ALEPH Ordination Program Intensive Study Week 5777 – aka Smicha Week

Sunday July 2, 2017 - Sunday July 9, 2017
at Stony Point Center
Stony Point, NY


  • An amazing opportunity to spend an intensive, spiritually uplifting, intellectually stimulating week of learning with your fellow students in all the ALEPH ordination programs! 
  • Study with members of the Va’ad and special guest teachers; meet informally with your teachers and directors of study.
  • Surround yourself with constant hevruta, in small classes and informal groups throughout the week.
  • Tailor your learning to your academic plan, your energy, your interest.
  • Soar with daily student-led davenning! Sign up to lead or co-lead, and to receive feedback on new approaches from ALEPH teachers.

NEW THIS YEAR


HEBREW IMMERSION
Choose an afternoon class appropriate to your Hebrew knowledge
– beginners, intermediate, advanced –
immerse for two hours in text study, chevruta and individual tutorial Additionally! Hebrew will be spoken throughout the week at mealtimes and other moments of opportunity…practice what you know and increase your capacity

LISTENING CIRCLES
Meet in small groups each afternoon for an hour of connecting; deepen and develop supportive relationships with your chevreh

  • Thoughtfully read all the information on the Smicha Week website.
  • Complete the online registration:
REGISTER FOR SMICHA WEEK

  • Questions regarding registration and payments should be directed to ming@aleph-ordination.org
  • Questions regarding program and lodging should be directed to programs@aleph.org
This program is for students in the ALEPH Ordination Program (AOP) and candidates whose application is in process. Students enrolled in one of our Smicha programs are welcome to register now for Smicha Week. If you are a candidate for one of our Smicha programs, a letter of invitation from Rabbi Marcia Prager, Rabbinic Pastor Shulamit Fagan or Hazzan Jack Kessler must be received by us (sent to programs@aleph.org) before we can process your registration for Smicha Week.

Cancellation Policy
  • Cancellations must be received in writing to ming@aleph-ordination.org
  • Cancellations received by May 26, 2017 can get a full refund (less $60 administration fee per person)
  • Cancellations from May 27 to June 15 get a 50% refund.
  • Cancellations will not be accepted after June 15, 2017. There will be no refunds or exchanges.
Plan to arrive at the retreat site between 2 and 4 pm on Sunday, July 2.

There will be an orientation for all applicants to AOP who have been invited to Smicha Week at 3:30 pm.

All other students will join for an orientation at 5 pm.

Smicha Week will end on Sunday, July 9 at 11:30 am. Please make your travel plans accordingly.

It is recommended that participants traveling by air should fly into Newark Liberty International Airport, as Stony Point provides a subsidized shuttle to/from that airport.

The travel time is about 1 hour.

Alternately, Stony Point will assist with overland travel from/to a range of locations and a variety of transport methods.

For more travel options, see this information on the Stony Point website: http://stonypointcenter.org/getting-here

For driving directions from the airport and other origination points, map your travel to:

17 Cricketown Road,
Stony Point, NY 10980


Driving to Smicha Week? We have set up a RIDE BOARD so that you can share rides to/from Stony Point. Click on the link to access the form online where you can offer or seek a ride to/from the retreat.

Click here for the Ride Board

Please pay close attention to the two options – Smicha Week comes immediately before Ruach Ha’Aretz. The ride board is set up for both weeks. Some may be seeking or offering rides at different times this summer.

Smicha Week 5777 will come to life at Stony Point Center in the scenic Hudson River Valley, northwest of Manhattan in beautiful New York state - home to the Community of Living Traditions, a multifaith intentional community dedicated to the practice and study of hospitality, nonviolence and justice.


The campus is beautiful and accessible, and includes a Japanese Peace Garden, Labyrinth and working Farm, as well as a Fair-Trade Gift Shop, playing fields and a state of the art Art Space.


The kitchen will be made kosher, under the supervision of Rabbi Victor Gross, and all meals will be dairy/vegetarian with fish options at times. Vegan diets and other special dietary needs will be accommodated to the very best of our ability.

