Nehirim Winter Gathering
January 10-12, 2014Â
Easton Mountain, Greenwich, NY
The Nehirim Winter Gathering is an intimate Shabbat experience and a favorite event of many long time retreat goers. Its aim is to deepen the community bonds that only begin to form at the larger events. The past Gatherings have been sweet and heartful weekends with peer-led learning, davenning and ritual. This year, participants will have the exciting opportunity to study, pray and play with Nehirimâ€™s new Executive Director Deb Kolodny.
The Winter Gathering takes place at Easton Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York. Easton has miles of hiking trails, sauna, hot tub, a gorgeous lakeside setting, and hotel-style accommodations.
Registration and Pricing
Pricing is kept at a minimum for the Community Gathering, and unfortunately financial aid is not available due to the small size of the retreat.ÂÂÂÂ Pricing:
Easton Mountain is about three and a half hours from New York and Boston. ÂÂÂÂ The best way to come is by car â€” we encourage carpooling, and suggest you post to the GatheringÂ Facebook PageÂ if you can offer a ride or need a ride.
For those taking mass transit, Easton will arrange pickups from Albany for the 10:15 am Amtrak train from New York (arriving 12:50 pm), the 10:00 am Megabus from New York (arriving 12:45 pm), and the 10am Peter Pan bus from Boston (arriving 2:30 pm).Â You must register in advance for the pickup when you register for the Gathering.Â Please note that there is a $30 charge, per person each way. Pickups are not available at other times.
Friday, January 10
1:00-3:00 pmÂÂÂÂ Arrival & Check-in
2:30 pmÂÂÂÂ Pre-Shabbat Preparation:
â€” â€śShake off the Travel Dustâ€ť Shmooze
â€” Individual Silent Mikveh
3:00 pmÂÂÂÂ Menâ€™s Mikveh
3:30 pmÂÂÂÂ Womenâ€™s Mikveh
4:15 pmÂ Candle Lighting and Opening Program (Halachic time: 4:29 pm)
5:00 pmÂ Kabbalat Shabbat and Maâ€™ÂÂariv
6:15 pmÂÂÂÂ Shabbat Dinner
7:30 pmÂÂÂÂ Heart Circle: What are we yearning to set free? (in honor of Torah portion Bâ€™Shellach)
9:00 pmÂ Tisch: Stories, Zmirot/Singing, Show Tunes
Saturday, January 12
8:45 amÂ Breakfast (until 9:45 am)
10:00 amÂÂÂÂ Shabbat morning service and spiritual practice
â€” Shabbat services with Debra
â€” Winter hike, yoga or meditation
12:00 pmÂ Lunch
1:30 pmÂ Workshop 1
â€”5 Rhythms Torah Dance Study with Deb
_Free time, nap time, rest time
2:45 pmÂ Workshop 2
â€” Text study with Penina
_Free time, nap time, rest time
4:00 pmÂ Workshop 3 (choose one)
â€”Theatre Improv with David and Sam
â€” Free time, nap time, rest time
5:00 pmÂ Spiritual Practice
â€” Contemplative Mincha Meditation
â€” Bread available forÂ seudah shlishit
5:45 pmÂ Havdalah and Ritual of Release-letting our inspiration flow, based on the Tu Bâ€™shvat Seder
8:00 pmÂ Heart Circle: What is waiting for expression? What do we need to let it flow?
9:00 pmÂ Dancing, socializing, fun!
8:00 amÂ Optional yoga
9:00 amÂ Breakfast (until 9:45 am)
10:00 amÂ Workshop 4 (choose one)
â€” What would YOU like to lead?
11:15 amÂ Heart Circle: Rewrapping and Closing Program
12:45 pmÂ Lunch
Easton Mountain Information
- The Easton Mountain kitchen is not kosher. We will enjoy vegetarian (and fish) food. ÂÂÂÂ Salad and bread for sandwiches will be available at all meals. ÂÂÂÂ If you require more strictly kosher food, you are warmly invited to bring it and store it in refrigerators that will be provided.
- Our current plan is to offer one set of services in the Renewal style. Please see our halachic information page for more detail about Nehirim’ÂÂs halachic practice.
- Easton Mountain does not have an eruv.
- Massage and other healing services will be
available for an additional fee.
- We will be sharing space with Easton’ÂÂs residential community, consisting of 15-20 residents, all of whom are men who love other men.
Debra Kolodny, Executive Director
Debra Kolodny joined Nehirim as its Executive Director in March of 2013. She brings over thirty years of local and national leadership in LGBT organizations, including six years as National Coordinator for BiNet USA, six years facilitating NGLTF’s National Religious Leadership Roundtable, editing “Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith”,an anthology published in 2000, publishing dozens of articles on religion and sexuality, and teaching in hundreds of venues on the topic of Judaism, sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition to her work with Nehirim she serves as rabbi of Pâ€™nai Or of Portland, is active in interfaith social justice work and is a frequent guest speaker, ritualist, and teacher. Prior to joining Pâ€™nai Or she served as Executive Director of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal for nine years. Rabbah D’vorah has been practicing taiji since 1995 and meditation for almost as long and is passionate about ecstatic dance.
Corey Friedlander, Chair
Corey has been participating inÂ NehirimÂ retreats from the very first one, drawing strength and spiritual nourishment from the community. Certified as a Shâ€™liakh Kâ€™hilah by the Reform Movement in 2005, he serves as Lay Rabbinic Intern at Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, NY, helping to lead services, perform life cycle events, and teach. He has completed the two-year Meâ€™ah program through Hebrew College in Boston and has studied on retreat with Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi at Elat Chayyim. He has received a distinguished service award from the Westchester Jewish Conference for his work in the community. Professionally, he does marketing for a company in the hardware industry, has managed two bookstores, and was the Director of Professional Development & Education for the American Booksellers Association.
David Dunn Bauer
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer serves on the Board of Directors Â for Nehirim and is the Director of Social Justice Programming for Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST) in NYC.Â David 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 and many years of work as a touch healer and sacred intimate. 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.” Along with Michael Cohen, he created Body Electric’s first ever Jewish retreat (“Celebrating the Body Judaic”) in 2006. David interned at CBST in 2000-2001 and from 2003 to 2010 he served as the rabbi of the Jewish Community of Amherst, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Based until recently in San Francisco, he maintains a private practice in Queer Spiritual Counseling. Sought after as a scholar-in-residence, has taught about Queer Theology around the United States and Canada.
Penina Weinberg is an independent biblical scholar who serves as president of Congregation Eitz Chayim in Cambridge, MA, and on the Boston Keshet community events committee. Her masters studies at Hebrew College concentrated on women-centered readings of biblical texts. Her studying and teaching focus a queer lens on the intersection of power and politics in the Hebrew Bible.Ă‚Â Penina teaches at her synagogue, at other Boston area shuls, and at Nehirim, and Keshet. She can hardly wait to share her love of biblical texts with you.