Camp Nirkoda Ba'Kerem

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Camp Nirkoda Ba'Kerem 2017
October 27-30, 2017.
URJ Camp Newman, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California.
Yaron Malihi, Mitch Ginsburgh, & more

Dancing on the deck The camp's very own vineyard Fall colors at Camp Newman
Pictures from Camp Newman: dancing on the outdoor deck, vineyard, and fall colors.

What is Nirkoda Ba'Kerem?

Set in the heart of Sonoma County, California, Nirkoda Ba'Kerem is all about community. Come join your friends — some you've known for years, and some you've yet to meet — for a fun-filled weekend of nonstop Israeli dancing located at the beautiful Camp Newman. We'll enjoy the benefits of California's famous vineyards by incorporating a wine tasting adventure during the camp! Excellent wine and fantastic Israeli Dancing—what could be better?! Don't miss it!

Meet the Staff

Nirkoda Ba'Kerem 2017 staff

Yaron Malihi will be coming from Israel to share his infectious energy and friendly, outgoing personality. He's choreographed tons of wonderful dances such as Bocha Be'seter, Derech Ha'shalom, Al Salsalim, Bein Arbayim, Metukim (with Dudu and Avi), K'sheat Rokedet, Ha'lailah Yesh Chagiga, Chatan Bar Mitzvah, Z'man Pitziot, Ad Ha'sof (one of my personal favorites!), Malach Sheli, and Shir Mehalev.

Mitch Ginsburgh may be young, but has already won the admiration of dancers across the United States at many different camps with his unique style and creativity. You're sure to love his exceptional talent and warmth. He choreographed Baba Kosmi, Op, Ansi Dize La Novia, Vilna Ga'on, and more.

Shirley Smith is the ever-popular programmer who will keep you on your feet all night long — and well into the morning! Shirley ran SababaNights on Thursdays in Palo Alto for nine years before moving to Los Angeles, and we are thrilled to have her back in the Bay Area for Nirkoda Ba'Kerem.

Karina Lambert, Loui Tucker, and Latishya Steele are markidot in the Bay Area, so of course they'll be joining all the Nirkoda Ba'Kerem fun! Those of you who are local already know how fantastic these three are, and those of you joining us from far away get to find out!

Aaron Alpert is your camp director and host for the weekend. His main job is to ensure that you're having an awesome time!

Dancing at Aaron's Nirkoda Mi Nona workshop in September 2016

Housing Options and Prices

Please click on the detailed housing descriptions to make sure you are comfortable with the options as described. Note there is a very limited quantity of the motels and suites, so sign up early if you want one of those!

Housing Level Early bird
(by Aug. 27)
(A) Student (details)
      Up to age 25, in bunks of up to 8 people (same sex), individuals only
$300 $325
(B) Bunk (details)
      Up to 8 people (same sex), dorm style bathroom, individuals only
$390 $420
(B*) Bunk — double occupancy (details)
      New! This option added on Sept. 5.
      Same as bunks, but only two people, good for couples or individuals
$415 $445
(C) Motel (details)
      Two people, one bath, individuals or couples
$480 $515
(D) Suite (details) — Sold out
      Two people, one bath, individuals or couples
$520 $560

In order to create a strong, unified, and consistent community for the weekend, we are not offering any partial registration (e.g., two nights, just the parties, guests).

What's Included?

The prices above include all meals (Friday dinner to Monday breakfast — kosher style, and we can accommodate whatever your dietary needs are), all Israeli dance and other camp activities. Linens are not included, but may be requested for $25/person, for which you get sheets, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, bedspread, 1 body towel, 1 hand towel, and 1 wash cloth.

Wine Tasting

All levels include our signature wine tasting experience. Camp Nirkoda Ba'Kerem's wine experts have chosen several local vintages for you to sample as our sommelier helps you to identify the subtle flavors of each wine. For those participants who do not drink, we will have a simultaneous fancy non-alcoholic beverage tasting. All dancers have the opportunity to evaluate their favorites and to enjoy the hors d'oeuvres selected for their pairing with the wines.

Schedule of Events

The full schedule will be released as we get closer to the event, but to give you a general sense of what's going on...


Registration begins at 2:00 P.M. We begin with a Welcome Session at 4:00 P.M., to get you in the mood. You'll change into all white as we welcome Shabbat together with prayers, a festive meal, and singing. Then prepare for the first night's Dance Party, a harkada-style event with your favorite dances.


We begin with the Teaching of new dances, continuing through lunch. In the afternoon, you can choose from several Specialty Sessions available, which allow you to explore a particular aspect of Israeli dance, such as couples dances, high-energy cardio dances, nostalgia dances, etc. In the evening, we celebrate Havdallah before returning to a late-night Dance Party, reaching past the 4 A.M. mark.


On Sunday morning our teachers Review the wonderful dances they've taught so far. We have a few more Specialty Sessions before Nirkoda Ba'Kerem's signature Wine Tasting event. The final Dance Party will keep going, and "survivors" will see the sunrise (maybe even breakfast?) before they stop. Exhausted but happy dancers will say Goodbye on Monday morning, returning home after breakfast.

Getting There

Camp Newman is a pleasant 1.5 hour drive north of the San Francisco Airport (SFO) — yes, you do get to cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Oakland Airport (OAK) is also reasonably close, or you might find a carpool from the slightly farther San Jose Airport (SJC). There is a small regional airport, Sonoma County (STS), which is a 12 minute drive from the camp, but there are fewer flight options.

We encourage you to sign up for the camp carpool board. You can save gas, split costs, and help out-of-town dancers get to camp!

Address: 4088 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Click for Google map and local directions


All participants must sign a waiver of liability. A deposit of $100/person is needed to confirm your reservation. To receive the Early Bird price, full payment is due by August 27, 2017. Full payment for all participants is due by September 27, 2017, and failure to pay the full amount by that date will result in the loss of your reservation as well as forfeiture of all payments. Requests for cancellation must be made in writing no later than September 27, 2017, and are subject to a $100/person cancellation fee.

After registering, you will receive an email with details on how to pay. We accept cash, check, or credit card (3% service charge added).

No pets or other animals may be brought to camp (except service animals).



Sign me up! Click here for the registration form.