What is this retreat all about?

This creative and interactive weekend retreat will bring together ~25 Jewish and Jew-curious 20s and 30s from the DC-area for three days in order to broaden the conversation about what it means to be Jewish today. We will unpack 21st century American Judaism and explore alternative models for expressing that identity. Of course, you’ll have lots of fun doing it with your 25 new best friends.

Over the course of this weekend, you will:

  • Build relationships with peers over DMCs (deep meaningful conversations) in a relaxing, outdoor environment

  • Explore alternative models for what your Jewish life could look like

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how you relate (or don’t) to your Jewish identity as a young adult


Email Us to Learn More

Who can apply?

Jewish (and Jew-curious) 20s and 30s in the DC area who are open to exploring new and alternative paths of Jewish expression.

This experience is non-denominational with no background experience or knowledge required. Ideal participants are those who feel like they have tried to connect to Jewish life in DC, but it just isn’t working and are proud to be Jewish, but aren’t sure how to make that an active part of their adult life.

Where and when is it?

Pearlstone Retreat Center, about 60 miles outside of DC. Transportation will be provided to and from the retreat.

The retreat usually takes place twice a year – once in the winter and once in the summer. It goes from 2 pm on Friday and ends around at 3 pm on Sunday. Roundtrip transportation from DC to the retreat is provided.

How much is it?

  • Early Registration: $75

  • Regular Registration: $99

These costs are all-inclusive of transportation, meals, lodging, drinks and facilitated workshops throughout the weekend – a $400 value! Financial assistance is available upon request – email beyondthetentDC@gmail.com for more information.

What's the roomming situation like?

You will stay in lodge-style rooms with 1-2 other roommates. Upon acceptance, you will be given the option to request a roommate. We will do our best to accommodate those requests.


What dietary restrictions can be accomodated?

Food will be kosher. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free options will be available at each meal – you’ll be asked to provide any dietary restrictions in advance.

Can I drive on my own and just stay for part of the retreat?

You can certainly drive on your own. However, we request that you stay for the entirety of the retreat – arriving and departing at the same time as the rest of the participants. In order to make this experience fully immersive, we ask that all participants be present, both physically and mentally, throughout the entire weekend.

Can I talk to someone about this before signing up?

Of course! Email Jackie Zais (jackiez@gatherdc.org) to find out if this is right for you. Or, if you’d like to speak with a past Beyond the Tent Retreat participant, email beyondthetentdc@gmail.com and we’ll connect you with someone who can speak about their experience.

Okay, I'm in. How do I apply?

Applications are currently closed. Keep checking back on this page, email us, and/or sign up for GatherDC’s newsletter to stay in the loop with when the next round of retreat applications will open up.

What do past participants say?

This weekend was everything to me. The people were all incredible. The content was mind blowing to me. I have so many more questions than I went in with, which I think was the point. I feel wonderfully confused about my Jewish identity and am doing my best to let that feeling sit. Now, I’m questioning everything, but not at all questioning that I want to be a Jew.

— Robin

I had such a positive and memorable experience on Beyond the Tent – meeting new friends and mentors, engaging with deep and nuanced ideas, and learning new Jewish texts (and moving poetry!).

— Mia

I entered the weekend with the expectations of meeting some interesting people while exploring theirs opinions and my own opinions about how we feel about Judaism in our current stage of life. My expectations were met and exceeded, and I have developed close relationships with people and a better understanding of Judaism and what it means to me.

— Eric

Beyond the Tent gave me the opportunity to re-think my Judaism in a positive and enlightening manner. I met some incredible people, shared some great experiences and really felt like I came away as a different person.

— Matt

I can’t say enough good things about Beyond the Tent. I literally went in knowing one one which was vert anxiety inducing for me. I wound up finding this entire new group of people! I felt welcomed from the beginning, and that anxiety was gone very quickly. I would encourage anyone considering going to try their best to overcome their nerves, because it really is such a welcoming and accessible place.

— Trey



I really didn’t know what to expect from the retreat. But soon after I arrived, I was hooked on trying to unpack my own experiences and understanding of my American Jewish identity. I’d never taken the time to unpack what Jewish culture, tradition, and morality meant to me. It was really great to have the opportunity to do so in an environment where I was pushed to think about those ideas.

Sam H

Past Beyond the Tent Pics


GatherDC is excited to meet the needs of all 20s and 30s who are interested in getting involved in DC Jewish life. We welcome the participation of interfaith ​individuals, and people of all abilities, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. GatherDC ​strive​s​ to accommodate all needs whenever possible. If you require special accommodations, please contact us​ in advance of our coffee​ at (202) 656-0743 or info@gatherdc.org, and we will make every effort to meet your needs.