About The National Havurah Committee Summer Institute
The NHC’s flagship program, the week-long Summer Institute, August 6-12 in Rindge, New Hampshire, is a unique opportunity for serious study, moving prayer, spirited conversation, late-night jam sessions, singing, dancing, swimming, meditation, and hiking – all in the company of more than 300 people from a wide range of backgrounds. Each year, participants leave the Institute reinvigorated and excited to return to their home communities to share new ideas, skills, and experiences.
Our 2012 theme is V'samtem et d'varai eileh al l'vavchem -- And You Shall Set These Words of Mine Upon Your Heart" (Devarim (Deut.) 11:18). It is from Parshat Eikev, the parsha for the 2012 Institute week. This summer, join us in thinking about what it means to set God's words upon one's heart, as distinct from one's mind, or before one's eyes. How does this idea relate to "loving" God? How does love for God compete or not compete with our love of other human beings? How is loving human beings like or unlike loving God, and how does God's love for us resemble or not resemble our love for other human beings?
At the Summer Institute, every teacher is also a student and every student is a teacher. People who are usually called “rabbi” or “professor” throughout the year go by their first names here. And people who rarely take active leadership roles in their communities discover that they, too, can teach and contribute to the community.
One of the NHC Summer Institute’s greatest strengths is the diversity of its participants. We are musicians, doctors, students, furniture makers, retirees, Jewish professionals, homemakers, teachers, activists, and just about everything else. At the 2011 Summer Institute, the youngest participant was a newborn, and our oldest was over 80, with many participants from all age groups in between. The NHC Summer Institute includes Jews from birth, Jews by choice, people committed to various forms of traditional and non-traditional Jewish practice, non-Jews, and people exploring Judaism. NHC Summer Institute participants hold a variety of identities including LGBTQ and straight; people of color, Sephardi, Mizrachi and Ashkenazi; urban, rural, and suburban; Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Reform, Renewal, secular, and Jewish without labels. NHC Summer Institute participants also have a variety of Jewish learning backgrounds, from those with no formal Jewish education to those with Ph.D.s in Talmud. The dynamic process of exploring together what Judaism and Jewishness means in our lives is a highlight of the Summer Institute.
Franklin Pierce University
Franklin Pierce University is located among the beautiful forests, lakes, and mountains of southern New Hampshire. The campus features ample conference facilities with free Internet access, a variety of comfortable housing choices, and a fitness center. Mt. Monadnock and the White Mountains overlook the grounds, which also contain walking trails and a lake for swimming and boating.
7:00 – Traditional Egalitarian services
8:00 – Breakfast
8:30 – Yoga
9:25 – Workshop: A History of Klezmer
10:35 – Morning Class: Radicals and Robber Barons
12:30 – Lunch
1:40 – Afternoon Class: Dancing in the House of God
3:20 – Afternoon Workshop: Kippah Crocheting
4:30 – Free time (Swim with children in the lake, work out, take a nap)
6:15 – Dinner: regional tables
7:15 – Mincha /Ma’ariv prayer services
8:00 – Evening Program: Artist-in-Residence performance
10:00 – Night Hike
Every day at the Summer Institute offers a different menu of spirited prayer options and alternatives to traditional services. There will be prayer in many styles, including daily morning services in Hebrew and English, meditative and musical, with and without instruments, and both indoors and outdoors, in addition to a Traditional Egalitarian service, as well as mincha-maariv daily. All davening is intended to be family friendly. Please indicate on the registration form if you would like to lead a service (or alternative to services) in any style. All minyanim organized and sponsored by the NHC are fully egalitarian, with equal participation regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Individual participants who wish to organize minyanim in which eligibility for leading or participation is differentiated by gender may contact the NHC office to arrange a meeting space.
We look forward to creating community together at this year’s Institute!