Camp Nirkoda Ba'Kerem

Nirkoda Ba'Kerem 2024 is currently at capacity. However, if you are still interested, click the button below to joint the waitlist, and we will let you know if space becomes available.

Camp Nirkoda Ba'Kerem
An Israeli dance and wine tasting adventure!
September 12-15, 2024
DoubleTree by Hilton, Sacramento, CA

Memories from Nirkoda Ba'Kerem 2023
Memories from Nirkoda Ba'Kerem 2023

What is Nirkoda Ba'Kerem?

Set in the relaxed atmosphere of Northern 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. 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

Yaron Carmel is back! At NBK 2022, we saw firsthand why he is one of the best-regarded teachers in the Israeli folk dance world! He started dancing at the age of 8, and hasn't stopped since then. He performed with Dado Kraus's troupe and danced at sessions led by Meir Shem-Tov, Shuki Terem, and Beber Shushan. Just after completing his military service, he opened his first harkada in 1995 in Karmiel, followed by Mayaan Tzvi and Misgav. Today, he runs five weekly sessions, marthons, special events, and an annual trip to Masada, as well as having been a guest teacher at camps all over the world for more than 20 years!

Ilai Szpiezak is an award-winning producer, choreographer, master of ceremonies, and educator who has performed for audiences all over the world. Half Argentinian, half Israeli, he has been living in London since 2011. In 2020, during the pandemic founded HARKALIVE: the first-ever online Israeli Dance platform, developing a new form of folk dance education. As a choreographer, he has created more than 70 dances as well as numerous stage choreographies and won several awards including 1st place in the Karmiel Festival 2019 for Bereshit. Other dances include Yom Hashishi, Ein Mehushar Mimeni, Fata Morgana, Batuach, Even Al Even, Morocco, and more. His high energy, precise teaching, and friendly smile will keep you dancing all night long!

Her Excellency, Latishya Steele, PhD, returns as our Mistress of the Computer, our Granter of Requests, our Voice Upon the Microphone — in other words, our incomparable DJ and assistant director. She will keep you on your feet all night long — and well into the morning! Latishya started her dancing career in Boston and Chicago, and she is now one of the leaders of the Nirkoda Le'Chayim session in Northern California, where she showcases her incredibly deep repertoire and talent for keeping the party going.

Aaron Alpert is your camp director and host for the weekend. His main job is to ensure that you're having an awesome time! A second-generation dancer, he was dancing before he could walk. He started teaching in 2007 at the UC Berkeley DeCal class, and then started branching out to the other Bay Area dance events. Today, he runs Nirkoda Le'Chayim with Latishya every Thursday in Palo Alto. Let him know if there's anything that can make your camp experience better.

DoubleTree by Hilton, Sacramento


The DoubleTree is a completely remodeled hotel, with renovations completed in January 2024. The well-appointed, modern rooms feature one king or two queen beds with elegant decor highlighting art from California's capital city. Each room has a mini fridge, TV, balcony, free in-room WiFi, USB and regular power outlets, toiletries, linens. There is a bright and clean bathroom for each room as well.

Dance Hall

We will dance in the California Ballroom, a modern space with air conditioning and heating, good acoustics, and even a small patio. More importantly, we will dance on a professional wood floor, complete with sprung features to make it easy on the knees.


Lunch and dinner will be catered by the DoubleTree, allowing dancers a choice of gourmet meals. Most dietary needs can be accommodated, but please contact us if you have questions, extensive needs, or severe allergies.

Note that breakfast is on-your-own, i.e., it is not included in the price of camp. For breakfast, dancers can eat in the hotel, at the full-service Twigs restaurant or the grab-and-go coffee bar; they can go to the local Arden West mall, Starbucks, or another nearby restaurant; or they can bring their own food (rooms have a mini fridge and coffee maker, and a microwave is available in the lobby).


  • Pool and hot tub
  • Full-service restaurant Twigs, grab-and-go coffee bar, RJ's Happy Hour bar and billiards
  • Free in-room WiFi
  • Fitness center
  • Parking ($10/day) — Tesla supercharges are available in the hotel parking lot. For other EVs, check for nearby Chargepoint stations.


Registration Category Early bird
(by July 12)
Single. One person in a standard hotel room. $1020 $1070
Double. Two people in a standard hotel room, either 1 king or 2 queen beds. $760 $810
Quad. Four people will share 2 queen beds in a standard hotel room. $630 $680
Support crew. Four people will share 2 queen beds in a standard hotel room. $550 $600
Student. Four people will share 2 queen beds in a standard hotel room. $450 $500

To receive the early bird price, you must be paid in full by July 12, 2024.

The prices listed above are for check or cash payments. If you choose to pay by credit card, a 3% processing fee is added.

For those considering the Quad option (support crew and students are also in quads), be aware that rooms have two queen beds, so you will be sharing two people to a bed. We highly recommend you pre-arrange a group of four friends.

For those with limited financial means, we are offering the discounted Support Crew and Student registration. In exchange for this discount, support crewmembers and students will provide several hours of support throughout the weekend, mostly with set-up and clean-up tasks. There are a very limited number of these spots available, and we ask for your understanding and empathy in leaving them available for those who truly need it. Support crew is open to anyone, while student pricing is limited to full-time enrolled students up to age 25.

