There’s this wonderful week in August that I look forward to every summer. This week manages to recharge my Judaism for the entire year. It inspires me to explore new avenues of study, including topics that I might not have thought of as Jewish before. It introduces me to wonderful people from myriad backgrounds, from all over the US, Canada, and beyond. It gives me access to new styles of prayer, new songs to sing, new texts to wrestle with, new friends to make.
It’s one of these experiences that I’m so happy I found – and because of that, I want to make sure that everyone else has not only heard of it, but really knows about it, and realizes that it’s not too far away. It’s accessible, it’s soon, and everyone should join, be it for the week or for the weekend/Shabbat.
It’s the National Havurah Committee Summer Institute. And it’s happening August 2-8, 2010, in Rindge, NH (90 minutes from Boston). There are scholarship grants available to help fund you and travel grants if you’re coming from greater than 100 miles away. There’s a wonderful kids camp for little ones, ages 6 months to 12 years. There’s a fantastic teen program for those who come with or without their parents. And there’s amazing programming for everyone, including courses, workshops, programs put on by the artists-in-residence, swimming and kayaking on the lake, hiking up Mt. Monadnock at dawn, spirited Shabbos services, late-night music and singing jams, and oh so much more.
One participant summed it up when she wrote after attending her first Summer Institute: “[It] was slightly closer to heaven on earth than other places I’ve been before. It was a week of learning, singing, dancing, talking, thinking, and feeling…You could make friends with anyone regardless of age or affiliation. It was a place full of individuals and families of all ages, shapes, colors, orientations and interests, united by a love of learning and teaching and a desire to make Judaism a positive force in their lives.”
Registration is now open, space is still available.