Getting It … Together

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July 3 – 5, 2015 at West Chester University, West Chester, PA

Teachers

Reb Zalman was fond of saying “The only way to get it together ... is TOGETHER!” An innovator of ecumenical dialogue with practitioners of a wide variety of spiritual paths, Reb Zalman leaves us a legacy of Deep Ecumenism. His deeply personal approach to dialogue led to significant friendships with many of the world’s great philosophers and spiritual teachers, including Father Thomas Merton, Father Thomas Keating, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Ram Dass and the 14th Dalai Lama.

This summer (2015), we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the remarkable journey of Reb Zalman and a small and varied group of Jewish leaders to Dharamsala, India, at the request of the Dalai Lama, to help Tibetan Buddhist leaders learn how a People survives (and thrives) “in a diaspora.”

On the Gregorian calendar, the one-year anniversary of Reb Zalman’s passing – or “redeployment” as he was fond of saying – was July 3, 2015. With Reb Zalman’s legacy rousing us into action like the call of the shofar, we  dedicated ourselves to carry forth his vision of a world coming together with compassion and curiosity to engage in dialogue and shared spiritual experiences.


Living the Legacy

Tracing Reb Zalman's vision, from Dharamsala to the Future

Sunday, July 5th, 10am – 1pm

Adler Theatre, 817 S. High Street, West Chester, PA
We gathered for a summit of faith leaders and artists promoting the vision of Deep Ecumenism through various expressions of music, chant, dance, film & poetry. Special guest presenters included Rabbi Irving “Yitz” and Blu Greenberg, Rodger Kamenetz (author of The Jew in the Lotus, which chronicles the 1990 journey), Maggid Amitai Gross, Alaa Murad, Rabbi Leah Novick, Rabbi Moshe Waldoks, and Dr. Rachael Wooten. Featuring a 25 year retrospective of the trip to Dharamsala and moving through a vision of the future inspired by Reb Zalman's torah and practice of Deep Ecumenism, the Sunday Celebration was  an experience of getting it together not to be missed!

Logistics


Location

Picturesque and Historic Location

The Shabbaton will take place on the campus of West Chester University, located just 25 miles west of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley.  The borough of West Chester is a picturesque and historic community with a reputation for hospitality that predates the Revolutionary War.

Shabbaton participants are able to choose from several lodging options in a beautiful state-of-the-art residence hall as well as off-campus options. The campus has green spaces, swimming facilities, and is just blocks from the center of West Chester’s historic downtown.

Delicious Kosher Food

Our Shabbat meals will be prepared by a local kosher caterer. The dining hall kitchen will be made kosher, under the supervision of Rabbi Victor Gross and meals prepared on site will be dairy/vegetarian with fish options. Vegan diets and other special dietary needs will be accommodated to the very best of our ability. Residence facilities also have kitchens with refrigerators for those who need to bring special foods.

Lodging

On-Site

Allegheny Hall is a beautiful, new residence hall with all of the creature comforts of a hotel. Most sleeping rooms have a full bath within the room. Two- and three-room suites with a common living area in addition to private or shared bath offer a wonderful family option or an opportunity for friends to live in community. Individually heated and air conditioned, these rooms are comfortable and convenient and include fitted linens, pillows, blanket, hand and bath towels. Guests are encouraged to bring a swim towel if desired. Work out facilities and laundry rooms are also available within the residence hall as well as communal kitchens.

Handicapped accessible rooms are available.

Off-Site

For a fully immersive communal experience, participants are encouraged to stay on campus where creature comforts will far exceed expectations of a college residence hall.  However, for those desiring an off-campus location, a block of rooms are being held at two locations:

  • The Hotel Warner, a leisurely 10-15 minute walk from campus, is both historic and thoroughly modern. Originally the Warner Theater, opened by Warner Bros. Studio in 1930, it served as a theater for more than 40 years before becoming the local offices of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2011, it was transformed into a thoroughly modern hotel. Hotel Warner’s green features include solar paneled roof, six geothermal wells that heat and cool the hotel’s common areas, and the use of single stream construction in the building process. A negotiated rate of $159/night plus tax is being held for ALEPH guests until May 27th for a “Superior King” or “two Queen” bedding options and includes a complimentary deluxe Continental breakfast. Those wishing to stay at the Hotel Warner must make reservations directly with the hotel at 610-692-6920 and identify themselves as being associated with ALEPH.

