Retreat for Parents of LGBT Children

Eshel presents:

A Retreat for Orthodox Parents

of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Children

March 7-9, 2014

Here are some topics we will cover:

  • Unmasking Ourselves: Is Coming Out Just For Our Children?register3-300x130
  • How Does Having An LGBT Child Impact Your Family?
  • When Your Child Is No Longer Frum, Interfaith Dating and Other Challenges
  • What A Difference A Year Makes: Small Changes That Have Made Big Differences, A Panel Discussion
  • Smashing The Glass:  What If Your Child Wants To Have A Same Sex Wedding?
  • Raising An LGBT Teen
  • Trans Children: What Does It Mean When My Boy Wants To Become A Girl (Or Vice Versa)?
  • How To Create A Community For My Family And Child

And More….

Who is this for?

**********    My child has told me he his gay, what do I do now??  Do I tell my rabbi?  What if the rabbi rejects my child and family?  When do I tell my parents?

**********    My daughter is a lesbian, and because she has not been embraced by my community, she is no longer frum.   I love her but fear she’ll influence her younger siblings.  Should I keep her away from them?

**********  My son tells me he has always felt like a girl, and now wants to change his gender.  I don’t  know what this means for him and am terrified about his future.  How can I parent him now when I am in shock myself?


If you have had some of the above questions or others like them, this retreat is for you.

This retreat is designed for Orthodox or Traditional Jewish parents and adult family members of LGBT Jews.

Read what people are saying about their experience last year.

Where will it be?Capital Camp

Capital Retreat Center
12750 Buchanan Trail East
Waynesboro, PA 17268
(717) 794-2177

Visit the website at This is a first-class, full-service hospitality campus close to BWI and PHL airports and a one-hour drive from Baltimore, Md. and Washington, DC.

We will have exclusive use of Nesiyah Lodge and will be dining and meeting in our own area.

When will it be?

This weekend will begin with registration on Friday, March 7th at 3:00 pm and end with our closing on Sunday, March 9th at 2 pm.

What will happen at this weekend?

This weekend will build a community of Orthodox and Traditional Jewish parents and relatives of LGBT children. We will create a comfortable place to share and learn with mutual support for discovering new ways to approach our children. Sessions will address having an LGBT family member in our families and in the Orthodox communities of which we are a part.

See the schedule from last year.

Is this for me even if I am having trouble accepting my child?

Whether you are fully accepting of your LGBT child or struggling to accept them, this is the place for you. No judgments will be made about any retreat participant’s attitudes or levels of acceptance of their LGBT child. We only ask that each attendee agree to respect other participants’ feelings and attitudes.

Are you still wondering if this is for you?

Email us at and someone will be in touch with you.

Getting there:

We can match you up with someone who may be driving from you area.  Or, if you are flying in, we may be able to find a ride for you from the airport.

For getting to the retreat site, please visit the retreat website to find out information about train, airplane and car travel to and from the retreat center. Transportation to and from the retreat is at your own expense.

Registration and Pricing:

All prices include full room and board.

The retreat will take place in the Nesiyah Lodge which is a new multi-million dollar conference center providing innovative meeting facilities and welcoming accommodations. It is an ideal setting for adult guests to gather, mix and mingle.

Nesiyah Lodge features:

  • First class hotel style accommodations featuring 42 spacious rooms with private bath
  • Amenities include individually controlled heat and air-conditioning , hotel quality queen size beds, linen and towel service, desk, phone, wireless internet, and in-room safe
  • Reception area with informal gathering space and a business center
  • Large, medium and small meeting spaces
  • Beautifully landscaped knoll for spending time outdoors

Sign up by February 21st, 2014 to get an early bird discount!register3-300x130

Registration Closes on February 26th, 2014

Sliding Scale

For those who find the cost of attending prohibitive, we have a sliding scale option which is available.   Please inquire at

Be an Eshel Angel!

If you are able to donate funds to enable someone who cannot otherwise attend the retreat, please click here. Your contribution is greatly appreciated and will make this retreat a reality for someone else.


All Capital Retreat Center food is under strict Star-K Kashrut supervision, using only Glatt Kosher meats and Cholov Yisroel dairy products.

Produce is sourced from local farmers for the freshest ingredients. The facility is nut-free. Capital Retreat Center strives to accommodate almost every dietary need possible.

Shabbat Observance:

The weekend program will be fully Shomer Shabbos (Sabbath Observant). Retreat participants agree to respect others’ religious beliefs and practices. We do ask that everyone keep the laws of Shabbos according to Orthodox practice in public areas.

The entire facility is enclosed in an eruv.


There will be a traditional prayer service/minyan.

Some participants may have important reasons for keeping their attendance at the Shabbaton confidential. You have affirmed that you WILL NOT POST OR DISTRIBUTE PHOTOGRAPHS or audio/video recordings of other attendees publicly unless you have the EXPLICIT permission of every attendee represented therein. This includes distribution or posting online on flickr, Facebook, MySpace, and similar sites, as well as anywhere else in which photographs and other representations are publicly available.

Participants who cancel their registration more than 2 weeks before an event are eligible for a refund less a $25 processing fee. Participants who cancel within the last two weeks prior to an event receive a 100% credit toward a future retreat less a $25 processing fee. If you cancel less than 72 hours before the start of the retreat or leave the retreat early no refund or credit is available.


Tell your parents and family…Ask your LGBT friends to invite their parents and families…Share this information with rabbis, teachers, and therapists who might know of interested parents and families.