Imagine Shabbat . . .
Amidst the brilliant reds and golds of a Wisconsin autumn.
With our rabbi and cantor and JRC friends, old and new.
Your own silent Amidah, outside, accompanied by the rustling of leaves and the melody of birdsong.
Grilled cheese sandwiches, dunked in tomato soup with a side of dining hall chatter.
Wine and snacks, laughter and singing, immersed in the warmth of the moment and the flames of the firepit.
Havdalah under the stars.
Imagine Shabbat, at camp. You are imagining the JRC Adult Kallah, a weekend away from the city, in nature, a time to rest and renew.
Our home for Adult Kallah has been Olin-Sang-Ruby-Union Institute (OSRUI), a beautiful campsite located on 200+ sprawling acres in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, an easy two-hour drive from Evanston. We have gathered together in the adult-friendly Lodge, reserved just for us, in double rooms with private baths, a window-lined meeting room with a lovely stone fireplace, and, of course, our own kitchen so we are never without a nosh! There is a fire-pit right outside the Lodge doors, and the dining hall, serving us tasty kosher meals, is just a short walk down the hill.
In addition to our traditional – and decidedly UNtraditional – celebration of Shabbat, every Kallah has been organized around a theme. We have viewed films, read short stories, listened to inspiring TED and ELItalks and heartfelt StoryCorps offerings – all with a Jewish theme or twist. For each Kallah, the offerings have been designed to get us talking and thinking. And talk we do! From deep philosophical musings to personal reflections, we challenge and support each other as we build and strengthen our JRC adult community. In the midst of all the communal prayer and song and discussion, there is also plenty of time scheduled in for long walks, Shabbat naps, mahjong and scrabble, and rejuvenating relaxation.
Adult Kallah is a weekend of learning, dancing, praying, laughing, eating, singing, connecting with nature – and with each other. We celebrate Shabbat and, at the same time, we celebrate the JRC community we’ve all come to know and to love.
JRC Adult Kallah is, quite simply, camp for adults! And just like at summer camp, the memories last far beyond our all too short time together. When asked about what makes Kallah so special, one participant talked about celebrating Shabbat outside, surrounded by the peace and quiet of nature. Another shared the power of unrolling the Torah scroll on our laps, connecting with text and tradition in powerfully tangible ways. And yet another commented on how special it is to return to summer camp – whether it was part of your childhood or something you only dreamed of as a kid. But everyone agreed on one thing: that the sense of community and connection is most meaningful and it is what makes the Adult Kallah experience truly magical.
We look forward to the future, when we can again gather together in person and forge new memories at the JRC Adult Kallah.