  • The Holiday Inn Express is a 10-minute drive from campus. A room rate of $119/night plus tax has been negotiated for ALEPH guests. Those wishing to stay at the Holiday Inn Express should make reservations by June 10th to take advantage of this rate and use the Group Code: ALEPH when booking a reservation online or by calling the hotel directly at 610 399.4600.

  • One mile from campus, Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast has very limited availability.

All Inclusive Program Fee

$595 – Adult Single [private room; all meals: Friday dinner through Sunday brunch; Shabbat and Sunday programming]

$530 – Adult Double [shared room; all meals: Friday dinner through Sunday brunch; Shabbat and Sunday programming]

$420 – Adult Commuter [all meals: Friday dinner through Sunday brunch; Shabbat and Sunday programming]

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 3% is not applied to donations). Not only is the T’rumah fee tax-deductible to you, it enables ALEPH to make programs financially accessible to as many participants as possible. In addition to your support, ALEPH is building the T’rumah Financial Aid Fund by earmarking a dedicated portion of all memberships/donations, a percentage of end-of-year surplus and by soliciting direct donations to the fund.

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellations received by 5 pm (eastern) on Friday, May 15, 2015 - full refund less $50 registration fee per person
  • Cancellations after 5 pm (eastern) on Friday, May 15, 2015 - partial refund: total fee less $300 (adult and teen with housing); total fee less $225 (commuter and child)
  • No refund for cancellations after 5 pm (eastern) on Friday, June 12, 2015.

Cancellations must be received in writing and addressed to ming@aleph.org.

Getting There... Together

For driving directions from the airports and other origination points, map your travel to: 700 S. High Street, West Chester, PA 19382

Participants traveling by air should fly into PHL (Philadelphia International Airport) or ILG (New Castle Airport, Wilmington DE).

Shuttle from/to the Airports

Delaware Express Shuttle is offering us discount group rates to and from West Chester University. To reserve your ride from PHL or ILG to Ruach Ha’Aretz or Getting It...Together, please call 800-648-5466 to make your reservation. You must use conference name ALEPH in order to access the following rates:

The single passenger rate is $53 (normal single fare is $74).

The two-passenger, if booked at the same time, rate is $63 and increases by $10 for each additional traveler.

Please note: reservations must be made no less than 24 hours in advance of your preferred pickup time. Travel time from the airport is about 45 minutes.

Arrival and departure times:

Make your plans to arrive between 1pm and 3pm on Friday, July 3rd to allow time for registration and settling into your lodging.  There will be a short orientation at 4:00 pm followed by Mincha. The actual program begins at 5:30 pm.

The celebration and summit will end at 1pm on Sunday, July 5th.

Driving to the Shabbaton?

We have set up a Ride Share Board so that you can share rides to or from WCU. Click on the link to access the form online where you can offer or seek a ride to or from West Chester.

Please pay close attention to the options – Getting It... Together is immediately preceded by our ALEPH Ordinations Students intensive study week/’Smicha Week’, and followed by Ruach Ha'Aretz. Some may be seeking or offering rides at different times this summer.

Shuk

As usual, we will have a Shuk, where you can purchase books, music, clothing, and more.

Interested in selling? Here are a few things you should know:

  • Everyone is welcome to sell at the Shuk. You do not need to attend the retreat.
  • If you are a member of ALEPH, we ask that you tithe 10% of your total sales. If you are not a member of ALEPH, we ask that you tithe 20% of total sales. The tithing rate is calculated by who owns the merchandise, and not who brings it to the Shuk for sale.
  • All merchandise must be individually priced and accompanied by an inventory list, whether you are attending the retreat or not.
  • Questions? Contact Charlotte Sutker: charlotte.sutker@gmail.com.

Film by Laurel Chiten, newdaydigital.com/The-Jew-in-the-Lotus.html