What is Summer Institute?


Steps for Registration:

  1. Fill out the above form and follow the directions that bring you to step 2
  2. Pay
  3. Receive invite to pick your schedule!

Registration FAQs

Review Courses HERE

Institute is Going Online July 19- August 2, 2020!

For some 40 years, 300 plus people have gathered for a week every summer to learn, teach, daven, sing, and be in Jewish community together.

This year, as with so many institutions since Covid-19, we will not be meeting in person.

We will be meeting virtually and invite you to join friends and friends-to-be of all ages and backgrounds to come to the ​National Havurah Committee ​Summer Online Institute, where every teacher is a student and every student is a teacher. Our theme this year is ”El na refa na lah” or “Please G!d, heal her.”

To offer flexibility given these strange times, the Institute will be spread out over two weeks. Four-session classes will be offered twice a week, with both morning and evening options. Daily workshops will be available as well as all kinds of other programming including daily davening, community-wide learning, singing, and other options. We will have opportunities to share meals and hangout spaces together online as well.

The second week will have a higher concentration of non-course programming, including Tisha B’Av and Friday afternoon/evening Shabbat programming and davenning both before and during the time of chag.

Because these times are unprecedented, we are still finalizing the structure of the two-week program, but a sample day will look like this- Sample day schedule.

Go HERE to see all the courses being offered this year, and register HERE. Once you register, you’ll be able to select your classes. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Eliana, Glenda, & Rebecca

Online Institute Core Team

Registration for Online Summer Institute is Open


Thank you for joining us online this year: July 19- August 2

Moving Summer Institute online was a tough decision, but the Core Team and many volunteers have been creating an exciting program with fantastic courses, spiritual life offerings, davening, and time to hang out with friends!

To register, fill out the registration form and then follow the directions.

NOTE:  Course selection is not on the registration form but will be done afterwards on a different site. Please check out the updated 2020 Course Schedule on our website.Please contact office@havurah.org if you have any questions.

Fee, Sliding Scale, and Grant Information

This year’s registration form allows you to sign up as an individual or for your household and provides a total ticket cost.

Our sticker price for adults (ages 12+) is $360. It enables NHC to pay our staff and stay financially viable. If you are able to pay the sticker price or above, it will make a huge difference for supporting the NHC. Any amount above the sticker price is considered a donation and we will send a receipt. We are committed to financial accessibility and provide a sliding scale for payment options. Our sliding scale for adult participants goes from $72-$720.

Financial assistance beyond the sliding scale is available. After completing the registration form, complete the grant application form.  The Grants Committee will follow up within 48-72 hours.  More information about grants.

Our sticker price for children is $36. Children are invited to davening, community programming, and any workshops either designated specifically for children or marked as child-appropriate. Our sliding scale for children is $0-$72. Please pay what makes sense for you and your family.



At the NHC Summer Institute, every teacher is also a student and every student is a teacher. One way in which we share our knowledge with each other is through hour-long workshops that occur throughout the week. Workshops at the NHC are offered by any participants who are excited to share their skills, knowledge, or ideas – they range from text study, to group discussions about a topic of interest, to sessions on how to crochet kippot or tie tzitzit, to song swaps, to mini-lectures. What workshop would you like to offer?  We are accepting proposals for workshops that are appropriate for adults, children or both!

Please submit workshop proposals via this form, by July 5.

We can’t wait to learn with you!

Online Institute Pre-Registration Announcement

These unprecedented times require creativity, flexibility, and inspiration. We are grateful to everyone who joined the Kehilla community gathering in May to provide input for online Institute. Your input was invaluable.

The Core Team, with the support of many Havurahniks, has prepared an online Institute to run over two weeks, from Sunday, July 19, 2020 through Saturday night, August 1, 2020. We aim to have registration open by June 21, 2020.

Programming is designed taking into account varying work schedules and multiple time zones. Most courses will meet twice a week, either in the morning or in the evening. Courses and their specific schedules will be listed on registration so that participants can select up to two classes that fit their schedule.

There will be workshops plus social and community programming throughout. The second week will have a higher concentration  of non-course programming, including Tisha B’Av and Friday afternoon/evening, with Shabbat programming and davenning both before and during the time of chag.

This year’s sticker price of $360 is, like always, based on a projection of estimated attendees and the amount it takes to both cover direct Institute costs and to keep the NHC running year round, including compensating our amazing staff and maintaining fiscal viability. We understand that we are living in a time of economic uncertainty, and are offering a sliding scale of $72 – $720. Grant assistance for those who need to pay less than $72 will be available.

