Eshel Shabbaton: A Weekend of Spirituality and Community for Frum Gay Jews

November 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm 2 comments


Tirtzah is proud to be a part of Eshel, which will be hosting it’s first Orthodox LGBT community Shabbaton this January.

Eshel welcomes gay and lesbian traditional Jews to join us for this first-ever shabbaton, being held January 21-23 at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, two hours from New York City.   The Shabbaton will bring together Orthodox gay Jews of all kinds (including the ex-Orthodox and ‘Ortho-curious’) to an event aimed to create a community of support, learning, growth and leadership.

The shabbaton will include shiurim, zmiros, sessions on relevant to our lives as gay and lesbian frum (or formerly frum) Jews, wonderful ‘geshmak’ davening, delicious organic kosher food, and plenty of time scheduled to just hang out, sit by the fireplace on Saturday night, and get to know all the members of this growing community.  This will be an informative, fun, and spiritually inspiring weekend.

On Sunday, we will convene a Leadership Development Day from 9am-3pm that will address the crucial questions regarding our shared commitment to a more welcoming Orthodox world.  The day will include sessions for developing speaking skills, understanding grant writing, conducting effective meetings with community leaders, and learning about different community organizing models that can help us engage with the Orthodox community about the issues that matter most to us.

The operations of the shabbaton will be handled by Nehirim, which has run retreats for LGBT Jews for many years.  The program for the shabbaton is being created by the Eshel board, which includes many leaders from the gay Orthodox world, including Rabbi Steve Greenberg, Mordechai Levovitz (JQYouth), Chasiah Haberman (Tirtzah), Miryam Kabakov (Keep Your Wives Away from Them), and others.  There will also be “open space” time during the retreat for participants to facilitate workshops and conversations.

All food will be strictly kosher, the retreat will be shomer shabbos, and the davening will include traditional, mechitza davening.  (Depending on community interest we may have davening alternatives as well; on the registration form, you’ll be asked what kind of davening you’d like to participate in during the weekend.)  We will offer a variety of learning options, from traditional text study to workshops on issues of gay and lesbian interest.

Registration and Pricing

Early Bird Registration is Now Open!  Click here to register online.

Pricing starts at $250 for the entire weekend, including room and board, and thanks to our donors, we have generous financial aid available.  If you register before November 15, you can also qualify for EARLY BIRD pricing — simply enter “EARLYBIRD” as your coupon code, and you’ll receive $50 off your registration.

Complete Pricing information is as follows:

Dorm triple/quad (bathroom down the hall): $250
Economy (shared bath): Double $300,  Single $350
Standard (private bath):  Triple $275, Double $375, Single $450
Luxury (Weinberg building): Double: $425, Single: $500
Child in room: $150

Financial Aid

Thanks to the generosity of donors and community members, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The financial aid application will be available here in late October.  All aid requests will be considered confidentially.

Halachic Information

The shabbaton will be fully shomer shabbos: no electricity or musical instruments will be used in any program on Shabbat.  The eruv is checked weekly.  All food will be supervised kosher — cholov yisrael and pas yisrael is available upon request at an extra cost.

Faculty and Schedule


The retreat will begin at 4pm on Friday, just before Shabbos.  We will post information about the exact schedule and faculty in November, 2010.

Transportation

For directions and transportation information, please visit the Isabella Freedman website. To offer or request a ride to the retreat, we will create a Ride Board in November.   The retreat center is available by train, and a shuttle is available for $15 from the Wassaic train station, for the MetroNorth train leaving Grand Central Station at 11:15am.  For other pickup times or locations, Lakeville Taxi, (860) 435-8000, is available. Lakeville Taxi is a reservation service. Voicemails for the purpose of reserving rides must be left before 5pm and at least 24 hours in advance.  Neither Eshel nor Nehirim is providing transportation to the retreat — we advise you to use the ride board, since there are always plenty of rides coming from New York, Boston, and other cities as well.

Questions?  Please email us at info@eshelonline.org.

 

Entry filed under: Building Queer Jewish Community, Community Events & Announcements, frum, frum queer, Homosexuality and halacha, Identity, Judaism and Homosexuality, Living in the Orthodox World, open orthodox, Orthodox, orthodox judaism, orthodox lesbian, Prayer, Uncategorized. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. EJ  |  January 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I had really wanted to attend the Shabbaton but was unable to; is there any way you could post a review of it on this blog? (Or do you know of such a review elsewhere?) It sounds like a lot of useful conversations took place!

    Reply
  • 2. Queer Bas Yisroel  |  April 18, 2011 at 8:32 am

    the retreat was truly amazing – Lifechanging for many in this community, even. it was a beautiful thing to behold.

    Reply

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About Tirtzah

We are a community of frum queer women who gather to celebrate and study our yiddishkeit. We are committed to the value of shleimut (wholeness) and to supporting one another in observing a meaningful, integrated, honest and joyful Jewish life.

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