Rabbi Kenneth Zwerin Memorial Retreat 2011

By Sharon Bleviss

Forty lucky congregants and friends joined together at the Sonoma Valley Inn for the 34th Annual Retreat in Sonoma. All were enlightened by scholar-in-residence Rabbi Elijah Shochet’s teachings on mysticism, truth vs. peace and the value of a human life.

B'nai Emunah's annual retreat

Some of our youngest members enjoy the annual retreat the most!

In between learnings, Shabbat was celebrated as it can’t be at home–together in an organic service in the round. Breaking bread together bridged those activities, as all enjoyed the kosher catered meals. Of course, there was free time which gave folks the opportunity for taking long walks or catching a swim. On Friday night, the group gathered for a lovely ’tish’ filled with singing and sharing of stories. Saturday night, after a beautiful, intimate Havdalah, real troopers had fun playing Jewish trivia, replete with an audio round! Chocolate prizes were had by all, which fueled the hardiest souls to participate in Israeli folk dancing past 11:30 p.m.!  As always, the closing friendship circle brought real emotions to the surface, as participants tried to hold onto a few more minutes of the magical weekend.

Here are some photos from the 34th annual retreat as a Flickr Slideshow.

About Gabriele Lange

Multi Media Consultant in SF Bay Area WebDesign at City College 2008-2011 Professional Photographer since 1998 Lived in Berlin, Germany between 1987-1994
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5 Responses to Rabbi Kenneth Zwerin Memorial Retreat 2011

  1. Bonnie Gratch Lindauer says:

    This year’s annual retreat was one of the best in my many years of attending them. Rabbi Schochet’s talks were not only engaging they were deeply provocative, especially the last one on Saturday afternoon, “The Value of Human Life.” He cited many cases in the Talmud to illuminate that usually there are differing opinions and these differing opinions of the rabbis help us more clearly understand the complexity and perspectives of the issue. One main point he made is: all life is sacred and valuable. Another point is Judaism does not prioritize the variables that might be part of a decision related to saving a life. In other words, the rabbis did not use such factors as age, physical condition or social standing of a person when considering the value of a human life.
    Our own Rabbi Mark Melamut’s talk on Sunday morning creatively tied together three readings, all chosen for their use of a cave image/metaphor. We read and discussed Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” a section of Talmud, and the “Fable of the Goat” by S.Y. Agnon. Our discussion was quite lively and guided by Rabbi Mark’s question to us to consider in what ways our retreat experience is like or dissimilar to the various meanings of being inside a cave and leaving a cave.
    Let’s hear from other retreat attendees about your experiences!

  2. Sharon says:

    Great photos of the retreat! I have a few more to send you! What a wonderful weekend that was.

  3. Elizabeth Halperin says:

    It was an amazing weekend!

  4. jeffdielle says:

    I really enjoyed myself at the Retreat. It was great to be among friends learning, praying, and having fun.
    I hope that we can work hard to encourage some of our newer members to attend next year. Perhaps our Trial Membership package should include a modest discount.
    Kol HaKavod to Rabbi Mark, Art, and everyone who made this such a success.

  5. Sharon says:

    I have been mulling over the cave metaphor ever since Sunday and am not sure if I am now in or out of the cave…

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