Traditionally, a shabbaton is an extended weekend retreat –from Friday through Sunday– of education and celebration, held over Shabbat. Keshet strives for our retreats to be restful, celebratory, exciting, and joyful. We offer multiple options for prayer and celebration of Shabbat in a warm, accessible, and inviting environment. In order to create a welcoming experience for all participants, our group spaces are Shabbat-friendly.
In addition to a great attitude and excitement for the weekend, you should bring all the items you would need for a weekend away. You can find a packing list here.
Keshet Shabbatonim are action-packed weekends of learning, creativity, and celebration. All activities are peer-led and created and differ from year to year. We encourage participants to try their best to attend all programs, while also centering their needs for breaks or personal space. Each programming slot has different options and we try to make sure there is something that appeals to everyone! For a sample schedule, see here.
We strive for our Shabbaton to be a space where Jews of diverse backgrounds and observances can create a meaningful Shabbat together. Some participants are accustomed to honoring Shabbat every week, in a variety of ways, while others have not marked or celebrated Shabbat before. Our goal is to meet everyone’s observance needs and affirm all flavors of Judaism and Jewishness
On the Shabbaton registration form, you will have an opportunity to share any specific needs, questions, or requests related to access and accommodations. We will try our best to work with you and our venues to make sure that your needs are met at the Shabbaton. For more specific questions regarding access, this page covers some questions you may have about accessibility at the Shabbaton, including dietary restrictions, physical accessibility of the space, and more. If you don’t see an answer to your accessibility question, please reach out to Sawyer Goldsmith.
Our Shabbaton retreats are open to any LGBTQ+ & Ally Jewish teen in grades 7-12. You must be at least 13 to attend a Shabbaton.
While the Shabbaton activities are peer led, all Shabbaton weekend gatherings are directed by Keshet Staff. There are college-aged mentors and other adults who come for the weekend to help staff the retreat. For more information on who will be staffing a particular Shabbaton, please contact [email protected].
At a Shabbaton, each participant will get their own bed and room with at least 1 other participant. Shabbaton registration will include a space for participants to request whether they want to room with people of the same gender or no preference. In all aspects of programming and housing, we respect participants’ gender identities. Participants will also be able to request if they want to room with people of similar Shabbat observances. You may request a room with a friend and we will do our best to meet housing requests, but cannot guarantee all roommate requests will be met.
The Midwest Shabbaton takes place near the Chicago area.
The East Coast Shabbaton takes place near the DC area.
The West Coast Shabbaton takes place near the LA area.
You will receive the exact location upon registration.
The Midwest Shabbaton is March 15-17, 2024.
The East Coast Shabbaton is March 29-31, 2024.
The West Coast Shabbaton is May 10-12, 2024.
Registration opens on October 11. 2023 and closes 1 month before each Shabbaton.
You should attend a Keshet Shabbaton because you will have the opportunity to gather with and celebrate Shabbat with other LGBTQ+ and Ally Jewish teens in a setting that was created by you for you. If you are nervous about attending a Shabbaton or want to talk with someone beforehand, reach out to [email protected]. Also, be sure to attend our info sessions to hear more about why you should attend from former and current participants!
Most participants fly or take a train to get to a Shabbaton. Keshet provides buses (free of charge) and arranges pickups at area airports and/or train stations at designated times to get to the retreat center. Information about travel is emailed shortly after you complete your registration and exact locations for meeting our buses are emailed out the week before the Shabbaton weekend. Our staff coordinates travel so that everyone arrives safely at the Shabbaton Retreats! For security reasons, we don’t share details about travel publicly to protect the safety of our participants and staff. If you have specific questions about travel, please email us at [email protected].
We are a deeply diverse and intentionally pluralistic community. Participants come to our Shabbaton with a huge variety of connections to Judaism and the Jewish community. Some participants connect through religion, spirituality, or observance; others identify as secular or cultural; while others are exploring, or in the process of, conversion. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels affirmed in their identity and also able to grow and learn from each other and our Jewish experiences and identities. Many participants come from multi-faith families. We welcome whatever flavor of Jewishness feels right for you!
Registration is subsidized to $54, which includes programs, meals, lodging, and group transportation. It does not cover the cost of transportation to/from our buses. We offer need-based travel scholarships for registration and travel costs: we strive to ensure that cost is not a barrier for any youth who wants to participate. Partial and full subsidies will be available on a first come, first served basis. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.
Keshet Shabbaton travel scholarships are made possible with the generous support of the Davis Family and their Friends, in memory of Stanley Bello.
The safety and wellbeing of Shabbaton participants is our number one priority. Keshet’s staff is prepared for medical emergencies, and we work closely with personnel at retreat sites to ensure that security measures are clearly understood and consistently implemented. If you have specific questions about safety and security matters, please contact [email protected].