Civilization at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He teaches courses in rabbinic literature and Second Temple Judaism. David received his BA in Classics from Wesleyan University, and his MA and PhD from New York University in Jewish Studies. He has studied in several yeshivot in Israel and the US, including Yeshivat Or Etzion and the Telshe Yeshiva. In addition to his rabbinics training, David has been practicing yoga for twelve years, and he has studied kabbalah with Prof. Elliot Wolfson. David’s research and publications focus on situating the Babylonian Talmud in its Christian Syriac, Zoroastrian Persian, and Greco-Roman contexts.
Neil Manel Frau Cortes
Neil Manel Frau-Cortes is a hazzan and teacher who currently serves as a cantor in Mechanicsburg, PA. He has experience as a service leader, Jewish educator and performer, with an emphasis in Jewish spirituality, meditation, and mysticism. In addition to liturgical Jewish music, he has composed music for theater and for short films and has received several composition awards. He has earned a PhD in Medieval Hebrew Literature from the University of Girona and an masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in Jewish Music from Gratz College, and has studied classical piano, composition, and jazz arrangement.
Ricky Riot is a musician and an educator. He first came to Nehirim through his band Schmekel, which performed at a Nehirim Shabbaton in New York City. Schmekel is an all-transgender, all-Jewish schtick-rock band. They performed at universities around the East Coast as well as clubs and house parties in New York City, and were featured in the New York Times, the Jewish Daily Forward, and numerous blogs. In his more family-friendly life, Ricky teaches at after-school programs, summer camps, and piano lessons. Ricky just spent a wonderful summer as a camp counselor at a Jewish sleepaway camp called Eden Village, where he worked with an intentional community to inspire environmental and social justice, and connection to nature and the Universe. He is passionate about Jewish spirituality and envisioning a world in which everyone loves each other. Ricky was born in Israel, grew up in New Jersey, studied music composition and production at SUNY Purchase, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Aside from music, Ricky enjoys dancing, Torah, and the outdoors.
Zachary Wager Scholl is a queer artist, dancer, performer, and community organizer with a degree in theater and performance from LaGuardia Community College. Theatrics include: The Artist is Absent; JFREJ/WorkmenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Circle Purimshpil; Between Two Worlds: Who Loved You Before You Were Mine; Boys in the Band; Angels in America; and a slew of others. Zachary also performs with Rude Mechanical OrchestraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Tactical Spectacle dance/extravaganza crew and is an active member of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
Plus these fabulous Easton Mountain community members:
Tim Cooley thought early in his life he might become a priest. Five years of Carmelite seminary convinced him otherwise. When massage entered his life, he connected with a vocation that suited him beautifully. He has continued to explore the wonder of body/mind/spirit connection as a licensed massage therapist for over twenty years.Ã‚Â Yoga has been an integral part of his whole adult life. Eventually he completed yoga teacher training (Interdisciplinary Yoga, as developed by Don and Amba Stapleton), motivated mainly by a desire to deepen his own practice. Soon afterward, he was given the opportunity to teach yoga and has continued to do so ever since. He feels totally blessed to be able to share his yoga, massage, and life at Easton Mountain Retreat, a place he literally fell in love with at first sight.
Hunter Reynolds is a visual artist, working with performance, sculpture, and photography. He developed a persona of his alter ego, Patina du Prey, to confront homophobia in the arts. HunterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gallerist, Mary Goldman, writes of his work: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Patina exists as a mythical figure defined by both male and female signifiers. She deliberately includes ReynoldsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬ËœmalenessÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ with her lack of both false breasts and wigs. Drawing on this disruption of gender icons, Patina relates to his/her audience as a shamanistic, transgendered embodiment of fantasy and healing.
Wil Fisher, a.k.a. Sylvia London, is a New York based performer, writer, and musician. Wil was recently one of the organizers of Easton Mountain’s “Out in the Woods” queer music festival.
- The Easton Mountain kitchen is not kosher. We will enjoy vegetarian food most of the time, and a strictly kosher meat barbecue for one meal.
- Our current plan is to offer one set of services in Recon/Renewal style. Please see our halachic information page for more detail about Nehirim’s halachic practice.
- Easton Mountain does not have an eruv, but if there is sufficient interest, we’ll have an eruv-building party on Friday morning.
- Massage and other healing services will be
available from the talented Easton staff for an additional fee.
- Easton Mountain’s swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, and outdoor showers are clothing-optional.
- We will be sharing space with Easton’s residential community, consisting of 15-20 residents and summer volunteers, all of whom are men who love other men. This is why our program is open to men only.
Transportation. Easton is accessible by Amtrak train to Albany. Easton staff will arrange pickups at the train station Wednesday at 2:15pm (Depart New York Penn Station at 11:45am) and Friday at 3:45pm (Depart New York Penn Station at 1:15pm). Expensive taxis are available at other times. We will drop you off at the train station Sunday at 4:15pm (arrive NYC at 6:45pm). In our experience, there are always enough rides back to New York City, so we suggest buying one-way tickets only ÂÂÂâ€” but that’s up to you!
To offer or request rides to/from your area, please visit our ride board. Many people are coming from New York City ÂÂÂâ€” if you have space in your car, please do put your name on the ride board. It’s a mitzvah!
Questions? Ask us.
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