Monthly Archives: February 2014

Chair’s Letter

Welcome if you’re new to our community and are trying to find out just what it is that your friends keep enthusing about. Welcome also if you’re a long-time attendee wanting to know what’s in store for Summer Institute 2014.

This is a year for many changes, starting with the replacement of our large paper brochure with this folder, our new website, and culminating with our move to the campus of Oberlin College. The detailed information and registration forms formerly contained in the brochure are on our website. We will have the adventure of new spaces for all of the activities of Summer Institute.…

Theme Speaker: Rabbi David M. Horowitz

Rabbi David M. Horowitz

The Journey of Change

Theme speaker: Rabbi David M. Horowitz

We are thrilled to welcome back Rabbi David Horowitz, who was our theme speaker at OMDSI 2005. He will speak to us this summer on “The Journey of Change,” a most appropriate topic for us to contemplate as we make our new space at Oberlin into our community home.

Rabbi David M. Horowitz (Tulane University B.A., Hebrew Union College, M.A., D.D.) is returning to Summer Institute. He was our theme speaker in 2005, and is currently the rabbi emeritus of Temple Israel in Akron, Ohio. Ordained in 1969, he has been the spiritual leader of congregations in Indianapolis and Hammond, Indiana, Queensland, Australia, and Akron, Ohio where he is currently Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel.…


Community life at Summer Institute revolves around twice-daily intergenerational services, Morning Worship and Vespers. In each, worship leaders create innovative ways to deliver inspirational messages including storytelling, vocal and instrumental music, multimedia presentations and more. Announcements at worship services – always informative, occasionally entertaining – are the primary source for updates and information throughout the week. For SI community members, worship services serve as daily touchstones.

Rev. Dave McFarland, Allegheny UU Church, Pittsburgh, PA
Rev. Dave came to what he lovingly calls “The OM District” in 2004, being called by Allegheny UU Church, a century old inner-city church in Pittsburgh, PA.…

Morning Seminars


    Jessie Halperin & Julia Charvat Och

    Rooting us in our religious history and theological callings, this five part curriculum outlines the distinctions between reproductive “health,” “rights,” and “justice”; opens awareness of reproductive oppressions; offers opportunities to learn about ourselves and each other as sexual and reproductive beings; and equips us to move forward, out into the world, with integrity and vision. This will be an adaptation of the UUA’s curriculum on reproductive justice, which was created when the 2012 General Assembly delegates choose this topic as the nationwide 2012-2016 Congregational Study/Action Issue.


    Bob Mitchell

    This seminar will present a scientifically accurate yet accessible understanding of how our planet is now reacting to ever rising CO2 levels.

Youth Program (arriving 7th grade-Completed 12th grade)

The Summer Institute youth program provides high quality programming for 100+ youth while maintaining an atmosphere of fellowship, learning and sharing meaningful experiences. The SI youth program
takes pride in empowering participants and serves youth from grades seven through twelve. The program is planned and facilitated by a panel of elected youth and adults working together. Youth will experience friendship and acceptance in a safe and supportive community.


Each year, informative new speakers engage students on a range of themes from religious exploration to social justice and more. Participants also break into daily workshops that are led by youth, that
highlight their diversity and creativity.…

Young Adult Program (SI-ers aged 18-35)

YAs at SI are a diverse, growing community. Because young adulthood is a time of transition and self-discovery, this year’s Young Adult theme is all about balancing UU beliefs and ideals with living in the real world. Young Adults join the general community for most daytime activities, including meals, theme talk, morning worship, workshops, and evening vespers. They also engage in Young Adult specific activities, which include themed touch-base groups and their own worship. The themed touch-base groups offer a variety of activities that range from exploring nature to discussing what “growing up” really means, and provide a daily opportunity for first-timers and old-timers alike to meet new people.…

Seminars Posted for 2014

We have posted the morning seminars for OMDSI 2014! You can now start your planning, and maybe get a little excited for this summer 😉 Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to registration.…


Unlike adult morning seminars, children’s RE, and youth programming where you commit for the week, afternoons at SI are more “come and go as you please.” You don’t sign up for these workshops but enjoy the offerings, or exercise, (or nap!) as the spirit moves you. Early afternoon workshops are from 1:30 to 3 each afternoon. They are intergenerational and designed to be experienced by families together. Please remember to be responsible for your children during that time. Late afternoon workshops are from 3:15 to 4:45 and are age specific.

  1. Children’s Choir (12:45 to 1:25)

    Joe Schafer

    SI Children’s Choir is back for the eighth year.


Each evening’s events are planned to engage, entertain and provide relaxation for campers of all ages:

Lively Concerts
Intergenerational Movie
Family Friendly Monte Carlo Night
Intergenerational Dance with a Live Band
Ultimate Frisbee in Dark
PEEK-PEEK-PEEK—an Intergenerational Card Game
Instrumental/Vocal Ensemble Concerts
Open Mic Night
The Youth Coffeehouse

The Pub

From 9:30 PM onward, adults gather there to socialize, share a pub beverage, make music, play games and make new friends while reconnecting with old ones. It’s a great place to relax and hang out when the day’s events are over. This is a great time for families to utilize the Childcare Co-op.…