• Click Here to Register for NHC's Summer Institute 2024

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    Registration deadline: June 18th

    This year’s theme of עִיר מִקְלָט “Ir Miklat: City of Refuge” can be found in a small corner of parshat Matot-Masei (Numbers 30:2 - 36:13). It epitomizes how we want this year’s institute to feel: a space where both the individual and the community at the heart of the Havurah ethos can come together in a safe space to create something meaningful, where our connections are welcoming and inclusive, fun and exciting, relaxing and energizing, and insightful and spiritually significant for our diverse community of participants.

    The Core Team envisions Institute as our City of Refuge--a place that’s safe--this year more than ever. What is it YOU need refuge from? We welcome you to join us at Pearlstone Center for sanctuary and refuge, to renew and refresh, and to play, rest, create and learn with us! Summer Institute will take place july 29-August 4, 2024.

Timbrel Artist-in-Residence 2018

Amusing the Muse – From Radical Creativity to Sacred Theater 

Timbrel Artist-in-Residence – Sara Felder

In this course we will explore different ways to approach performance – through the body, text, objects, characters and images.  In the safe space of our hands-on laboratory, we will search our memories, lies and truths in the joyful and rigorous work of creating fun and meaningful solo theater.  We will write, try on different performance styles, create images, play with objects, investigate characters, consider different narrative voices, find the humor in the pain (and vice versa,) experiment, fail, laugh, support each other and surprise ourselves. From this creative exploration, we will generate material and create short performance pieces.  This course happily greets all explorers — from first-timers to seasoned professionals – as we amuse (or shmooze, or cruise) the Muse.

Sara Felder is a solo theater artist and juggler who has created a body of work that juggles personal narrative, circus shtik and social justice.  She has run away with San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus, toured with Joel Grey’s Borscht Capades, performed with Jugglers for Peace in Cuba and Nicaragua, taught juggling in California prisons and toured her own solo theater shows. These shows have tackled issues of significance: a Jewish lesbian wedding (June Bride) ,the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Out of Sight), depression (Melancholy, A Comedy), grief (A Queer Divine Dissatisfaction) and the dying/rebirth of Yiddish culture (Shtik!).


Engaging the White Fire: Sanctified Imagination and Creating Midrash

Midrashist-in-Residence – Sabrina Sojourner

Engaging the White Fire is an invitation to viscerally encounter our relationship to Jewishness. What are the questions you’ve been afraid to ask and would like to ask? What excites you and/or troubles you; feeds you and/or leaves you wanting? All are welcome as we engage in collective, small group, and individual work in a judgment free environment that permits us to dive deep into the text and expand our inner Torah, and create midrashim – stories – that enhance, transform, or challenge how we see ourselves in haderekh – the way – we call Judaism. 

Sabrina Sojourner is a spiritual leader, educator, and storyteller. Based in Rockville, MD, she serves the Charles E Smith Life Communities campus and unaffiliated Jewish families in the Greater Washington, DC area. She crafts her homilies and stories to enlarge our vision of who we are as a people and spiritual beings, and to inspire us to take better care of ourselves so that we take better care of each other and the planet. Sabrina is highly respected by her colleagues for her natural leadership, authenticity, compassion, and kindness. Most importantly, she is her grandson Kyle’s favorite person.

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