We will be treated to fresh seasonal vegetables, eggs, and fruits grown in their gardens. All of the food grown at Stony Point is produced using organic methods and they strive to practice agriculture in a way that is sustainable and just. This means nurturing their soils, utilizing local resources, raising livestock in an ethical way, and much more.

ON SITE LODGING OPTIONS:


Four lodges on campus provide the housing for retreat participants. 

Most rooms offer two beds, some with two twin beds or a twin bed and a double bed (six rooms have only one double bed and are good for a single person or a couple).

Each spacious room has a desk and a sink. Single-person bathrooms are located in the hallways, directly opposite the rooms, and are shared by other guests on the hall (there is one for every 2-3 rooms).

24 of the 70 lodge rooms are air-conditioned. All rooms have ceiling fans and the rooms without air-conditioning are equipped with additional box fans The retreat staff have assured us that it is rare for the rooms in the lodges to become uncomfortable in summer. Smicha Week will be taking place before the heat of the summer sets in.

Each lodge offers a shared lounge and an area with a microwave, sink and small refrigerator.

Wireless internet access is available in all of the lodge lounges (though it may not reach to private lodge rooms), and throughout the public spaces with the exception of the Meditation Space.

Residential Fees: include program tuition, meals, lodging and all admin costs

$2150.00 – single room with A/C
$1980.00 – single room, no A/C
$1850.00 – double room with A/C
$1680.00 – double room, no A/C

Please note: rooms with A/C are limited and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Likewise, depending upon registration numbers, single rooms availability may be limited. When registering you will be asked to select a first and second choice for lodging.

Commuter Fee: includes program tuition, all meals and admin costs (no lodging)
$1200.00 - Commuter

Note: all Smicha Week students are expected to be on site for shacharit, which begins at 7am, and all activities through Maariv, which will end at 10pm. Staying offsite is not an option to be taken lightly. We seek to create a community of students and faculty, and wish for the container to remain intact.  

OFF CAMPUS LODGING OPTIONS:


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Doubletree by Hilton in Nanuet, NY – a 15-20 minute drive from Stony Point Center.

The special room rate of $124/night (regular rate is $160/night) will be available until June 10 or until the block is sold out, whichever comes first.

To reserve a room at this rate, use the link below – and choose the commuter option when registering for Smicha Week:

To reserve a hotel room at our group rate, click on the link below. You will land on a Doubletree reservation page for Stony Point Center. Click on ‘Book a Room’ to enter the arrival and departure dates that you are choosing, and enter the Group Code: SPC (the default SP1 will not work - you must change the group code to complete your reservation)
Reserve a room

Note:
commuters must provide own transportation

NEW** CAMPING OPTION FOR SMICHA WEEK

f you’re the outdoorsy type…looking for a more affordable way to be at Ruach Ha’Aretz Beaver Pond Campgrounds adjoin the Lake Welch Recreation Area in Harriman State Park 5 miles from Stony Point Center.

There are over 100 campsites – including tent and trailer sites, as well as accommodations for larger vehicles. Comfort stations, showers, laundry facilities and a dumping station are part of the campgrounds.

Click to reserve your spot


Register for Smicha Week as a commuter – all meals and full program included.

T'RUMAH


In the spirit of T’rumah ("gift" or “offering,”), everyone who participates in an ALEPH program contributes to the T’rumah Financial Assistance fund via a 3% registration fee. The T’rumah fee enables ALEPH to make programs financially accessible to as many participants as possible.

FINANCIAL AID:


Financial Aid will be available for Smicha Week, for students enrolled in the AOP who express a demonstrated need. To apply for aid, students must first register for the program, making at least a $100 deposit for each person included in the registration. Students should, after registration, fill out the Financial Aid Application Form:

Financial aid form

Deadline for financial aid application is Friday, March 24, 2017. Please NOTE that Smicha Week financial aid is available for current AOP students only. We regret that, due to limited availability of funds, no aid is available for applicants.


