ALEPH Ordination Program Smicha Week 5784/2024


Read on below for some of our most requently asked questions.



Can musmachimot attend Smicha Week?

Yes! We welcome AOP musmachimot to attend Smicha Week. Musmachimot looking to attend Smicha Week and participate in classes (but not receive credit) are eligible for an exclusive musmachimot discount.

Registration for musmachimot will open in March. To be added to the list to be notified about the opening of musmachimot registration, please reach out to 



What will the schedule be like?

Great question! Soon we’ll share a schedule for the week. For now, please plan to arrive to the property between 12 pm and 2 pm ET on Sunday, June 30.

All APPLICANTS to the AOP who have been invited to Smicha Week must plan to arrive in time for an orientation at 4 pm.

Orientation for all CURRENT AOP students will begin at 5 pm.

Smicha Week will end on Sunday, July 7 at 12 pm. Please make your travel plans accordingly.

Tell me more about weekday davvenen.

Smicha Week is a place for experimentation. We invite you to use the daily davennen leadership as a spiritual laboratory. Lead from your growing edge. How are you called to guide a community in the davennen experience? We are asking you to think in terms of different modalities and approaches—whether that be using the matbeah as your architectural framework, or building your own path to present an experience of the deep structure of that moment of communal prayer. Experiment with meditation, silence, and chant in a contemplative or ecstatic container. Make the best use of this laboratory.

Faculty will provide the following for inspiration and guidance:
Recommended readings: a chapter or two on davvenology
Helpful guidance: a short, to-the-point cheat sheet outlining matbeah essentials.

If you lead a service, you may be able to be paired with a faculty member who will be able to mentor you as you prepare to lead your weekday davvenen. Mentoring, feedback, and evaluation will come solely from the mentors with whom you choose to work.



Where is Smicha Week, anyway? How should I plan on getting there?

We will be gathering in Maryland, but full details will not be listed here for security reasons. Please refer to your email for further details.


COVID-19 INFO *All info subject to change*

Will I need to be vaccinated to participate in Smicha Week?

No, we are not requiring vaccination against COVID-19 in order to register for Smicha Week. ALEPH strongly recommends full vaccination (including booster doses) against COVID-19, but proof of vaccination is not required.

Will I need to provide proof of a negative test?

All participants are required to take a rapid test for COVID-19 on the morning of your scheduled arrival to Smicha Week. This test can be taken prior to your arrival to campus, or immediately upon your arrival to campus. You will be responsible for the cost of this test, and ALEPH will not be providing tests.

If you take this test in the morning prior to your arrival, you must show proof of the negative result to staff upon your arrival. A photo on your phone will suffice, as long as it can show the details of the date and time the photo was taken. If your phone cannot show these details, we recommend placing a newspaper or sign with the day’s date in the photo.

If you do not take this test prior to your arrival, you must bring a rapid COVID-19 test with you to the event location. You will be asked to take your test onsite, wait the required duration for your result, and show proof of the negative result to staff before proceeding through your registration.

Note about recent recovery: If you recently recovered from COVID-19 (within 90 days) and are still receiving positive tests, you will be required to provide a letter from a healthcare provider stating documentation of recovery and bring proof of that letter to campus on the day of your scheduled arrival.

We also strongly recommend testing on your own throughout the event; a minimum of every other day.

What happens if I test positive before I come to Smicha Week?

If you (the registrant) test positive for COVID-19 and you are required to quarantine through the start date of the program, you will not be permitted to attend. We STRONGLY recommend travel insurance to cover the cost of your trip, as you will not be able to receive a refund directly from ALEPH.

What happens if someone I live with tests positive before I come to Smicha Week?

If someone with whom you share a household or for whom you are the primary caregiver tests positive before you are scheduled to come to Smicha Week, it is assumed that you have been exposed as a close contact.

Will I have to wear a mask at Smicha Week, even if I am fully vaccinated?

ALEPH will make a determination closer to the start date of the program regarding wearing of masks. Registering for Smicha Week is an agreement to respect the decision made by ALEPH prior to the start date of the program.

Discrimination against those who choose to wear a mask is a violation of the ALEPH Safety, Respect, and Equity Code of Conduct and will not be tolerated.

Will I have to practice social distancing?

ALEPH is not requiring social distancing at Smicha Week, but we ask that you respect the wishes of those around you who choose to remain further away from other participants.

