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Nehirim Women’s Retreat

¬†The Nehirim Women’s Retreat is August 21-23, 2015 ¬†at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center!


Join us for a weekend of rejuvenation, community, and fun, including:

Activities, fun and learning are also mixed in for children of all ages.

This year’s program:

An immersion weekend for LGBTQ women and their partners. This year’s theme is,‚ÄúSuccess: A Kinder, Gentler Definition.‚ÄĚHiking, workshops, reflection, community, prayer and more.Let’s explore the specifics of a life that is balanced,¬†makes us happy and doesn’t require us to be superwomen. We also have an amazing children‚Äôs program.¬†Come join us at the Berkshire mountains for a relaxing and invigorating Shabbat!


Register Now!



  • Dorm—regular: $325
  • Economy Double‚ÄĒregular: $445
  • Standard Double ‚Äďregular: $545
  • Economy single‚ÄĒregular: $575
  • Deluxe Double‚ÄĒregular: $625
  • Standard Single‚ÄĒregular: $645
  • Deluxe Single‚ÄĒregular: $745
  • Deluxe Couple‚ÄĒregular: $875 (total for both people)

2015 Schedule

Friday, August 21st
4:00- 5:00      Arrival, snacks, and registration
5:00- 5:30      Opening Program    (Nehirim Staff)
5:30 ‚Äď6:00¬†¬†¬†¬† Mikva
6:00 ‚Äď7:30¬†¬†¬†¬† Candle lighting and Shabbat Services (Chani Getter) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
– (Shabbat in at 7:26pm)
7:30-8:45       Shabbat Dinner
9:00-9:45       Mishpacha Groups
10:00-11:00¬† Success, a gentler softer definition ‚Äď Being gentle with ourselves (Chani Getter) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
11:15-12:00  Tisch (Singing, Stories)  OR 12-Step Meeting (Participant-led)                                           

Shabbat, August 22nd
7:00-8:00       Silent Meditation                                                                         
8:00-9:00      Breakfast
9:30-11:45    Shabbat Morning Services

  • Traditional Davening¬†(Participant Lead) ¬† ¬† ¬†
  • Renewal Service¬†(Chani Getter) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†
  • Personal Prayer Space Beige Yurt
  • Shmooze: Why I am not at Services (Participant-Led)

12:00 Р1:00  Lunch
For this meal, we will have affinity tables set up for people in interfaith¬†relationships/multiple faith communities, LGBTQ elders, parents, still¬†Questioning, Singles, ¬†The Silent ‚ÄúB‚ÄĚ, living with disabilities,¬†and topics of your choosing.
1:30-2:45       Afternoon Session 1 (Choose one)

  • Success is Simple, Not Easy: Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable (Leah M.) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
  • Race is a Jewish Queer Feminist Issue: how to harness anger with compassion to do our work. (Marla Brettschneider) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†

3:00-4:15       Afternoon Session 2 (Choose one)                               

  • Reading Deborah, Joel and Sisera‚Äôs mother (Judges 4-5). A queer conversation about Woman, (Penina Weinberg) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†
  • Creating an LGBTQ positive professional Work Place ‚Äď An inclusive environment with our colleagues and clients (Ronni Teitelbaum)¬†

4:30-5:45       Afternoon Session 3 (Choose one)                               

  • Qi Gong (Barbara Siminovitch-Block) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
  • Hike to the overlook self-organized ‚Äď meet in the‚Ķ.
  • Naptime, Free time, Rest time

6:00 -7:00      Mishpacha Groups 
7:00 -8:15      Seudah Shlishit (Third Meal/Dinner)
8:30 Р8:45     Maariv (Participant-Led)                           
8:45 ‚Äď 9:15¬†¬†¬† Havdalah & Dancing (Chani Getter) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
9:15 -10:30   Talent Show  (Mindi РMC)                                                 
10:30-11:30  Night program

  • Cozy Time around the Fireplace Rec Room

Sunday, August 23rd
7:00-8:00       Morning spiritual practice                    

  • 12 Step meeting (Participant-Led) ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
  • Shacharit (Participant-Led) ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

8:00 ‚Äď 9:00 ¬†¬† Breakfast, note: Please pack up and check out of your rooms by 9:30am
9:15-10:15    Sunday morning session (choose one)

  • Cruising To Success ¬†(Jacqui Sellin) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†
  • Finding Your Voice Through Music (Alison Rogers)¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†

10:30‚Äď11:45 Closing session & final small group
12:00 pm      Lunch
1:30pm¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬†Tzeitchem L’Shalom (Shalom) !

To apply for financial aid, please click here.

Register Now!


What to Expect

Community: The Nehirim Women’¬≠¬≠s Retreat brings together 50‚ÄĒ100 queer Jewish women (self-identified) of a wide variety of ages, religious affiliations (Orthodox, atheist, and everyone in between), family situations (singles, couples, families) and backgrounds. Children & non-Jewish partners are welcome. Ours is a warm, diverse, inclusive community.