As in the past, we will provide a children’s program if there is a need. Please respond no later than March 24th – on the registration form – if you intend to bring your child(ren) with you. Shortly after Mar 24th, we will notify you of our decision.

  • Children’s program fee: $300 – includes supervision during class hours and evening study hall.
  • Room & Board for children 4 – 12 yrs: $290 ~ 13 yrs and up: $580
  • No fee for children under 4 years. If you will be bringing an infant with you, please indicate on the registration form. The Smicha Week children's program is for school age children (pre-school and up). If you need help finding a babysitter for your infant, please let us know in the comments section on the registration form.
Partners are always welcome to join us at Smicha Week. As there is no special programming for partners, their fee covers Room and Board only: $750 (with A/C) $580 (no A/C)

This year, the schedule will include 3 hours of learning in the morning (Mon to Fri), 2 hours* of instruction and tutorial plus 1 hour of small group reflection time in the afternoon (Mon to Fri), as well as evening beit midrash, and unique evening programs for the whole community.

Morning classes will meet for 3 hours daily – a total of 15 hours. These classes, as in the past, will include pre-retreat preparation/reading and a post-retreat assignment.

In the afternoons, students will be able to choose among 3 levels of Hebrew immersion studies – based in text and with a variety of learning technologies, including presentation, chevruta and individual tutorial – or two additional skills-based classes.

*Advance Hebrew immersion group will meet for 2 ½ hours

Additionally, all students will meet in small groups for one hour each afternoon in peer hashpa’ah/ ‘self-guided mishpacha groups.’

Rabbinic students who participate fully in the AM and PM offerings will earn 2 units of credit.

Additionally, Reb Steven will offer an early morning study once again.

Students are advised to check in with their DOS prior to registering for courses at Smicha Week

AM CLASSES


SEFER IYOV: THE BOOK OF JOB: THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE INTEGRITY OF GOD AND THE INTEGRITY OF HUMAN, ESTRANGEMENT AND RETURN — AND THE MEANING OF IT ALL
THIS CLASS IS FULL!
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner
One unit in Tanakh or Kli Kodesh (elective)


SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Rabbi Shefa Gold
One unit in Kli Kodesh

THE CAPSTONE PROJECT FOR SENIOR RABBINIC STUDENTS
Rabbis Shaya Isenberg and Victor Gross
One unit in Jewish Thought or Kli Kodesh


JOY AND PLAY IN JEWISH TRADITION: SACRED TEXT AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Rabbi Shohama Harris Wiener & Rabbi David Evan Markus
One unit in Jewish Thought or Tanakh or Kli Kodesh, based on the final project selected and with advance consent of the instructors, the Head of Department and the Director of Studies. Extra credit in the World to Come is possible for spiritually skillful use of (in)appropriate puns and funny hats.

HASHPA’AH 5 – GUIDANCE FROM SPIRIT: PERSONAL/INTERCESSORY PRAYER
Rabbi Nadya Gross & Rabbi Shawn Zevit

HAZZANUT - MASTER CLASS
Hazzan Jack Kessler

CLICK FOR COMPLETE CLASS INFORMATION & TEACHER DESCRIPTION
REGISTER FOR Smicha week

NEW THIS YEAR

HEBREW IMMERSION

Beginning Hebrew
Biblical Hebrew Intensive

Rabbi Steven Silvern & Rabbi Bob Freedman

Intermediate Hebrew
Synagogue Customs and Practices:
The Theology and Sociology of Sacred Space
Rabbi Vivie Mayer and Rabbi Marcia Prager
One Unit in Rabbinic Texts or Kli Kodesh


Advanced Hebrew
HASIDISM AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg
One unit in Hasidism and Kabbalah

STORIES FOR USE IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION, PASTORAL CARE, CHAPLAINCY AND OTHER IMPORTANT TIMES
Rabbinic Pastor Shulamit Fagan

THE REAL ASHKENAZ IN MUSIC AND SONG
Hankus Netsky


CLICK FOR COMPLETE CLASS INFORMATION & TEACHER DESCRIPTION
REGISTER FOR smicha week