Pardes Beit Midrash B’Darom

Program Description

Holy Relationships: Exploring Our Spiritual Identity
Join the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies at Ramah Darom for an unforgettable 4 days of inspiring learning, community building and innovative programming!
The chag (holiday) of Shavuot is the celebration of the Jewish People receiving the Torah and entering into a sacred covenant with God. Our texts say that three thousand years ago, at that time in our nation’s history, God’s hand could be seen and felt in the everyday lives and ultimate destiny of the Jewish People (even if not always appreciated). But what exactly is the nature of our relationship with the Divine today, when our connection is less tangible and certainly less agreed-upon? Join us this Shavuot as we examine what it means to inhabit a holy relationship, and to own our spiritual identities.
We will cover topics such as:
• Tzelem Elokim – crafting a spiritual image
• Tefilah (prayer) and other means of accessing a sacred connection
• The God of Torah & The God of Today
• Is belief in God necessary for leading a holy life
Be inspired by beloved Pardes faculty from the U.S. and Israel, enjoy classes and participate in lively havruta (paired learning), experience transformative programming in a beautiful environment, and connect with friends, new and old!
This retreat welcomes Pardes and Ramah alumni & friends, *Jewish Professionals, Day School Educators, newcomers and their families.
Sign up with peace of mind for the Pardes Shavuot Retreat at Ramah Darom! Any applicant that signs up but needs to cancel for any reason by May 1 will receive a full refund.
*Read more about our discounted Jewish Professionals Track below.

This Shavuot! Thursday – Sunday, May 28-31, 2020

Ramah Darom
70 Darom Lane
Clayton, GA 30525 United States

Phone: (706) 782-9300

rabbi meir schweiger

Rabbi Meir Schweiger teaches Chumash, Parshat HaShavua, Mishna, Talmud, Halakha, Siddur, and Interpersonal Relations at Pardes. Meir made aliyah in 1972 from the Bronx, NY, immediately after graduating from City College in New York. He did his advanced Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, and Yeshivat Har Etzion, receiving ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg of Jerusalem. He received his M.Ed in Teaching Bible from the Herzog College in Gush Etzion. Meir has also taught Talmud and Bible at the Shapell College of Jewish Studies, Michlala, Nishmat, and Beit Midrash L’torah. Since 1977, he has been a full-time faculty member at Pardes and has taught more hours and classes than anyone else on the staff. In addition to teaching, Meir has been responsible for the “affective” side of Pardes, coordinating and supervising tefillot (prayer), tiyulim (hikes), shabbatonim, and pre-holiday yemei iyun (full-day study programs). His official title is Mashgiach Ruhani (Director of Religious Life), which reflects the impact he has had on the personal and spiritual growth of many of our students. For 10 years, Meir was the Director of the Pardes Fellows’ Program, for returning, 2nd-year students, and the Educational Director of the Executive Learning Seminar. For three years, Meir was the mainstay of Pardes’ podcast series on the weekly Torah portion, and he has over 200 recordings online.


Dr. Ziva R. Hassenfeld was recently appointed the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Assistant Professor of Jewish Education at Brandeis University. Her research focuses on the tools and reading strategies young children employ when reading sacred texts, as well as the pedagogies teachers use to support student textual interpretation, fluency, and comprehension. Ziva came to the Mandel Center after earning her doctorate from Stanford University in Education and Jewish Studies. Her dissertation is Transmission and Interpretive Facilitation: Teaching Hebrew Bible in Jewish Elementary Schools. Her research has been published widely in academic journals and popular media. In addition to her research, Ziva is a passionate educator. She has taught Tanakh in a variety of settings, including at Gann Academy, Genesis/BIMA at Brandeis, Silicon Valley Beit Midrash, Stanford Hillel, Congregation Beth Jacobs, and Congregation Emek Beracha. While a doctoral student, Ziva served as a teaching assistant for the Graduate School of Education’s Pro Seminar and an instructor for the Stanford Teacher Education Preparatory Program. She is a Wexner Fellow and Davidson Scholar, Class 25.


Aviva Lauer Golbert is the Director of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators (PCJE). She majored in Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women and earned a Masters degree in Midrash at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. Aviva is a Jewish educator with over twenty years of experience in curriculum development, classroom teaching, school administration and educational consulting. Upon making Aliyah in 1996, Aviva developed formal and informal educational materials for Melitz and at the Leo Baeck Education Center, where she also gained experience in teaching pluralistic Judaism. She then served as the head of the department of Jewish Studies at Immanuel College, London. Working at the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators since 2009, Aviva has been a teaching coach, director of recruitment, director of the Summer Curriculum Workshop, and Assistant Director of PCJE before taking on her current role in 2017.


rabba shani gross

Rabba Shani Gross is the Director of North American Programs at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Shani most recently served as Pardes’s Assistant Director of Education NA. Shani earned rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat, is a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar (Class 29), and a former Hillel Fellow for Rabbinic Entrepreneurship (OOI). Shani was the Director of the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash, a center of learning on the West Coast that empowers Jewish people of all backgrounds to study classic Jewish texts in a pluralistic, warm and intellectually challenging environment. When not teaching, Shani can usually be found with her husband Chaim, chasing after their two beautiful sons, Elan and Navon.


Join our Jewish Professionals Track!

This track will include tailored workshops and hands-on training for Jewish educators and engagement professionals who are currently working with a Jewish community. Those interested in this track will be eligible for discounted rates for the retreat – limited spots so apply now!

Full Stay Prices
Housing Adults Kids 3-17 Kids NB-2
Cabin: Group or Multi-Family $275/per person $150 FREE
Cabin: Single Family $299/per person $150 FREE
Cabin: Single Family Deluxe $360/per person $150 FREE
Standard Hotel: Single Occupancy $540/per person $150 FREE
Standard Hotel: Double Occupancy $399/per person $150 FREE
Deluxe Hotel: Single Occupancy $650/per person $150 FREE
Deluxe Hotel: Double Occupancy $540/per person $150 FREE
Cottage: Double Occupancy or more $600/per person $150 FREE

Pardes is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. We will notify applicants immediately if there are changes to the program’s schedule. For Pardes’s cancellation policy, please contact Amira Mintz-Morgenthau at

Contact: Emily Kaiman, Retreat Center Program Coordinator. Phone: (404) 531-0801 Ext. 9221. Email:

Click here for full details and to register.