ALEPH strongly recommends and welcomes eating meals outdoors when possible. Compostable takeout containers will be available.

What happens if I test positive while onsite?

Should you test positive while onsite, you will immediately begin quarantine. Quarantine accommodations may vary. If you are not already in a single room, and an additional single room is not available, you will be required to transfer to another accommodation (such as a local hotel) at your expense. Should your quarantine need to extend past July 7 (the end date of the program,) ALEPH cannot guarantee that your room will remain available at the venue and you should expect to depart on July 7.

What happens if restrictions return and the event can’t be held?

In the unlikely case that the entire event is postponed due to increased COVID-19 restrictions from the CDC and WHO, we will transfer the cost of your registration to any event taking place through the end of 2025. You will not be able to receive a refund for the cost of your registration.

Is the ALEPH policy and protocol consistent with other mandated guidelines?

We believe this policy is entirely consistent with the CDC guidance.

How often will this policy and protocol be updated? Will this change before the event?

ALEPH leadership will review the policy and protocol regularly. ALEPH reserves the right to update these policies based on local positivity rates and community spread, informed by CDC guidelines. It is possible that certain aspects may be updated before the start date of the program, and that will be communicated to all attendees. We are committed to keeping our guests as safe as possible.

Does this policy and protocol prevent all risk of contracting COVID-19?

While we practice an abundance of caution with this protocol, there is no way to reduce all risks of contracting COVID-19. We recommend that all highly vulnerable persons exercise their own judgment when determining whether to participate.

Please review the ALEPH COVID-19 Waiver, which can be found at

We recognize that guests will arrive with various and diverse perspectives on their own perceived level of risk and on appropriate levels of preventive practices. Despite this diversity, we ask all guests to minimally respect the policy and protocol established by ALEPH.



What is “Purchase Protection”? Is it safe?

Purchase Protection is an optional offering that ALEPH is thrilled to share for in-person programs moving forward (you may recall it from last year’s Smicha Week.) Note that purchase protection is entirely OPTIONAL.

Add Purchase Protection to your Smicha Week registration and get a 100% refund of your purchase if a qualifying unforeseen circumstance prevents you from attending this event. Covers illness, injury, transportation problems, emergencies, and more.*

Note that if you do not select Purchase Protection at the time of your registration, it CANNOT be added after your registration has been completed. This is a requirement from Purchase Protection LLC, and ALEPH cannot make any exceptions to this requirement.

*Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Not available for or applicable to events, attendees, or travel outside of the USA. Purchase Protection is a service offered by Purchase Protection LLC. Purchase Protection is not an insurance policy. It is a service that will refund you 100% of your event fees, taxes and dues should you be prevented by unforeseen circumstances from attending the event. Purchase Protection does not apply to, and will not reimburse, merchandise purchases and charitable donations. Purchase Protection fees will be charged as a separate transaction. Any changes made to your order will not change the amount covered in this agreement.

Refundable Events & Circumstances:

  • Death of spouse or immediate family member as well as your own within thirty (30) days prior to the event date.
  • Emergency health issue such as a sudden injury, pregnancy emergency, and other unplanned medical procedure within seven (7) days before the event.
  • Crime against you or your spouse in the seven (7) days prior to the event.
  • A home emergency such as burglary, fire or flood damage, leak, and structural damage in the seven (7) days prior to the event.
  • Transportation failure such as car breaking down, flights canceled, and public transportation failure the day of the event.
  • Severe weather that closes roads, airports, subways, and prevents transportation possible to the event the day of the event.
  • Unforeseen and unscheduled legal obligations such as jury duty, subpoena, and summons.
  • Employment obligations, including being forced to work without notice.
  • Acts of nature and natural disasters which prevent your access to the event but the event still occurs.

    Non-refundable Events & Circumstances:

    • Event is postponed or cancelled by event organizer.
    • Event is cancelled by police or other authorities.
    • Event is cancelled because of armed/military conflict, acts of nature, or civil disturbance.
    • Fraudulent or illegal events; if Purchase Protection was purchased with someone else’s debit/credit card without authorization.
    • Dissatisfied with quality of event or acts.
    • Non-emergency reasons for inability to attend.
    • Any merchandise purchased or charitable donation made at the time of event registration.
    • Exceptions and exclusions apply. See full terms and conditions.



    Help! I have more questions.

    Not to worry! Please reach out to us at with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!