For teens, a vital space for queer joy

January 24, 2024

By Amram Altzman

“Going to this Shabbaton changed the way I saw myself for the better because I finally learned to love all of me.” – Rivka, New Jersey

Our first LGBTQ+ and Ally Teen Shabbaton of 2024 is almost here! 

Since our first Shabbaton in 2012 where I was a participant, this weekend retreat has created a vital space of queer joy for hundreds of LGBTQ+ Jewish teens from all over the United States and Canada. 

This year, we plan to bring together over 100 LGBTQ+ Jewish Youth at our Midwest (March 15-17), East Coast (March 29-31) and West Coast (May 10-12) Shabbatonim this spring. Stay tuned for news later in the year of a Shabbaton in the Southwest as well!

Who is the Shabbaton for?

  • LGBTQ+ Jewish teens, ages 13-18 and in grades 7-12. 
  • We bring together queer and trans Jewish teens from all expressions of Jewish life and from all over the U.S. and Canada.
  • Our programs include grade-specific spaces and lodging, so that teens get to connect meaningfully with peers their own age, while also learning from peers of different ages. 

Learn more here.

Where are the Shabbatonim? 

  • Our Midwest Shabbaton (March 15-17) takes place outside of Chicago.
  • Our East Coast Shabbaton (March 29-31) takes place outside the DC area.
  • Our West Coast Shabbaton (May 10-12) takes place outside the LA area. 
  • Our Southwest Shabbaton – dates and location TBA!
  • All venues are Jewish retreat centers with round-the-clock security.

Exact Shabbaton venue locations, and recommended flights/trains from major cities, are shared once you register, for security reasons. 

How much does it cost to participate? 

  • Thanks to our generous supporters, we only charge a $54 registration fee, plus travel expenses. We offer generous scholarships to assist with any financial barriers to participation.

What does programming look like at a Shabbaton? 

Why should I/my child(ren) attend a Shabbaton? 

  • LGBTQ+ Jewish teens deserve the chance to celebrate and express their unique selves in a low-pressure, fun environment with their peers
  • LGBTQ+ Jewish teens meet and develop relationships with LGBTQ+ Jewish adult role models and clergy.

Where can I learn more? 

How do I register? On our website! Spots are limited, so please register as soon as possible.

As we celebrate growth and renewal later this week on Tu b’Shvat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees, may we be reminded of our power to inspire growth and renewal not just in our environment, but in our communities and in ourselves, year-round. We know that at our upcoming Shabbatonim we will savor together new avenues to growth! We hope you or a teen in your life will join us.


Amram Altzman