Summer Institute 2021

Online  Summer Institute

July 25- August 8, 2021

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What is Summer Institute?

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.

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. 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.

This year, with so many uncertainties due to COVID-19, we are offering a two week online Institute* to ensure the community can stay connected.  Any possible in-person gatherings will require significant volunteer power.  Check out our ‘Get Involved‘ page to see how you can help!

We know 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:

אֵיזֶהוּ חָכָם, הַלּוֹמֵד מִכָּל אָדָם

“Who is wise? One who learns from every person”

To offer flexibility given these strange times, the Institute will be spread out over two weeks.  Several classes will be offered throughout the two weeks, 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.

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

  • We aim to fill the early mornings with davening starting at 8 am EDT
  • Courses commence at either 10 or 11 am EDT
  • Daily lunch meet-ups are at 12 pm EDT
  • Workshops typically run Monday through Friday at 1 pm and 5 pm EDT, but may also run on the weekends
  • Daily dinner meet-ups are at 5:30 pm EDT
  • Both Shabbat evenings will begin with candle lighting
  • Evening programs such as the Talent Show, Folk Song Share, Movie Night, and the Dance Party being around 9:30 pm EDT

*In order to access ALL programming, we encourage you to purchase the FULL ACCESS TICKET


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Having trouble with another participant?  Email our Community Council with any concerns

The Community Council addresses concerns about individual behavior that makes a community member uncomfortable or that may violate community standards. The members of the Council this summer are Deborah Hirsch Mayer, Matt Goldfield, Yona Gorelick, and David Rogoff. The Council is empowered to respond to individual incidents, with the possibility of appeal to the NHC Board. If you have a concern, please bring it to the attention of the Council, which will address the matter confidentially. You can email CommunityCouncil@havurah.org or call Deborah Hirsch Mayer at 603.397.7730, the team’s primary contact. Make sure to explain your concern and include your name and how to contact you.

Centering Jews of Color at the NHC Summer Institute

We are a diverse community that strives for accessibility and welcome for all. This is a Jewish space that welcomes all Jews and our partners, families, friends, and fellow travelers.

Assume everyone is Jewish until they tell you otherwise, and please do not “test” or inquire about other community members’ Jewish status, conversion history, or family background unless they initiate or invite that conversation, as these are often very personal and sensitive matters. It is also important not to expect individuals to be spokespeople for their communities.

Many times in the past, community members who are Jews of Color have faced intrusive and invalidating questions about their presence and identity. While the white Jews who asked these questions may have intended them as friendly conversation, or been simply curious, these words often come across as hurtful, biased, ignorant, or dismissive.

The NHC is working toward teshuvah (repair and apology) for past incidents of harm, and on better recruitment and support of Jews of Color in the NHC community. For more information, reach out to Rebecca Ennen on Slack or via the NHC office (office@havurah.org).

*Anyone planning an in-person NHC event is strongly encouraged to have a public safety plan, and Darius Sivin (PhD in Public Health) is willing to help with such a plan.

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