JOIN Clergy Retreat Frequently Asked Questions

Note: This is a sample from our 2019 Clergy Network retreat. 

Who is this retreat for?

This retreat is primarily (but not exclusively) for Clergy that JOIN has trained through our programs, including:

Additionally, we are in relationship with many clergy who have not officially done our programs, and also know there are many clergy doing great organizing work that we have yet to connect with. If you are not an official alum of any of the above programs, please email and we will see if this retreat is a good fit for you.

Additionally, this retreat will coincide the conclusion of this round of JOIN’s Clergy Fellowship, with cohorts in Atlanta, North Carolina, and New Jersey. There will be a chance to explore whether your area could be a future candidate for a cohort.

Return to Top

What does this retreat cost?

It costs JOIN $250/person for food, housing, and training for the two nights/three days. If you have the resources, we ask you consider paying this full amount, or to pay $350 to support subsidizing other participants’ attendance. After the Early Bird registration deadline on December 14, this rate will go up to $275.

We are prioritizing making this event accessible to all our clergy regardless of ability to pay. One way JOIN is doing this is by setting  aside funding for 30 pre-subsidized registrations for $180 for the whole retreat, first come first serve (we will add more if possible). We will take down this option once those are no longer available. After the Early Bird deadline on December 14,  this rate will go up to $200.

If you need additionally financial assistance for registration, or for travel assistance, please reach out to Tali Smookler at and we will work with you to find a rate that works for you – if you feel called to join us, we want you there. The final deadline to register is January 25.

***NOTE: If you are in the clergy fellowship, your fellowship fees have already covered the cost of this retreat and you will be able to register for free at your special link on the registration page.

Return to Top

Where is the retreat?

The retreat will take place at the Pearlstone Center, a Jewish and kosher retreat center outside of Baltimore.

Return to Top

Is the retreat center accessible?

We are committed to working with you to making this retreat accessible. The retreat center is wheelchair accessible, and if you use a wheelchair please reach out to so we can make sure we assign you rooms that meet your needs. In the registration form there is space to share other accessibility needs and we will follow up as needed to work with you to make this an accessible retreat for you.

Return to Top

How do I register and when do I need to register by?

The Early Bird deadline to register is by December 14. After December 14, the rates will go up. The final registration deadline is January 25, 2019.

You can get the registration link on our website here. Note that there is a different link for clergy who are in our current cohort of our Clergy Fellowship.

Return to Top

What does travel look like? How do I get there?

This retreat will take place at the Pearlstone Center.

If traveling by plane, your destination should be BWI Airport. From there, JOIN may provide a shuttle, and we’ll help coordinate ride-shares as well. If traveling by Amtrak, you should disembark at the BWI Airport stop. (Note that the Penn Station Baltimore stop is slightly closer to Pearlstone, but it’s unlikely JOIN will provide shuttles from that location, or that there will be many others to ride-share with.) If you choose to walk, more power to you, but we’re not sure we can help.

Here is Pearlstone’s list of reliable cab/shuttle companies, if you are coordinating transportation on your own.

Note that the drive from BWI Airport to Pearlstone averages 45 minutes, with significant variation depending on traffic.

The Pearlstone website also provides driving directions from points South, West, and North.

We’ll be in touch with more details about coordinated transportation soon!  

Return to Top

I want to come but need financial support, who do I reach out to?

We really want you to join! We will do our best to support your and so the cost isn’t a barrier to joining. Please reach out to Tali Smookler at by December 10 with your request, who will work with you to support your attendance. We have set aside limited funds to support alumni, and will do our best to meet you need. This can be for support with registration or travel costs.

Return to Top

I am currently in the Clergy Fellowship, what do I need to do to sign up for the retreat?

Because you have already paid, we have created a different registration form for our current Clergy Fellowship cohort (which you can find here). You are still required to register for this retreat, so make sure to fill out this form by the registration deadline of January 25.

Return to Top

What is housing like?

There are two types of rooms, rooms that are more hotel-style (the Orchard Guest Rooms) with two beds and a pull out couch, and rooms with two bunkbeds (the Garden Lodge). We will assign people first come, first serve to the Orchard Guest Rooms. Depending on demand and how many people register, those rooms will either have two or three people per room. You can see the room options here.  

If you would like to request a specific type of room because of an accessibility need, please indicate that on your registration form. You may also request others you know going to be your roommate when you register.

Return to Top

I’m part of the Clergy Fellowship. How does this interact with my end of year retreat?

We are still working out the details, but Monday we will kick off the retreat with all Clergy together, and then Clergy Fellows will split off until Tuesday around lunch for their own program. The rest of the retreat will all be together.

Return to Top

Can I come to just part of the retreat?

The retreat will be designed assuming that participants are there for the whole retreat, and so we highly recommend you to join for the entirety of the retreat to get the most out of the experience. The retreat will go from noon on Monday, March 4 until March 6 at 3 p.m.

Return to Top

Can I bring my children?

While we are not planning for many children, if this is a need for a significant amount of our participants we may arrange childcare. Please reach out to if you hope to bring your children.

Return to Top

What time is the retreat at?

The retreat starts at 12 p.m. on Monday, March 4th, and concludes on Wednesday at 3 p.m, March 6th.

Return to Top

What is the agenda?

The agenda is in the works, we will share more soon.  If you have ideas of what you’d like to see, please email

Return to Top

I have other questions, who do I ask?

Reach out to Tali Smookler at or at 617-350-9994 x 208.

Return to Top