Eshel in Eden
Eshel in Eden: Our First Summer Vacation Retreat for Orthodox/Traditional LGBT People
The retreat is sold out! Stay tuned for our next event.
Join us July 5th through the 8th, 2012 at Ronora Lodge and Retreat Center, (please note the change in location) an oasis of tranquil beauty in Southwestern Michigan. This retreat is for children and adults, partnered or single, and a perfect get-away this summer!
Our four-day program will include the spirited learning and davening we have come to expect at Eshel retreats. The soulful niggunim, joyous dancing, inspiring learning and leadership training will all be experienced under simple wood rafters with lots of time in between for the relaxation, beauty and summer fun the site offers. As well, there will be a track for those motivated to take leadership steps and explore becoming a speaker in Eshel’s Speaker’s Bureau.
Need a ride?
Registration and Pricing
All prices listed are per person and include full room and board, transportation to and from the shabbaton is at your expense. You will be responsible for bringing your own linens or you may purchase a linens package from the retreat center.…………………………….. ..
There is financial aid available for those who want to to attend this life changing event but find the cost prohibitive. Don’t be shy! Please apply!
SPONSOR SOMEONE! Be an Eshel angel. If you are able to donate funds to enable people to come to the retreat, please donate here:
Eshel is fiscally sponsored by FJC, a 501(c)(3) public charity, as such, all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
The shabbaton program will be fully shomer shabbos, however no practice will be coerced upon anybody. We will be erecting an eruv around most of the camp site (excluding Lonnie’s Eco cottage and the Ranch Lodge). All food will be supervised glatt kosher — cholov yisrael and pas yisrael is available upon request at an extra cost.
Hachnasat Orchim: Constructing The Welcoming Tent
What is the classical mitzvah of welcoming in strangers? In what way might our contemporary challenges of inclusion be related to this religious duty? What does an inclusive and welcoming synagogue look like? What are the symbolic, conceptual, and educational opportunities of welcome? How best might your shul move forward on these issues? How can rabbis employ this work of inclusion as a bid for a more expansive and energized congregation?
Being Trans as a Spiritual Opening
It seems to me that what distinguishes trans people is that we listen to something that contradicts what others consider the material evidence of our bodies. Some of us remain in the social position that we have been assigned to. Yet like early modern Kabbalists who in public say the established liturgy and do what all do, we know for ourselves and in our circles about additional meanings of each word and act. And some of us take an astounding leap across the male-female divide that organizes our social order and structures all meaning in the world. Walking through this mirror, traversing this desert of utter exposure is a terrifying and awesome journey that changes more than our sex assignment. Do these experiences have an impact on how we do other things spiritually?
Beginning Sofrut 101
Have you ever sat and marveled at the intricate beauty of Jewish hand written texts? The strokes, the crowns, the attention to detail required is an art form in itself. You too can learn this beautiful art form. All materials included.
The Hunger Artist: Fasting as Spectacle, Memory, Sacrifice, Turbo Prayer and Vision Quest
Kafka writes about a man who fasts for forty days in a cage in a traveling circus . Moses fasts for forty days on Sinai, Esther and her maids fast to gain God’s favor at a moment of danger and Daniel fasts in preparation to return to Israel. The Babylonian exiles fasted four times a year until they returned to Jerusalem and nearly five centuries later, Rabbi Zerah fasts to forget the Babylonian Talmud and Rabbi Akiva appears to fast in order to gain holy and demonic visions. We will explore these and other contemporary thinkers on the experience, meaning and purpose of fasting.
Reach serenity for you and kids with Yosi Baskin’s Guerilla Parenting Tips. Join this workshop to learn how to put into action some ground rules such as: Limit House Rules to a Drop-Dead Few; Set the Tone You Want with Humor and Joy; Don’t Drive it Underground—Ask; Let Kids Do Homework. As important: setting rules for your own behavior.
I’m alright with being gay…now what? Integrating an authentic queer Jewish life
How do I integrate my Orthodox and gay identities: How do I find a Rav, a partner, a shul? How do I navigate issues like niddah and yichud and what has been most helpful in keeping people faithful on the journey? In short how do I get on with my life and even find a place in the Jewish community that I belong to? Join this discussion to learn from what others have done to have a good life as a queer traditional Jew.
Making history! Wanna be a movie star?
Join the Online Oral History project- Share your story about being a LGBT traditional Jew.
Speaker’s Bureau Training
Learn how to be a spokesperson in your community for Orthodox GLBT people. Learn effective communication skills and how to convey your message.
Trip to the Dunes!
hikes in incredible nature
and much more…
We take confidentiality VERY seriously. We come together this weekend in the spirit of trust and confidentiality. Some of us may know each other in multiple roles as friend, colleague, rabbi, or other relationships. Some of us may still be in the ‘closet’ in parts of our outside lives. Please do not repeat what you hear someone share or who you see, here or after the weekend. Please adhere to this extra-strictly in this case. Ask yourself: “What would the Chofetz Chaim say?” If the answer you get isn’t “nothing,” you probably need to learn more Shmirat Halashon.
Questions? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help us spread the word about the summer retreat!
We would like to thank the following donors who have made the Midwest retreat possible:
The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
Marc A. Levin Philanthropic Fund
A Wider Bridge
Gay and Lesbian Kosher Travel
Anshe Shalom B’nei Israel Congregation
Simon S. Kaminetsky in honor of his friend Joe M.