Simcha 2010

     Save the date for the Simcha conference in May! The dates are May 28-31, 2010. The theme of this year’s conference is, “Our Love for Zion: Israel’s Glorious Future According to Isaiah.”

     Simcha is an annual retreat sponsored by Chosen People Ministries. Son of David Congregation has historically been a large part of the conference, and Kehilat Sar Shalom has been a participant in this retreat for many years. In fact, we plan each year to close our services in Sterling, as all of the leadership of the congregation are generally up in Carlisle!

     The conference begins on a Friday evening with dinner. Each evening and each morning there is a main session, where there will be worship and a message from one of the key speakers. Of course, on Shabbat there is a Torah service, and a closing Havdalah service. Each afternoon, there are workshops to attend, dance classes, or just hang out with friends. And then, after the evening sessions, there is always a campfire with s’mores (weather permitting) and the Shmooze Center is open with refreshments and board games and stuff like that. The conference ends Monday morning with a breakfast, and a few closing songs. But if you choose to stay for the entire event, you should be back on the road heading home by lunch-time on Monday.

     The teens have their own services, led by carefully selected youth leaders from around the country. They also have their own special workshops and other events throughout the day.

     This year’s main speaker will be Dr. Mitch Glaser, the president of Chosen People Ministries. And the worship will be led by five-time Grammy nominee, Steve Wiggins.


     The conference is held at the Philip Bongiorno Conference Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The main sessions are held in the Multipurpose hall pictured above. This is also where registration will take place on Friday and throughout the conference.

          The David Center serves as our Shmooze Central. It is a place where people can go to hang out, have some coffee and some refreshments, listen to some music, play games, etc. It is open throughout the conference except when the main sessions are taking place. Shmooze Central is staffed by volunteers from Chosen People Ministries. There is no cost for the food or beverages here at Shmooze Central. It is all covered with your registration fees.

     The dining hall is where all meals are served. All meals are served buffet-style, but there is always plenty of food! Dinner is served on Friday evening, there is breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday, and a farewell breakfast on Sunday morning. Food always conforms to the Leviticus 11 guidelines for clean and unclean foods, but it is not necessarily certified as Kosher. If you have special dietary needs, please contact CPM for additional instructions.

          There is a playground for the young children, and a swimming pool that is free to use during the day. I can tell you from personal experience that in May, the water in the pool is usually pretty cold. But nevertheless, there are always those daring souls who are willing to brave the cold water for the chance to take a dip.

Additionally, at some point during the weekend, there are usually folks who desire to have a mikveh, or baptism. The immersion takes place at the pool, usually on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. If you are interested in having an immersion done, please see your rabbi or pastor.

     So how much is it, and how do you register? The cost of the conference is $180 per adult for double occupancy. Teens are $125.  If you have two, they are $110 each. If you have three or more, the cost is $100 per teen. For children 4-12, one child is $90, if you have two, they are $80 each. If you have three or more, the cost is $75 per child 4-12.  And infants up to age 3 are $30 each.
     Deposits are due any time, the balance of the fees are due upon arrival at the Conference Center.

To register online, please visit the Chosen People Ministries website here. To print out the brochure and send in your registration by mail, please click here.

     On behalf of Kehilat Sar Shalom, and Chosen People Ministries, I truly hope to see you at the Philip Bongiorno Conference Center May 28-31st for Simcha 2010!