We invite you to submit a course proposal for the 2023 National Havurah Committee Summer Institute, to be held in person at Pearlstone Retreat Center from Friday, August 4 to Tuesday, August 8.
Applicants are encouraged to consider how they will draw on this year’s theme:
“and you shall gather” which can refer to both gathering the community and to gathering in your “new grain, wine and oil” from Parshat Eikev (Deut 11:14).
The National Havurah Committee is a community of people of all ages dedicated to deeply rooted, vibrantly creative Jewish living and learning, community building, and tikkun olam (repairing the world). Our volunteer-led community is egalitarian, pluralistic, multi-generational, and highly participatory.
Each year, we hold a Summer Institute plus several weekend retreats. At these gatherings, we live our motto that “every student is a teacher and every teacher is a student” with a wide array of opportunities to learn from each other in different settings and different ways. Courses are the backbone of the Institute schedule. Teachers can expect to engage with enthusiastic and passionate students in exploring their chosen subject matter, while also participating fully in all other Institute programming.
Topics: Courses can be on any Jewish subject or theme: text study, religious life, spirituality, contemporary issues, history, literature, art, music, personal growth, meditation, or whatever someone dreams up. A recent listing of courses can be found HERE. The Course Committee aims for a balance of topics and styles of courses. Teachers may not restrict their courses by gender, age, religious practice, or ideology, but may require specific background (such as Hebrew reading skills, experience studying Jewish texts, or the ability to read music); please describe the expectations in your application. Proposals focused on topics generally available in the broader Jewish community, such as teaching liturgical skills like reading from the Torah, are not generally accepted.
Teachers and Students: Teachers of Institute courses reflect our community’s wide range of ages, professions, backgrounds, and home communities. We are particularly eager to learn from and with people with identities and Jewish experiences that have been under-represented among our teaching ranks in the past, in recognition of the missed opportunities for rich learning in which our community could have participated with a more diverse set of teachers. Our goal is to recruit and support a teaching team (including course teachers and the array of residencies) that includes a critical mass of Jews of color, Sephardi, Mizrahi [JOCSM], disabled, and/or otherwise under-represented folks. We encourage everyone who is interested in teaching to apply, as the Course Committee aims to assemble a course roster that is diverse along many axes, from teacher background to experience teaching at Summer Institute to course topics and approach. All teachers should expect students with differing viewpoints and should be open to lively discussion in an environment that promotes openness and mutual respect. If you have any questions about equity and inclusion or other topics, please contact the Course Committee.
Format: Single courses will meet for 90 minutes in either the morning or the afternoon on Sunday and Monday. Double courses will meet twice each of those days for a total of 180 minutes. In your application, please indicate whether you prefer a “single” or “double” format.
Financial Arrangements: We prioritize making the Summer Institute financially accessible to all, including teachers. To recognize the work teachers put into their courses and to ensure anyone invited to teach is able to afford to do so, teachers of double courses will be offered free attendance and free housing. Teachers of single courses will be offered free housing and asked to half of the registration fee (approxiately $250). But the NHC relies on donations for both to plan and produce the Summer Institute and for and its year-round work In other words, we are asking teachers to contribute financially according to a broader sliding scale if they are able. Teachers can decide for themselves how much they want to contribute toward the costs of participation. We encourage teachers to contribute financially to the extent they feel appropriate given their circumstances, with any amount teachers contribute as tuition to be considered a tax-deductible donation. Teachers must pay NHC membership dues of $60 per adult or $120 per family.
Course proposals are to be submitted HERE and are due by February 15, 2023. We will notify you regarding the status of your application by March 27, 2023. You may submit up to two course proposals; please complete the online form for each course.