2022 Eshel Parent Retreat Recalculating the Route: Parenting an LGBTQ Child | Thu. May 11 - Sun. May 14 Capital Camps Waynesboro, PA




The Eshel Parent Retreat is back in person

and we are so excited to see you again!


Join us at the

Ninth Annual Eshel Parent Retreat:
Recalculating the Route: Parenting an LGBTQ Child
with Scholar in Residence

Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz





New this year! Making up for lost time!

Retreat starts Thursday evening


What’s On For This Year?

  • Chaburah groups provide an opportunity for connecting with others in a small group setting

  • Panel discussions and sessions on parenting an LGBTQ child while navigating the Orthodox community

  • Meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones

  • Spirited tefillah and Shabbat programming

Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz serves as Associate Principal, General Studies and co-Director of Machon Siach at SAR High School in the Bronx, New York, and as a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She earned her Ph.D. in History of Science from Princeton University. Dr. Schwartz has spent more than twenty years in the field of Jewish secondary and post-secondary education. She writes and lectures widely about issues of contemporary importance in the North American Orthodox community.

Some topics Dr. Schwartz will cover:

  • You Can’t Choose Your Family: Navigating Charedi Relatives, Less-Than-Supportive Parents, Disagreeing Co-Parents, And Other Orthodox LGBTQ Realities

  • The View from the Principal’s Office: Navigating LGBTQ Issues in Orthodox Schools

  • It’s All Holland: Parenting Our LGBTQ Children, And All Our Children


“I now have a group of parents who understand what I am going through”

“I come every year, it’s on my calendar.”

“A place where I can be myself; I don’t feel judged or hidden.”

“Transformative, community, family, educational, enlightening”

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are accepting of your LGBTQ child or struggling with their identity, or somewhere in between, this is the place for you. No judgments will be made about any retreat participant’s levels of acceptance of their LGBTQ child. We only ask that each attendee agree to respect other participants’ feelings and attitudes. Each parent and family is on their own journey, which includes many detours, twists, and turns. Come with an open mind and remember that everyone’s path is unique.

We take confidentiality very seriously. All participants must agree and sign Eshel’s confidentiality policy. Retreat attendees may not disclose the identity of anyone else without explicit permission. Participants can only share what they hear at the retreat with an individual’s permission.

We will create a comfortable, confidential place to share. Sessions will address having an LGBTQ child in Orthodox families and the communities of which we are a part. Keep an eye out for updates as we get closer to where we’re going.

We look forward to getting together with you. Eshel is committed to protecting the health and safety of all our members. Given the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus and its variants, it is impossible to know what the CDC and local guidance will be in May. All participants are required to be fully vaccinated in order to attend; boosters are strongly recommended. Proof of vaccination must be uploaded upon registration. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We will communicate any additional requirements closer to the retreat.

  • Modern conference facilities
  • Delicious kosher food under Star-K supervision with Cholov Yisroel options
  • Shomer Shabbat environment in beautiful surroundings


  • Capital Retreat Center is on the grounds of Capital Camps at 12750 Buchanan Trail East, Waynesboro, PA 17268
  • Conveniently located an hour and a half from Baltimore and BWI airport and train station
  • A 3-4 hour drive from New Jersey and New York


You should plan to arrive by 5 pm Thursday. Early arrival can be coordinated; email info@eshelonline.org to arrange. The program will conclude by 1 pm on Sunday.

  • Capital Retreat Center’s Nesiyah Lodge offers hotel-style accommodations with individually controlled heat and air-conditioning, hotel quality queen size beds, as well as linen and towel service.
  • Retreat attendees can opt for a private or double room.
  • All rooms include two queen beds, a private bathroom, desk, phone, and wireless internet.

Image of Nesiya Guest Room with two queen beds and a desk

The price of the retreat is all-inclusive and covers the full program, 9 meals, unlimited snacks, and ranges from $550 to $750. Donated gift cards are available to subsidize the cost of attendance for those with financial need.

Early bird discount is available through April 1!

Cancellations prior to April 22nd, 2022 are eligible for a full refund minus a $25 processing fee. Cancellations after April 22nd will not be eligible for a refund nor will they be eligible for a credit toward a future Eshel event. 

If you are sick or test positive for COVID-19, please stay home. Cancellations due to contracting COVID-19 may be eligible for a refund at the discretion of the Eshel team.

Parents at table