Catalyst: (in)gathering

October 21-23
Baltimore, MD


Catalyst: (in)gathering is a three day Jewish living and learning experience coinciding with the Jewish holiday Sukkot. Just as Sukkot invites individuals to live in an impermanent dwelling – the sukkah – to pause, recharge, and connect, we invite you to the Pearlstone Conference Center outside of Baltimore, Maryland to learn, grow and develop meaningful Jewish ritual in your lives to bring them to your permanent homes and communities.

We will explore Jewish ritual practices relating to Shabbat, holidays and calendar-related rituals, and practices for every day reflection and learning. Participants will leave able to implement a practice into their lives and to also bring learning experiences to their home community. Because networks of support are essential in ensuring new practices take hold, this catalyst is designed for groups of 2-4 participants to attend together.

Catalyst: (in)gathering is organized by Sarah and Rob France.



Anyone is welcome to apply for Catalyst: (In)gathering. We aim to convene a community of seekers – those interested in learning as much as they can in a short, intense period of time. Therefore, we invite applicants of all levels of Jewish experience and current engagement. Applicants will be selected based on their willingness to learn and share with others who demonstrate a commitment to carry on that growth in their homes and communities.


  • Applications due: July 31
  • Applicants notified of status: August 15
  • Registration due: August 28


  • Gathering Begins: Friday, October 21, 2:00pm Eastern
  • Gathering Concludes: Sunday, October 23, 1:00pm


Sarah and Rob France


Location & Accommodations

Catalyst: (In)gathering will be held at the Pearlstone Conference Center in Reisterstown, MD. Situated near Baltimore and Washington, DC, it presents an ideal location for local community members and travelers alike.


All meals will be provided. Pearlstone Conference Center is a Glatt Kosher facility. No outside foods may be brought onto the premises – we’ll have you covered.

Travel and Participation Fee

There is no Participation fee for those traveling by air to Pearlstone Conference Center. Your travel cost will be your participant fee. For those not flying, we ask that you pay a $100 participation fee to offset the cost of room and board. If financial concerns are holding you back from applying, please apply anyway and contact us so we can do our best to work something out.

Packing List

Shabbat service/dinner (Friday night)

  • white shirt & dress/khaki pants (men)
  • white dress, or white shirt & dress/khaki pants (women)
  • dress shoes


  • clothes for optional hike/run/yoga
  • yoga mat, if driving locally and interested in yoga
  • comfortable clothes for daytime and dinner
  • warm clothes for Saturday night Havdallah

Throughout the Gathering

Weather has been unpredictable in the region. Pack to wear light layers and include a sweatshirt and jacket. It’s been cold at night and during the daytime can be hot/sunny and cold/rainy in the same day. Prepare for rain – particularly where footwear is concerned. We’ll be outside Saturday night.

Anticipate economy hotel-style housing – bedding and limited toiletries will be provided. Bring whatever toiletries you need to be comfortable.

Outside food is not allowed in the main building due to the level of kashrut observance. If you have specific dietary needs please reach out to us so we can coordinate with the venue to meet your needs.

Board/card games for Friday and Saturday night.


Catalyst: (in)gathering begins on Friday, October 21, 2:00pm Eastern. Participants may arrive anytime between 11:00am-2:00pm on the 21st. The gathering concludes Sunday, October 23 at 1:00pm.



  • 11-2: arrival/lunch/registration
  • 2-3: opening
  • 3-5: ritual tasting/snack
  • 5-6: break
  • 6-7: candle lighting/deconstructed service
  • 7-8: Dinner
  • 8-10: Oneg


  • 8-10: Breakfast/Participant-Led Activities
  • 10-10:30: Review Agenda
  • 10:30-12: Flex Block I: Torah yoga/Torah study
  • 12-1: Kevah vs. Kavanah Conversation/Snack
  • 1-2: Lunch
  • 2-3: Learn: Sukkot
  • 3-5: Deep Dive/Snack
  • 5-6: Flex Block II: Life Cycle Events/Communities of Practice
  • 6-10: Dinner/Havdallah/Bonfire/Jewish Dilemma Protocol


  • 8-9: Breakfast
  • 9-10:30: Living Calendar*
  • 10:30-12:00: Back to the Future Protocol*
  • 12-1: Closing/Pickup Lunches

*Professional Photographer Present Sunday, 9a-12p

Catalyst Community