Annual Retreats and Intensives

AJR holds a Retreat each Fall that is required for its Ordination Students, with M.A.-only and Gesher students warmly invited to attend. The Retreat is planned by a committee that includes students and Administration. These gatherings offer students opportunities to build strong relationships within the AJR community, to meet new classmates, and to focus in depth upon an experience or an area of learning that demands more attention than normal class sessions would allow. Retreats also offer students opportunities to interact informally with members of the AJR Faculty, the Administration and alumni.

In the middle of the spring semester, we hold a week of intensive study for our Ordination students on a topic that is of deep concern to the contemporary Jewish community. Topics for this Intensive program, and for the Retreat, include such areas as practical professional development, outreach, the arts and religion, and contemporary spirituality.

Recent Retreat and Intensive topics have included:

What Ought to Be Shall Be: “Carrying on Heschel’s Quest for Racial Justice”
Wondrous Paths: Exploring Spiritual Modes in a Jewish Context
Antisemitism: History, Context, and A Charge to the Clergy
B’Dibbur Ehad: Classical and Contemporary Approaches to Shabbat
Emor LeHokhmah Ahoti At (Proverbs 7:4): Applying Wisdom from Jewish Tradition to Gender
Kashrut: A Full Plate of Jewish Dietary Practices
Sephardic Jews: Tradition and Modernity
L’Hayyim: Living With Issues of Substance Abuse and Addiction
A Mixed Multitude: Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the American Jewish Community
Ba-shamayim Hi: Science and Religion Look at the Cosmos
Hesed Shel Emet: Meeting the Clergy Leadership Challenges of Today’s Jewish Funeral
Refuah Sh’leima: Physical and Spiritual Tools to Care for the Caregiver