Nehirim Winter Gathering
January 11‚ÄĒ13, 2013
Easton Mountain, Greenwich, NY
The Nehirim Winter Gathering is a unique Nehirim Shabbat experience that is limited to about 30 participants. Its aim to 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.
Directed this year by Jase Schwartz, the Winter Gathering includes some of our favorite Nehirim teachers: Rabbi David Bauer, Barbara Simonivich-Blok, Jay Michaelson, and Randy Furash.
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.¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Pricing:
Easton Mountain is about three and a half hours from New York and Boston. ¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†The best way to come is by car — we encourage carpooling, and suggest you post to the Gathering Facebook Page 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). You must register in advance for the pickup when you register for the Gathering. Please note that there is a $30 charge, per person each way. Pickups are not available at other times.
This Year’s Schedule
Friday, January 11
1:00-3:00 pm¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Arrival & Check-in
2:30 pm¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Pre-Shabbat Preparation:
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ “Shake off the Travel Dust” Shmooze
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Individual Silent Mikveh
3:00 pm¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Mikveh 1
3:30 pm¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Mikveh 2
4:15 pm Candle Lighting and Opening Program (Halachic start of Shabbat: 4:43 pm)
5:00 pm Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’¬≠¬≠ariv
6:15 pm¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Shabbat Dinner
7:30 pm¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Heart Circle: Unraveling
9:00 pm Tisch: Stories, Zmirot, Show Tunes
Saturday, January 12
8:45 am Breakfast (until 9:45 am)
10:00 am¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Shabbat morning spiritual practice
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Shabbat services with David
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Winter hike
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Workshop 1 (choose one)
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Living by Their Wits with Penina
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Connecting with Our Bodies, Connecting with the Divine with Randy
2:45 pm Workshop 2 (choose one)
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Qi Gong with Barb
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Putting the brit in BDSM: An Intimate Look at the Book of Ezekiel with Bronwen
4:00 pm Workshop 3 (choose one)
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Exploring Masculinities with Wil
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Free time, nap time, rest time
5:00 pm Spiritual Practice
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Contemplative Mincha Meditation
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Bread available for seudah shlishit
5:45 pm Havdalah
8:00 pm Heart Circle: Opening
9:00 pm Exploring the Enneagram with Jase & Rafi
8:00 am Optional yoga
9:00 am Breakfast (until 9:45 am)
10:00 am Workshop 4 (choose one)
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Body and Spirit: Being Jewish and Healthy with Barb
¬≠¬≠¬≠‚ÄĒ Listening for Gd with David Dunn Bauer
11:15 am Heart Circle: Rewrapping and Closing Program
12:45 pm Lunch
Jase I. Schwartz
Jase Schwartz fell in love with Nehirim in 2007 and has been to over 10 retreats since. Jase is a graduate of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College where he focused his studies on Community Organization, Planning and Development with a specialization in mental health. He currently works with adult survivors of violence, primarily survivors of anti-LGBTQ hate violence, has previously worked with homeless youth, queer youth and incarcerated youth. He is also the co-chair of the Trans Empowerment Committee at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, and is passionate about creating and building safe spaces for communities and individuals.
Dr. Barbara Siminovich-Blok is a Naturopathic Doctor and a Licensed Acupuncturist board certified in CT and NY. She has two Master degrees in Biochemistry and a BS in Chemical Engineering. She completed her medical residency at Yale. Born in Argentina and fluent in several languages, she is an active practitioner of Martial Arts like Qi Gung, and Kuhapdo. Her professional interests include integrative and sports medicine, research and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Barbara has a private practice in New York and directs a clinical laboratory in Connecticut.
Jay Michaelson is the founder of Nehirim. For the last ten years, Jay has been a leading advocate for the inclusion of sexual minorities in religious communities, and his work in this area has been featured on NPR, CNN, and the New York Times. Jay is also a contributing editor to the Forward, Associate Editor of Religion Dispatches magazine, and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. In 2009, he was included on the √Ę‚ā¨ŇďForward 50√Ę‚ā¨¬Ě list of √Ę‚ā¨Ňďthe men and women leading the American Jewish community into the 21st century.√Ę‚ā¨¬Ě He is the author of four books, most recently God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality.
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.
Randy Furash is a lay leader and the co-chair of the Prayer and Practice Committee at Beit Ahavah, the Reform synagogue in Northampton, Mass. Having been raised as a secular Jew in a mixed-faith household, he had his Bar Mitzvah at the age of twenty-five and is still learning more and more about religious Judaism every day. He lives in Northampton with his Muslim partner and two step-sons.
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.
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.
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.√ā¬†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.
Easton Mountain Information
- The Easton Mountain kitchen is not kosher. We will enjoy vegetarian (and fish) food. ¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†Salad and bread for sandwiches will be available at all meals. ¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†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’¬≠¬≠s 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’¬≠¬≠s residential community, consisting of 15-20 residents, all of whom are men who love other men.