Ruach HaYam Shabbat Retreat November 12, 2016

Ruach HaYam, in partnership with Congregation Am Tikva, and with the co-sponsorship of Congregation Eitz Chayim and Keshet, invites you to our fourth annual full day Shabbat retreat for LGBTQ Jews and friends and family.

November 12, 2016, from 9:30am to 7:30pm at Congregation Eitz Chayim, 136 Magazine Street, Cambridge, MA 02139.

Eitz Chayim is 15 minutes walk from Central Square.  There will be a parking consideration in effect so that you may park within a couple blocks of the synagogue.   Eitz Chayim has a ramp entry and accessible and all gender bathrooms.

The theme for this year is Go to Yourself (Parashat Lech Lecha)

Refresh your spirit and make new friends in this fabulous day of egalitarian davening, creative and thoughtful workshops,and delicious kosher food!


Ruach HaYam Ruach HaYam welcomes queer Jews, friends, allies, family, and interfaith connections to our events. We organize short and all day Shabbat events, as well as queer Jewish text studies in the Boston area through out the year.  We worship without a mechitza, with acoustic music only, and with our own siddur. Services are warm, meaningful, collaborative, lead to deepening of friendships, and are simply fabulous. Full day Shabbat retreats include scholarly and experiential workshops and plenty of time to schmooze.

Please join our EVENT on facebook and/or become a member of Ruach HaYam Facebook GROUP to stay in touch throughout the year.


Schedule for Retreat
(see below for faculty and leader biographies)

9:30 am to Noon – .  Siddur for Shabbat morning prepared by Marvin Kabakoff from Congregation Am Tikva and Penina Weinberg.
Noon to 1:30 pm
1:45 to 3:00 – Ezra Rose Greenfield. Packing for Canaan: Personal Kemiot.  If Lech L’cha calls us to begin on a journey towards ourselves, what do we carry with us to guide us and keep us safe? Throughout Jewish history, a strong thread of magic and mystical tradition has been interwoven with people’s daily lives. Kemiot, or amulets, have been used by Jews all over the world to remind us of our connections to the divine. In this workshop, we will assemble personal travel kemiot to set our intentions for the journeys ahead. All materials will be provided – bring an open mind and thoughts for discussion!
3:15 to 3:45 – Time for a 7th inning stretch!  Walk or exercise!
4:00 to 5:15 – David Waters  Oh, the Places We Will Go: Leaving Home, Finding Self.  What does it mean to go unto oneself? What does it mean to literally leave our homes of origin in search of another where we might find our selves waiting? What of the continual leaving of one home for the next, both literally and metaphorically? Will we recognize our selves when we arrive? In what ways are these journeys, sometimes painful, also fruitful and life-giving? In this workshop we’ll begin with a personal narrative of Lech L’cha and explore the resonances of the biblical story with a search for faith, selfhood, and new homes.
5:30 – Havdalah – Tamar Allen
Following Havdalah – Meal/Melave Malka
Retreat Director
Penina WeinbergIMG_4002 is an independent biblical scholar who is President Emerita of Congregation Eitz Chayim in Cambridge, MA. and the founder of Ruach HaYam.  Her studying and teaching focus a queer lens on issues of gender, power, and identity in the Hebrew Bible. Penina teaches in Boston area synagogues, and has led many workshops for Nehirim and Keshet.  This is her fourth year as Ruach HaYam retreat director.
Partner Organization
Congregation Am Tikva, since 1976,Am Tikva Black2 has been providing a safe and welcoming space for GLBT Jews in the Boston area to pray together and to socialize. It created its own gender-neutral prayerbooks and customs for Friday evening services, the high holidays, and special events, such as the Erev Pride Liberation Seder. Am Tikva is a mixture of genders and sexualities who come from a variety of Jewish backgrounds. The services reflect that variety. Am Tikva offers two Friday evening services a month, one more contemporary and one more traditional, as well as High Holiday services and celebrations of other queer and Jewish holidays.
Faculty and Leaders
Tamar Allen has facilitated Jewish communal events tamar-allenand retreats for over six years through The Open Tent, an independent pluralistic grass-roots chavurah in central Arizona. She is currently living in Chicago, where she is enrolled in the full-time program at SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, a queer-centric space dedicated to making Talmud accessible to a wide spectrum of learners. Tamar aspires to continue her work as a Jewish community-builder, teacher, and leader of song and prayer by becoming a rabbi.
Ezra Rose Greenfield is an artist and educatorezra-rose-greenfield (BFA ’09 RISD, M.Ed. ’12 Lesley University) living in the Boston area and teaching with community-based youth advocacy organizations. Her work explores themes of memory, mythology, personal symbolism and storytelling. Raised in Reform congregations in the midwest, Ezra is redefining and reconnecting to Judaism as an adult with a focus on integrating queer and trans identity with Jewish magic, mysticism and spirituality. This is her first workshop with Ruach HaYam.
Marvin Kabakoff graduated from BrandeisMarvin Kabakoff and received a Ph.D. in history from Washington University-St. Louis.  He is recently retired as an archivist with the National Archives and Records Administration at their regional facility in Waltham, and is an adjunct in the Simmons Library School.  Marvin attended a community Hebrew school and Hebrew High School in New Haven, and has been a long-time service leader at Am Tikva.
David Waters is david-watersHarvard Divinity School’s Swartz Scholar in Religion, Literature, and Culture. In addition to pursuing scholarship and teaching as ministry, he is also exploring reading and writing as spiritual practice in the Master of Divinity program. A cradle Catholic, David is a devoted member of Ruach HaYam and is grateful that his community of faith includes not only St. Cecilia in Boston, but Eitz Chayim in Cambridge.