Photos from the Carlebach Shavuot Retreat in Tuscany


Cooking for 37 people ….

Maureen Kendler will be giving the following talks:

Three Biblical Women
The neglected woman:
The story of Leah, the older, plainer, overlooked sister who longed for her husband’s love, who eventually won a sorrowful but triumphant victory of her own.

The tragic woman:
The story of Michal: a woman scorned and ruined, a chess piece in the bitter game of war between her father and her husband.

The wicked woman:
The story of Jezebel: the feared “other” whose name has become a byword for a sexy female demon. Maybe this reputation is undeserved…. ?

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something in the wrong place: Three misplaced Jewish objects!

Tefillin at the Y
In which sets of Tefillin turn up in a changing room locker at the pool, at the bottom of the Hudson river, and other odd places. What does it mean to resanctify holy objects?

Silence among the Jews
In which Jews keep quiet. Unimaginable? Undesirable? What role – if any- does silence have in our tradition?

Etrog on the Floor
In which festival and other “holy” foods end up in the wrong place, on the floor, in the ark, in the bath. What does this symbolize… ( and can we eat them afterwards?)

Chesed: “Burnt Feet, A Dead Snake and an Arrow in Satan’s Eye: why true Chesed is so difficult.”
Despite the fact that we all love the idea of “doing” Chesed, the warm glow we might hope it gives us is definitely not the aim of Chesed in our tradition. Chesed is hard, risky and dangerous to body and soul,as illustrated by these three Talmudic tales .



The email that went out the week before the retreat with the “non-programme”:   During the week… storytelling in the olive groves with Rachel Rose Reid, cycling with Meli Glenn, triathlon training with Rob Davis, yoga with Tobi Cohen, painting and drawing with Rachel Ingram and Fran Haagman, wilderness hiking with Matthew Rosen Marsh, group cooking, mask making with Sarah Tyler, salad making with Tammy Nisner, alternative outdoor shabbat and yom tov services, thanks to Eiran and Samuel for arranging for us to have a Sefer Torah. Tikkun Leil, Lisa Seifman on the Renaissance Jewish community in Florence. Philosophy with Eli Pine. Open Space Collective Projects Mash-up. Freestyle midnight accappella choir in the vineyards with Gabriela P. Classic film night with Natasha and games with Jeremy Levy et al. Exploration of Ezekiel with Lindsey Taylor Guthartz. Danny Pine on “Aesthetics and Hiddur Mitzvah”. Challah baking with Rach Marcus. Wine tasting on the veranda with Samuel. Learning about beekeeping and how to make olive oil on our farm. Etc and more.  Lindsey Taylor Guthatz and Maureen Kendler joint session:
Poetry in the Bible and The Bible in poetry How poetry is used in the Bible: what is it doing there? Who suddenly expresses themselves in poetry and why? And how has that poetry impacted on our prayers and modern Hebrew poetry?


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