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Eshel Parent Retreat- A Retreat for Orthodox Parents of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Children – COPAKE, NY

May 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm - May 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm

The Eshel Parent Retreat was the first time I was fully comfortable talking to other people about my LGBT child. —A retreat participant


Rabbi Rapoport PicFEATURING SPECIAL GUEST SCHOLAR:  Rabbi Chaim Rapoport

London based author, educator and lecturer Rabbi Chaim Rapoport lectures around the world on a broad range of topics pertaining to Jewish life and law and is the author of several scholarly books and articles including Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View.  His encyclopaedic knowledge of both classical and contemporary Jewish sources alongside his unique humane sensitivity, have shaped his authentic, compassionate, and nuanced approach to the challenges of modernity.  In 1998 Rapoport was appointed as a member of the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks’ Cabinet and Advisor to the Chief Rabbi on Medical Ethics. In this capacity, he served as the Chief Rabbi’s spokesperson to the media and the British medical establishment. He served in this position until the Chief Rabbi’s retirement in 2013.


Is this for me?     

Read about the one parent’s experience in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Whether you are accepting of your LGBT 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 LGBT child. We only ask that each attendee agree to respect other participants’ feelings and attitudes.

What will happen at this weekend?Challah and table

  • We will create a confidential and comfortable place to share.  By registering each participant agrees to keep details about others confidential during and after the weekend.

  • Spend the weekend together in a Shomer Shabbes environment where we will daven, sing and eat together.

  • You will learn new ways to relate to your child that foster understanding and Shalom Bayis.

  • You will get the support you need to be a better parent.

Rabbi Rapoport will speak about the following topics:

  • From Behind Closed Doors: An Autobiographical account of a Decade of Rabbinic Dialogue

  • Jonah and The Whale: The Violent (?) Waves of Reparative Therapy and the Calming of Storm

  • Kol Haholam Kulo Gesher Tzar Meod: Building Bridges and Communal Relationships

Other topics include: 

  • You, Your LGBT Child, and the Orthodox Community: Does it Take a Village? When your community is there for you, when it is not.  Hear from a panel of parents.

  • Understand Our Adult Child’s Community and Culture

  •  Keeping Our Children Safe: Appropriate Sex Education (for Teens)

  • Mental Health Issues as they relate to being LGBT

  • Lifecycle events; K’shem shenichas l’bris…

  • Schools, Shuls and Tools:   Ways to work with the institutions we have in our communities?  What is our role in helping our child and our family?

  • Which Side of the MechitzaHalachic Issues facing us and our trans children.


Where will it be?     Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp

BHEC is a strictly kosher facility located a couple of hours outside of NYC. 

159 Empire Road
Copake, NY 12516
Phone: (518) 329-3303

Getting there:

For getting to the retreat site on your own, please visit the retreat website to find out information about Metro North, airplane and car travel to and from the retreat center.  Transportation to and from the retreat is at your own expense but if you need a ride we will try to find you one!

Please note: The retreat program begins at 4 PM on Friday through 2 PM Sunday. Please make your travel plans accordingly.

Registration and Pricing

All prices include full room and board per person.  Get the early bird special by April 10th, 2016!


Based on single occupancy:images-5


Based on double occupancy:



Get an Eshel gift card!

Please let us know if this retreat presents a financial challenge.  We will not to turn anyone  away!!  Special gift cards will be available from the Eshel community to make this retreat affordable to everyone. 

Please fill out this form to apply for an Eshel gift card.

Give an Eshel gift card!1212-gift-card

Please let us know if you are able to donate a gift card to make it easier for a parent to attend the retreat who cannot otherwise attend.  Your contribution is greatly appreciated and will make this retreat a reality for someone else.

Please fill out this form to donate an Eshel gift card.

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.


May 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm
May 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm




Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp
159 Empire Road
Copake, NY 12516 United States
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