CJC Retreat

June 2, 2024    
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

at Pearlstone Retreat Center
5425 Mt Gilead Rd, Reisterstown, MD 21136

Members of all ages, join us for a day spent playing, learning, dreaming and making new friends…all while immersed in nature!

9:00am, Wake Up on the Farm [optional]

  • Come early to explore the grounds of the Pearlstone Farm and Forest. Greet the animals with a big boker tov!
  • Spacious Shacharit [Morning] Prayer with Rabbi Michael Hess Webber

10:00am, Welcome 

SESSION 1     10:30 – 11:45

Games for Building Meaningful Connection, facilitated by Pearlstone staff

TEENS (age 12 and older)
Shema Nature Weaving, with Rabbi Michael Hess Webber
Shema is a prayer that reminds us of the Oneness of Creation – and helps us to acknowledge the ways our being is interwoven with all of existence. So, out into Creation we will go to forage for flowers, grass, sticks and leaves! We will weave it all together in our very own handmade, natural loom.

CHILDREN (ages 5-10)
10:30 – 11:30
Edible Plant Foraging Walk and Bike-Blender Smoothies, facilitated by Pearlstone staff with Kara Seidel
11:30 – 12:00
Music with Cantor Steve 

Kosher – Style LUNCH   12:00pm – 1:00pm

SESSION 2              1:15 – 2:15      

Dreaming and Scheming Together – into 5785 and Beyond!  Facilitated by Stuart Berlin and Rabbi Michael Hess Webber
We are at an exciting time moment of growth and transition as a congregation! No better time to reflect, as a holy community, about where we are coming from and where we want  to go next. This is an opportunity to share thoughts and connect. 

The Songs We Sang at Summer Camp: A Musical Session, with Cantor Steve Hummel

1:15 – 2:00
Tie-Dye your very own CJC T-shirt, with Kara Seidel

SESSION 3            2:30 – 3:30              

I’m Not Religious, I’m Spiritual: Taking Steps Toward a Vibrant Jewish Life, with Rabbi Michael Hess Webber
When living in a world that is increasingly more secular, what is the role of religion and spirituality? What does it actually mean to be spiritual versus religious, and what do we mean when we define our identities in this way? How might we integrate Jewish life/Judaism as a meaningful part of our lifestyle and identity without compartmentalizing it? 

What is the Omer? Counting our Days and Making them Count, with Judy Young, Master of Arts in Jewish Education
We are in the midst of the Jewish season known as Sefirot ha-Omer, the Counting of the Omer – a 49-day journey to personal/spiritual refinement. This ancient practice frames the seven weeks from Pesach, which celebrates the pursuit of freedom, to Shavuot, which celebrates our people’s loving embrace of the laws of Torah. Come learn about the traditional Kabbalistic way of counting the Omer, in which each day and each week of the Omer period corresponds to a sefira (divine emanation). Thus, each of the 49 days invites us to examine our lives through the prism of Divine traits.  For those who may have participated in the study of Mussar, Counting the Omer is considered a powerful Mussar practice. The Omer is one of the most fruitful times to work on character and connect to our potential for inner growth. Find out how counting the Omer can be a daily and weekly spiritual discipline to achieve positive personal transformation.

2:10 – 3:30
Pearlstone Ropes Course (and optional watercolor painting and beading for those who’d prefer), with Pearlstone Staff

Human Parachute and Camp Games, with Kara Seidel

3:30 – 4:00  Closing our Day in Song with Rabbi Michael and Cantor Steve