The Fall Shabbaton is an annual event that brings together the Maine Jewish community and friends from farther afield for a weekend of Torah study, soulful music, Shabbat meals, and invigorating connection. What started out as  a Friday-night dinner and concert has evolved into a full Shabbat of learning and singing, with intergenerational programs for college students, children and teens, synagogue members from across the state. Past guests have included Nefesh Mountain, Deborah Sacks Mintz, Neshama Carlebach and the Glory to God gospel singers, and Joey Weisenberg, as well as Talmud scholar Ruth Calderon. The Shabbaton has grown into a partner program to the Maine Conference for Jewish Life, sustaining our community with Jewish learning and music as we enter the winter months. 

Fall Shabbaton with Batya Levine and Sandra Lawson

  • Friday, November 4-Saturday, November 5, 2022

We’re thrilled to be welcoming communal prayer leader Batya Levine as our musical guest for the 2022 Fall Shabbaton. We hope you’ll join us in person at Colby College for Shabbat services, dinner, and learning opportunities. We also welcome guest scholar Rabbi Sandra Lawson for inspirational learning and Torah study. 


SHABBATON SCHEDULE (subject to change)

Friday, November 4

5-5:30 p.m.: Arrival and check in | Page Commons/Cotter Union
5:30 p.m.: Shabbat Dinner | Page Commons/Cotter Union
7 p.m.: Kabbalat Shabbat Services with Batya Levine | Alumni Center
8:30 p.m.: Community Oneg Shabbat | Alumni Center
8:30-9:30 p.m.: College Students Program with Lauren Cohen Fisher
8:30-9:30 p.m.: Maine Roots Cohort with Rabbi Sandra Lawson 
Saturday, November 5
8:30 a.m.: Bagels and Coffee | Diamond Atrium
9 a.m.: Shabbat Services | Diamond Building
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Children’s Program | Colby Museum of Art
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Study Sessions with Rabbinical Apprentices 
Nicole Fix: The Creative Process of the Creator
Arielle Stein: Yiddish Women Poets and their Poetry 
Chloe Zelkha: The Poetics of Grief
12:30 p.m.: Shabbat Lunch prepared by Capital Area New Mainers Project | Alumni Center
2 p.m.: Gentle Shabbat Hike and Song with Batya Levine  
3:30-4:45 p.m.: Creating an Inclusive Jewish Maine, with Rabbi Sandra Lawson | Alumni Center
3:30-4:45 p.m.: Children’s Musical Petting Zoo with Hannah Morris
5 p.m.: Se’udah Shlishit light dinner | Alumni Center
6-6:30 p.m.: Havdalah and Closing with Batya Levine | Alumni Center

Guest Artist and Scholar Bios

Batya Levine

Batya Levine (they/she) uses song as a tool for cultivating healing and resilience in their work as a communal song leader, musician, shaliach tzibur (Jewish prayer leader) and cultural organizer. They believe in the liberatory power of song to untie what is bound within us, and sustain us as we build a more just and beautiful world.
Batya is a founding core team member of Let My People Sing! and was on the Cultural Organizing Team at Linke Fligl for a number of years. They are an alumni of Rising Song Institute’s Fellowship and Residency programs. Batya offers song, ritual, and workshops in a variety of communities, including SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, The New Synagogue Project, Rising Song Institute, and Isabella Freedman. Batya composes original music made of Ashkenazi yearning, queer heart-medicine, and emunah (faith/trust). Batya released their first album, Karov, with Rising Song Records in 2020.

Rabbi Sandra Lawson

Rabbi Sandra Lawson (she/her) is Director of Racial Justice, Equity, and Inclusion at Reconstructing Judaism. She works with senior staff, lay leaders, clergy, rabbinical students, and Reconstructionist communities to help the organization realize its aspiration of becoming an anti-racist organization and movement. Rabbi Lawson is developing a series of anti-racist policies and trainings for the organization and its affiliate members. She also serves as a mentor to rabbinical students.

The 2018 Reconstructionist Rabbinical College graduate is one of the first African American, queer, female rabbis. She has consciously sought to alter the perception of what a rabbi—and the rabbinate—look like. Lawson is known for tackling difficult questions surrounding Jews and race. A social media pioneer, she models what it means to teach Torah in digital spaces, and has built a following of more than 50,000 on social media. In 2020, the Forward named her to its “Forward 50,” proclaiming her a “truth teller.”
Prior to joining Reconstructing Judaism, Lawson served as the Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life and the Senior Jewish Educator at Hillel at Elon University in North Carolina. She is the founder of Kol Hapanim—All Faces—an inclusive Jewish community that is relevant, accessible, and rooted in tradition.
Lawson served in the U.S. Army as a Military Police person with a specialty in investigations. She has served as the investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast Region, becoming the go-to person when law enforcement in the South needed information on hate groups. She lives in North Carolina with her wife Susan.