Call For Proposals: Courses

We invite you to submit a proposal for the 2019 National Havurah Committee Summer Institute, to be held July 29-August 4, at The University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT.

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 week-long 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, which meet daily beginning on the first full day of the Summer Institute, 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. Last year’s list 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 to teach specific liturgical skills (e.g. 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, including Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, People of Color, trans and genderqueer people, and people who are disabled. Students, like their teachers, will include people of diverse identities and experiences. 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, please contact Rebecca Ennen or the Course Committee.

Format: Most courses meet for 1.5 hours each day, Tuesday through Friday, either in the morning or the afternoon. In some cases, the Course Committee will also consider proposals for 4 extended sessions of 2.5-hours. Course enrollment is generally capped at twenty to make sure everyone has the chance to participate.

Financial Arrangements: NHC is taking a new approach to compensation for course teachers this year. As background, most adult NHC attendees are asked to contribute between $700-$1350 (with a baseline price of ~$1050) toward the site (including room and board), staff, and other costs of running Institute. In recognition of the work teachers put into their courses and to ensure anyone invited to teach is able to afford to do so this year, we are asking teachers to contribute financially according to a broader sliding scale, from $0-$1350. Teachers can decide for themselves how much they want to contribute to the costs of participation. We encourage teachers to contribute financially to the extent they feel appropriate given their circumstances. Please note that any amount teachers contribute as tuition will be considered a tax-deductible donation. Teachers will need to cover costs of travel to and from Hartford, plus any single-room supplements, extra fees for special services, etc. However, teachers can apply for a travel grant, and we prioritize making the Summer Institute financially accessible to all, including teachers. Teachers must also pay NHC membership dues of $40 per adult or $80 per family.

Course proposals, to be submitted online, are due by Sunday, January 6, 2019. You may submit up to two course proposals; please complete the online form for each course. To encourage a mix of new and long-time teachers, those who taught at the last 3 consecutive Institutes are not eligible to apply this year.

For further information, see the Frequently Asked Questions or contact the Course Committee at

The NHC Course Committee
(Adina Rosenbaum and Leah Staub, co-chairs)




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