If you are able, we ask that you consider registering for the sticker price of $360, or higher. We encourage everyone to choose the financial option that works for them, and we hope that the lower prices made possible by being online may make attending this year’s Institute more feasible for both newcomers and those returning . We are committed as ever to minimizing financial barriers to participation.

Online Kidstitute is still a work in progress. We are surveying parents about their interests. If you are a parent and have not yet filled out the survey, please do by June 19: survey link. We expect to have some programming specifically for children, but the scope and costs are yet to be determined. At a minimum, children will be invited and welcome for community programs and davening.

We will be using sched.com for our event platform, and it is very user friendly. You will be able to interact with other attendees, choose courses, plan your schedule, and learn more about the presenters.

Institute always runs on volunteerism and community co-creation. Your participation is vital. More information will be forthcoming, but if you already have an area of interest you are excited to work on – such as a program or social idea; leading davening; working on behind-the-scenes information processing, organization, or tech support, please contact volunteer@havurah.org.

It is also time to start thinking about what kind of online workshop(s) you may want to share!


Summer Institute is moving online for summer 2020

Dear Havurahniks,

With great sadness, love, and hope, I’m sharing the news that the Board, with the recommendation of the COVID19 Response Committee, voted to cancel in-person Institute this summer at Hartford and move programming online.

We are deeply sad that we will not be gathering at Hartford in person – there is no true substitute for being together in one place. We are full of love for our community, which we want to protect, safeguard, and sustain. And we have true hope that our community will find a way to gather meaningfully online this summer, and continue to have many more in-person Institutes in future years.

In that spirit, we want to invite our community to a kehillah gathering on Sunday evening, May 24th (see below for more details). We want to meet in fellowship – to share our love for this community, to share information and feelings, and to brainstorm creatively about how we can contribute to an online summer Institute that preserves its heart even as it transforms and innovates. We will create this online Institute together, as we have always created Institute together.

The specific shape of this will come together based on the abilities, needs, desires, and wants, of our community. What I can say now is that we plan to have rich and meaningful online programming, with an emphasis on havurah: community-sharing and building and learning Torah in fellowship and friendship.

The amazing Core Team – Glenda McKinney, Eliana Roberts Golding, and Rebecca Wassell – has stepped up for a challenge that none of us saw coming. They are leading us forward with their work and vision.

The University of Hartford has been completely understanding and supportive, and are themselves thinking of ways that they might participate online in some way to keep us connected to our summer home.

We expect online Institute to happen over a period of time, likely longer than a week, at the end of July and/or beginning of August. As in previous years, we plan to have a sticker price that will cover NHC’s sustaining expenses for the year, alongside an extensive sliding scale for fees. We are hoping to be creative and resourceful in finding ways to reach and support everyone who wants to participate.

“Everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student” – I can’t imagine this being more true than it is now. We will learn and teach one another how to co-create an online Institute this year. And we will gather in fellowship, learning, and Torah.

With hope for the future, I am also glad to announce that earlier this year, we signed a contract with the University of Hartford for 2021 (7/26-8/1) and 2022 (7/25-7/31), so please mark your calendars and save the dates!

Finally, with deep appreciation for the enthusiasm and optimism represented by each person who already registered for Institute-at-Hartford, the Office is processing refunds for all fees and dues, and will be in touch about donations.

Please register here for our Kehillah gathering, Sunday, May 24, 8pm. It will be a great joy to connect with one another, and also a meaningful step in co-creating online Institute.

With love,

Tara Bognar
Board Chair

Kehillah Gathering
Sunday May 24th (Rosh Hodesh Sivan), 8pm
Connect with each other, connect with our love for Institute, and imagine the summer together. We will use a mix of webinar-style and break-out rooms on Zoom to facilitate community, communication, and creative imagination.

Pre-register (required) here.

If you have never used Zoom before, we encourage you to try and can help you get set up! If you have used only too much Zoom and are willing to act as a mentor/buddy, please let us know by emailing office@havurah.org.

Summer Institute

At the Summer Institute, every teacher is 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:

Intergenerational: At Summer Institute, participant ages have ranged from a month and a half old to over 80 years. Children between 6 months and 12 years old can spend the week at Kidstitute. Participants from all age groups shared meals, stories, teachings, songs, and talents all week long.

Pluralistic and Inclusive: The NHC Summer Institute includes people committed to various forms of traditional and non-traditional Jewish practice, Jews from birth, Jews by choice, Jews with multiple religious heritages, non-Jews, and people exploring Judaism.

Diverse backgrounds and lives: 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.

Learning for Everyone: 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.