NHC Online Institute Call for Course Proposals
We invite you to submit a proposal for the 2021 National Havurah Committee Summer Institute, to be held online Sunday, July 25–Sunday, August 8. Applicants are encouraged to consider how they will draw on this year’s theme in their application:
אֵיזֶהוּ חָכָם, הַלּוֹמֵד מִכָּל אָדָם
“Who is wise? One who learns from every person”
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 online 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 roster 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.
Format: Courses meet for either 60 minutes or 90 minutes over two weeks. Teachers can indicate their preference for teaching either in the morning (11 am EDT) or the evening (8 pm EDT) and a schedule that is Monday+Wednesday+Friday or on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Teachers can choose the maximum number of class participants (preferably between 15-40). We will also offer training sessions to teachers to go over best practices, pedagogy, Zoom and guidelines.
Financial Arrangements: To recognize the work teachers put into their courses and to ensure anyone invited to teach is able to afford to do so, NHC reduces the bottom end of the sliding scale for registration to $0 for teachers. In other words, we are asking teachers to contribute financially according to a broader sliding scale, from $0-$750* toward the costs of running the Institute (including online platform, captioning services, staff, etc.). As their schedules allow, teachers may sign up to take other courses at the Institute as part of their registration. 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. If you are co-teaching a course with another person, the sliding scale for each of you will be $188-$750.
Teachers must pay NHC membership dues of $40 per adult or $80 per family.
Important Dates & Details
- Course proposals, to be submitted ONLINE and are due by February 1, 2021.
- You may submit up to 2 course proposals; please complete an online form for each course.
- The committee will notify you by mid-March if your course has been accepted.
- To encourage a mix of new and long-time teachers, those who taught at all of the last 3 consecutive Institutes are not eligible to apply this year.