Program: Our program features inspiring workshops, spiritual Shabbat services, and plenty of social activities and free time. We celebrate LGBTQ Jewish culture, spirituality, personal growth, and making new connections. There is something for everybody at Nehirim!¬≠¬≠¬≠¬†This year ¬†we will explore the theme of “Transition” and the way that “Change is the Only Constant”. ¬†Jacqui Sellin will be leading the children’s program.

Accommodation: Our site is a gorgeous, comfortable, fully winterized, and fully kosher facility 3 hours from Boston, 2 hours from New York, and 1 hour from Hartford. Single rooms and amenities are available.

Here is a video shot from the women’s retreat which gives you a good sense of the community we build:

Location and Transportation

The retreat will be held at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT. For directions and transportation information, please visit the­­­ Isabella Freedman website.

Isabella Freedman is easily accessible by train from New York, and is close to the Bradley International Airport in Hartford. To offer or request a ride to the retreat, visit our­­­ Facebook Shmooze page. Isabella Freedman is also accessible by train from NYC. If you need to be dropped off at the Wassaic train station (for MetroNorth service from New York City), a shuttle will be made available for a $20 charge per person each way. On Friday, pickup will be right after the 2:03 pm train arrives from Grand Central Station, and drop off on Sunday will be ahead of the 2:25 pm train departing for Grand Central (so a 1:45 pm departure from Isabella Freedman). You can pay for the train rides at and MUST tell if you need one of the rides.

For other pickup times or locations, Lakeville Taxi, (860) 435-8000, is available for the train station and Best Cab, (860) 623-0200, for the airport. Lakeville Taxi is a reservation service; 24-hour advance notice required and reservations are nonrefundable within 24 hours.

Retreat Director

Chani Getter, Director of Women’s & Family Programming

Chani Getter, is a Motivational Speaker, Certified Holistic Life Coach, and Ritual Creator. She leads informational and support groups in parenting, single-motherhood, domestic violence, cross cultural integration, issues of sexuality, and identity. She coaches individuals and offers workshops in the areas of life-balance, self-acceptance, transition, spirituality, and living your dreams. In addition to creating spiriutal and creative ceremonies, Chani follows an eclectic spiritual path that allows her to connect to the source of life within.


Jacqui Sellin, Family Programs Administrator

Jacqui Sellin ¬†has been an educator for the past 20 years. ¬†She has facilitated training at the corporate level, and has taught l students from kindergarten to ¬†college. For the past 4 years, she has been studying with “The Grateful Rabbi”, Rabbi Henry Glazer, on making Gratitude ¬†a central practice of Judaism as well as everyday life. She is passionate about living in the moment, and tikkun olam. She enjoys writing, reading fiction novels, and is dedicated to volunteerism.


Penina Weinberg

Penina Weinberg is an independent biblical scholar who is President Emeritus of Congregation Eitz Chayim, Cambridge, MA, and on the board of Organic Torah. She recently directed her first Boston retreat for Ruach HaYam. Her Master’s Degree at Hebrew College concentrated on women-centered readings of biblical texts. Current studying and teaching focus a queer lens on the intersection of gender and power in the Hebrew Bible. Penina teaches in Boston area synagogues, and often leads workshops for Nehirim and Keshet. By day she is the Operations Manager for Commonwealth Informatics, where she happily creates order out of chaos with old friends. She can hardly wait to share her love of biblical texts with you.


Ronni Teitelbaum

Ronni Teitelbaum has been a prenatal genetic counselor in the Prenatal Diagnosis and Medical Genetics Program at Mount Sinai Hospital since 2003. She received a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from the University of British Columbia and is certified in Genetic Counseling by the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABGC) and the Canadian Association of Genetic Counseling (CAGC). Genetic counselors meet with families with established or potential genetic problems, concerned with inheritance patterns and risks to future offspring.




Alison Rogers

A lifelong advocate for justice in every facet of society, Alison has consistently refused to take ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ for an answer when the moral imperative shouts ‚Äúyes,‚ÄĚ regardless of inconvenience to the status quo. Alison a survivor of¬† inter-generational cult abuse from Canada., diagnosed with MPD/DID at the age of 18, has been determined to live a life free from the fear of¬† being abused in the future, achieved her dream and¬† in 2010, and no longer lives in constant fear for her life. Ms. Rogers holds a B.A. in History with a minor in music from Wilfrid Laurier University, she has been a volunteer sexual health educator and advocate for those living with and at risk of contracting HIV and AIDS for over 20 years. In 2012 she was recognized for her ongoing commitment in the area of human rights advocacy, as it pertains to the lives of women by being nominated for the Agnes McPhail Award. Alison has been a guest panellist for the past two years at the Waterloo Region District School Boards, GSA conference in the role of Queer Elder.

When not working publicly as an activist, she creates and shares music with others, reminding us all that justice and art can hold hands. Alison will be moving to Toronto, Ontario in September where she has been accepted to the Professionals program at The Gestalt Institute of Psychotherapy, to pursue her goal of becoming a therapist. She plans to continue her private piano and music theory studio and is currently accepting students. For more information please visit:


If you would like more information, if you would like to volunteer to teach or lead services, ­­­ you can always email us at chani[at] Thanks!

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