Online Summer Institute

Due to the current COVID19 pandemic, the Summer Institute will take place online this year. The Core Team has stepped up for a challenge that none of us saw coming. They are leading us forward with their work and vision.

Join us for an online kehilla gathering on May 24, 2020 at 8 pm.  Register here.

THEME 2020!

We are so thrilled to announce the theme for Summer Institute 2020: “Kumi tzei mitoch ha’hafecha,” “Get up, go out from amidst the upheaval.” 

קֽוּמִי צְאִי מִתּוֹךְ הַהֲפֵכָה
Kumi tzei mitoch ha’hafecha
Get up, go out from amidst the upheaval


These words are found in Lecha Dodi, a poem we say each Friday night as we welcome in the peace and joyfulness of Shabbat. The entire verse struck some deeply resonant tones for our Core Team:

Holy sanctuary, holy city,                                                   מִקְדַּשׁ מֶֽלֶךְ עִיר מְלוּכָה.
Get up, go out from amidst the upheaval.                   קֽוּמִי צְאִי מִתּוֹךְ הַהֲפֵכָה
Too long have you dwelt in the valley of tears,          רַב לָךְ שֶֽׁבֶת בְּעֵֽמֶק הַבָּכָא
G!d will show you compassion and mercy                   וְהוּא יַחֲמוֹל עָלַֽיִךְ חֶמְלָה


As we discussed the tone and energy we want to bring to Institute 2020, the Core Team talked about how devastating and exhausting the last few years have been for many of us and for our communities. We are living in a political moment characterized by fear, hostility, and ubiquitous injustice. For us, the Summer Institute is a refuge from the pain of these times, and it is also a source of strength and spiritual grounding.


During Institute this coming summer, we will have the opportunity to observe Tisha B’av together, a time when we open ourselves up to the grief in our hearts. And just a few days later, we will celebrate Shabbat Nachamu (a Shabbat of comfort), allowing ourselves to feel uplifted by song, sustenance, and community. We look forward to replenishing our reserves, finding strength in each other, and fortifying ourselves to continue to pursue justice.


We found this trajectory – from sadness to comfort, from grief to celebration – to be deeply empowering. With our theme, we wanted to open communal conversations about moving through chaos, and what it means to find power together, and to move through difficulty toward a place of compassion and joy.



Eliana, Glenda, and Rebecca

(see bios below!)

The Institute 2020 Core Planning Team

Glenda S McKinney

Glenda is grateful to be able to give back to this supportive community. In contrast to the vastness of census and election efforts in 2020, serving on the Core Team will be a cozy project with tangible benefits. She first came to NHC SI in 2016 at the recommendation of her beloved son, David Wilensky, but it has quickly become one of the high points of her year. Last year, they worked together to revamp the program guide, and she looks forward to continuing to improve communication to help every attendee find what they need during their time on campus.

Based in Austin, Texas, Glenda is using the free time that semi-retirement brings to travel throughout the US with her cockatoo, Calah. A long time activist, she continues to find new ways to make the world a better place in ways big and small, from speaking at state and local hearings to witnessing for migrants along                                                                   the border.


Eliana Roberts Golding

Eliana Roberts Golding is overjoyed to be joining the Core Team for what she is pretty sure is her 28th NHC Summer Institute (and is grateful to her family for raising her in such an amazing community). She is so excited to work with the community to envision and create a week full of song, learning, song, nourishment, deep discussion, and did she mention song? 

Eliana recently moved (back to) Washington DC where she works on local housing policy issues. Eliana can often be found riding her bike, at a pottery wheel, organizing with IfNotNow, or dreaming about the dog she can’t wait to adopt. She lives with her amazing partner Yael and two dear friends in Northwest DC, and would be delighted to host you for shabbes.


Rebecca Wassell

Rebecca is excited to be taking on a new role in her 6th year as a part of the NHC community! Rebecca first came to Institute as office staff, helping run things from behind the scenes, but found belonging and community from the very start–as if this community was something she had always been a part of; she just didn’t know it until she showed up! Rebecca spent the last several years as the Shuk Coordinator, and can’t wait to tackle this new challenge. Summer Institute is a week she looks forward to all year long, and she is thrilled to be a part of creating it this year!

Outside of NHC, Rebecca is a social worker in Boston, currently shifting from hospital social work to a group therapy practice, getting back to her roots. When taking needed time for herself, Rebecca loves traveling, spending time with friends and partners, being creative, jigsaw puzzles, and the beach. Come talk to me about your travels or where I should go next!

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