NER FJMC Presents:
VeTreat 2020
Registration Closed

Saturday, June 13 - 8:30 PM to 11:00 PM
Sunday, June 14 - 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

TheRetreat, or The Laymen's Institute as it was previously known, is the first and oldest weekend retreat for Jewish men in America. Now in its 74th year, TheRetreat 2020 at Camp Ramah has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. However, while there is no real substitute for the in-person camaraderie, camp food and sleeping in bunks at TheRetreat, we will be holding a Virtual Retreat, a VeTreat, on the same weekend instead.

The VeTreat will be from 8:30 PM - 11:00 PM, Saturday, June 13 and 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Sunday, June 14, 2020 via Zoom.
Activities will include story and joke telling by professionals, a talk by a GRAMMY nominated scholar, Havdalah, a virtual Hearing Men's Voices session on "Responding to George Floyd," and Sunday morning worship. See below for information on the presenters.

If you have ever thought about attending the annual NER-FJMC weekend retreat at Camp Ramah, this is a chance to get a sample of what it's like, from the comfort of your own home

Zoom instructions will be provided upon registering, and a detailed schedule will be sent before the event. Feel free to join us for all or just some of the activities. Time will be set aside for schmoozing.

The VeTreat is free and open to all men in the New England and Connecticut Valley Regions of well as former TheRetreat/Laymen's Institute attendees.

Registration is required and is closed!!


Our Guest Scholar will be Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit, Research Professor of Music and Judaic Studies at Tufts University, Emeritus Hillel Executive Director and Jewish Chaplain at Tufts, terrific guitar player and GRAMMY Award Nominee. Come to the VeTreat to hear and learn from a Rabbi, Professor, scholar, ethnomusicologist and great mensch, as he presents his unique and stimulating talk, Abayudaya: The Music and Culture of the Jews of Uganda Sunday morning.

The Abayudaya, a small community in villages in Eastern Uganda, are practicing Jews. Many members scrupulously follow Jewish ritual, observe the laws of the Sabbath, celebrate Jewish holidays, keep kosher and pray in Hebrew. This community self-converted to Judaism in 1919 and is now affiliated with the Conservative Movement.The Abayudaya have endured adversity in the practice of their Judaism, surviving the persecutions of Idi Amin, and today they have warm, productive relationships with their Christian and Muslim neighbors.

Rabbi Summit has been working with the Abayudaya for the past 20 years. He is a co-author of the book Abayudaya:The Jews of Uganda. He has also recorded, compiled and annotated a CD entitled “Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda” which was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for best album in the category of Traditional World Music.This fascinating talk will examine the Abayudaya’s musical traditions, along with the culture, history and current situation of this extraordinary Jewish community.

Rick Stone is a nationally recognized speaker on the power of storytelling and its applications in business, healthcare, and education. He is the CEO of StoryWork International, applying the power of story to challenges in business, healthcare, and education. He got his start 25+ years ago developing story-based training programs for team building and leadership development, and has been a leader in work on narrative reminiscence. He has worked with diverse organizations such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Hewlett Packard, Eastman Chemical Company, Kraft Foods, and Novant Health

Rick was at TheRetreat 2019 where he presented his one man show titled "The Magid" that was a big hit. For the VeTreat, he will be presenting a short Hasidic story "The Miser" on Saturday evening.

Bill Novak has written or coauthored some two dozen books, including the bestselling memoirs of Lee Iacocca, Tip O’Neill, Nancy Reagan, the Mayflower Madam, Oliver North, Magic Johnson, and Tim Russert. He is the author of Die Laughing: Killer Jokes for Newly Old Folks and is the co-editor with Moshe Waldoks of The Big Book of Jewish Humor.

Bill will amuse and entertain us with jokes around the BYOB "campfire" after Havdalah. Come prepared with your own favorite jokes to tell following Bill's presentation.

Cantor Elías Rosemberg
of Temple Emanuel in Newton will lead us in Havdalah on Saturday evening. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and comes from a family of musicians. His grandfather was a Hazzan and his father was a clarinetist in a Klezmer band. He studied at Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano and in 1994 obtained the degree of Hazzan and Singing Professor. He has appeared several times on TV and radio programs and is featured on several recordings. Cantor Rosemberg has been at Temple Emanuel since 2007. 

Registration is required and is closed!