In order to foster the growth of a cohesive, unified, consistent community for the weekend, we do not offer partial registration (e.g., two-nights only, just the evening parties, no hotel room).


If you need more assistance beyond the Support Crew or Student discount, we do have some Scholarships available. They are available on a first come, first served basis. Ask Aaron for details. Exact amounts will depend on financial need and dancer age (we want to support our youngest dancers).

If you want to help young people come to camp by donating money or other items (such as airline miles), you can do so on your registration form, or let us know by email.

What Is (and Isn't) Included?


The prices above include lunch, dinner, and snacks. Breakfast is on-your-own, i.e., it is not included (but there is a full-service restaurant and coffee bar in the hotel). Meals are kosher-style, meaning no pork or shellfish, and chicken and beef entrees will not contain dairy. The DoubleTree can accommodate most dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, nut-free, gluten-free), which you can indicate on the registration form. Please contact us if you have complex dietary needs or severe allergies.

Camp Events

Access to all Israeli dance and other camp activities (games, Shabbat services, etc.) is included.


Three nights lodging with the standard hotel features, such as linens and soap / shampoo.


Self-parking is available for $10 per day.

Wine Tasting

Our signature wine tasting experience is included with the price of admission. Camp Nirkoda Ba'Kerem's expert sommelier has chosen several excellent vintages for you to sample as our sommeliers help 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 harmonious pairings.

Camp T-shirt

We might have a camp t-shirt available. If so, it will not be included with the price of admission, but can be purchased online before camp.

Pre-camp session

We are not planning to hold a pre-camp session / pre-party this year. If you arrive in the Bay Area on Wednesday, consider attending Cafe Simcha near Berkeley.

Schedule of Events

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

Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning Learn new dances Review dances that we taught
Learn a few more
Afternoon Registration and welcome session Specialty sessions (e.g., horas, partners, cardio,...) Specialty sessions (e.g., oldies, debkas, international,...)
Evening Theme party
First dance party (until ~2 AM)
Theme party
Second dance party (until ~4 AM)
Wine tasting
Third dance party (until ???)

Note that we are aiming to learn approximately 8-10 dances over the course of the weekend. Refer to this list of dances taught at previous camps for an idea of what types of dances we learn.

Getting There

Driving: The DoubleTree Sacramento is about 100 miles east of SFO airport, and will take about 2 hours without traffic. We encourage you to carpool, and we will set-up a message board for you to self-arrange rides. Tesla supercharges are available in the hotel parking lot. For other EVs, check for nearby Chargepoint stations.

Flying: There are several options,

  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is the best choice for most dancers. It is an easy 13 mile (20 minute) drive from the hotel. Taxis cost about $40 each way, while ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft are around $30 each way.
    • Public transportation to the hotel is possible but not recommended. SacRT and Yolobus operate shuttle buses to/from the airport, these shuttles drop off passengers in the downtown area, which is 5 miles (10 minutes) away. From there, you can take Uber/Lyft, or take a combination of buses, the light rail blue line, and walking, to get to the hotel.
  • San Francisco (SFO) is the largest airport in the region with the most flights. The hotel is a 2 hour drive away. While there are some public transportation options, they are likely to be complicated, time-intensive, with multiple connections, so we highly recommend renting a car or carpooling with a friend.
  • Oakland (OAK) is a medium-sized airport. It's about 1.5 hours from Sacramento, and like SFO, we recommend renting a car or carpooling with a friend.

Address: 2001 Point W Way, Sacramento, CA 95815 (map).


All participants must sign a waiver of liability. To confirm your reservation, a deposit of $100/person is needed within 2 weeks of registering. To receive the Early Bird price, full payment is due by July 12, 2024. Full payment for all participants is due by August 6, 2024, and failure to pay the full amount by that date will result in the loss of your reservation as well as forfeiture of all deposit payments. Requests for cancellation must be made in writing no later than August 6, 2024, and are subject to a $100/person cancellation fee. After August 6, 2024, no refunds will be made for any reason, including a change in the COVID-19 regulations. Registrations are non-transferable.

Exceptions for COVID-19: If you test positive for COVID-19 in the 5 days before camp, stay home. In this case, you will receive a full refund regardless of the dates in the previous paragraph, provided you provide sufficient documentation.

We accept credit card via the online registration form, with a 3% processing fee. You can also submit check or cash payments.

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

COVID-19 Safety

At this time, we do not plan to require testing, masking, vaccination, or anything else. However, the rules are subject to change at any time in response to state and local law, the DoubleTree Sacramento's policies, or the sole judgment of the Director. Dancers who cancel because they do not agree to updated COVID-19 rules are not eligible for a refund.

If you catch COVID, please stay home. In this case, the participant is entitled to a full refund, provided s/he provides proof of a positive result from a test taken 5 days or less before camp.



Sign me up! Click below for the registration form.

Nirkoda Ba'Kerem 2024 is currently at capacity. However, if you are still interested, click the button below to joint the waitlist, and we will let you know if space becomes available.