L A C K R O C K J C C
of congregation b'nai hamidbar
to uniting of the palaces of earth
the vaults of heaven
Congregation B'nai Hamidbar, the Burning
Man Jewish community, returns to Burning Man 2004 with its new camp, the
Black Rock JCC.
For several years, the Jewish community
at Burning Man has held wonderful Friday night gatherings of prayer, song,
dancing, and food. As part of the Beyond Belief theme of Burning
Man 2003, Congregation B'nai Hamidbar
("Children of the Desert"), was created as a new home for radical Jewish
self-transcendence. We fed people, enlightened them, taught them
Kabbalah. And now we are back!
This year, we have chosen to incarnate
ourselves as the Black Rock JCC. What if your local Jewish Community
Center offered Kabbalistic experiences, mind-expanding ecstatic sabbath
services, and summer camp for grownups? What if people of all and no religions
came together to unify Heaven and Earth? Welcome to Bnai Hamidbar's Black
The Black Rock JCC 2004 will feature:
* Delicious Friday
night communal shabbos potluck dinner after communal, transdenominational,
* Davennen (ecstatic
prayer) with Rabbi Menachem Cohen and Rabbi Duvid Seidenberg
* A handy "syna-dome"
for convocations, evocations, and celebrationss
* Pre-Burn havdalah
service on the open playa
* Sefarim and Kabbalah
books for learning, reading, sharing, contemplating
singing and drumming at night
* The Book of Wisdom,
collecting teachings from all who wish to contribute
* Whatever YOU bring
B'nai Hamidbar is an open,
inclusive community that welcomes spiritual seekers of all (or no)
faiths, of diverse backgrounds and interests. Last year, alchemists,
atheists, and yogis came to Kabbalah classes; Jews and non-Jews of all
levels of practice came together on shabbos. We welcome
everyone to visit our camp, and to camp with us too, if you're interested
and willing to help build B'nai Hamidbar. How to get involved, just
here to subscribe to the jewishburners Yahoo group, and send a mail
to the list!
Here is our EVENTS CALENDAR for 2004:
Summer Camp Arts
& Crafts at the Black Rock JCC
Admit it, Burning Man is summer camp
for freaks. Come by the Black Rock JCC for arts &
crafts day, featuring lanyard-making,
hemp necklaces, fun games and music. Bring your favorite
bug juice. Kid-tested, mother-approved.
(Note: Due to BRC fire codes, the kiln and band-saw
will not be available to campers.)
"The way he sees, and the way she looks,
it's a perfect match!" "Look, this nice transsexual boy
came by the camp a little earlier,
he'd be perfect for you. Now tell me, any meshugenahs in your
family?" Oy, so many lonely people:
come by the Black Rock JCC for your interview to find your basherte (soulmate),
or at least your playasherte.
1-3pm, Weds and Thurs
Prayer of the
Whether you want to do the whole traditional
service or meditate for an hour, gather at the Black
Rock JCC to do so in community.
BYOS (bring your own siddur). Also meeting on Friday,
same time (note: it's 915, not dawn...).
If God had wanted the Bible to be boring,
She wouldn't have brought us to Burning Man. Cut
and paste your way to a new view of
the Bible at the Burning Biblical Interest Collage Party. The
week's Biblical text, magazines, paper
and scissors are provided. Resulting collages will decorate the Black Rock
JCC prayer space for Friday night services. Open to those with all degrees
flavors of faith and/or heresy.
Join Reb Menachem for a midnight journey
of meditation, music, and visionquesting. Trained in
the deserts of the Southwest, trafficker
with angels, Menachem will be your guide through the
vaults of heaven that lie within our
own consciousness. Please arrive on time so that we can
create sacred space, and bring any
objects (instruments, talismans, etc.) which will help you on
your inner journey.
12 midnight Thursday night
Services (**the MAIN event**)
Our 5th annual shabbat celebration
on the playa begins with candle lighting at 7pm, followed by
communal, interactive, inclusive services
at 730 and a potluck dinner afterwards. Our services
are in both English and Hebrew, and
everyone is welcome to attend, regardless of what your
closeminded Sunday school teacher may
have told you. We will ascend to heaven with our
voices, drums, and souls! And
for the body: both strict-kosher and vegetarian food at the potluck - especially
if you bring some. Please bring real food, your own plates/utensils, and
if you have a
favorite drum or siddur, that too.
Join the Black Rock JCC on shabbos
"morning" for a spiritual workshop in the ways of the holy
Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, who said
"Woe is us! The world is full of ligh tand mysteries both
wonderful and awesome, but our tiny
little hand shades our eyes and prevents them from seeing."
Open your eyes to heaven in front of you -- and come early if you want
to daven first.
Day Camp Field
Trip to Burning Man
Relive/have revenge upon your camp
memories on the JCC FIELD TRIP. Meet at the Black
Rock JCC for a culturally enriching
field trip around Black Rock City. When you arrive, name
tags will be placed in a hat and a
buddy system formed. Your counselor will have a whistle and
clipboard and will go over the rules
before we line up and march off to see the sights. We'll
probably sing on the way.
Blessed is the One who creates the
light of Fire! Join the Black Rock JCC near the 3:00
portopotties for Havdalah before the
burn. Check in with us during the week for more precise
Our camp is coordinated by the "JCC
Sistahood": Ariel, Rabbi Menachem Cohen, Jay
Lefton, and Rabbi David Seidenberg. The Sistahood has backgrounds
in Reconstructionist, Orthodox, Conservative, Renewal, and Secular Jewish
practice. They have earned degrees, taught at Elat Chayyim, pioneered
the Jewish Fashion Conspiracy, learned at JTS, journeyed in the desert,
and helped the man burn for many years. Our potluck dinners are kosher,
with glatt kosher food available for those who wish. Our camp is
kosher and (mostly) eco-kosher. Our services are egalitarian,
with an opportunity both for the full traditional liturgy and for contemplative
practice, meditation, chant, participation, and song.
If you're reading this page and have
never been to Burning Man, click
that link to find out more about it. It's not what you think.
We hope you'll join us on the playa
this year, and burn away the illusory boundaries that distinguish between
self and One.