Progressive Jewish Students (PJS) have just held their first Reconnect Retreat in the Peak District’s Hope Valley.
The residential weekend was a getaway for students looking to connect with their Jewish identity through spiritual practice and Jewish learning.
Students experienced musical Shabbat services, country walks, meals and workshops led by the Alliance for Progressive Judaism’s Chaplain Rabbi Daniel Lichman and PJS Student Fieldworkers Maya Skaarbrevik and Francesca Kurlansky.
There was a strong focus on resilience and wellbeing, addressing students’ needs on campus. Rabbi Daniel Lichman said: “We wanted to create this unique weekend retreat to equip the students with tools to help them with their day to day resilience and connection with something bigger through Jewish spiritual practices that can be brought into everyday life.”
Participant Tilly Grossman said: “The weekend was a fantastic opportunity giving me the tools to deal with the stress and challenges of university in a mindful and resilient way. I left feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of the semester.”
Francesca Kurlansky added: “Reconnect was an inspiring weekend spent with inspiring students in an inspiring setting. It was wonderful to see how keen the participants were to engage with their Judaism as a tool for creating optimum wellbeing. We chanted, learned, sang and ate together and all in the beautiful Peak District. It is safe to say that we cannot wait for next year!”
Progressive Jewish Students is a joint initiative between Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism.