General

I. How do I make changes to my reservation - contact information, deposit number, etc. - with CampMinder?

  • At this time, all changes will need to be made by emailing LTaken@rac.org

II. How will I know when my students have registered for L'Taken?

  • You can do a quick check by logging into the primary account for your congregation, navigating to "Forms and Documents," and selecting the document labeled "January 21-24 Participants" (but with the date for your weekend
    • The same document exists for checking chaperones
  • RAC staff will be updating reports for each weekend on a weekly basis. These reports will let you know which of your students, and which of your chaperones have registered for L'Taken. They will also provide the student's congressional district, any roommate requests, and if they are a returning student

III. My CampMinder account is locked, what do I do?

IV. I cannot remember the answer to my security questions, what do I do?

V. I need an excused absence letter for my students. Where can I find this?

VI. I need a packing list for my students. Where can I find this?

VII. What is your cancellation policy?

VIII. How much money should I have my students bring for offsite meals?

  • We recommend that students bring about $60 for offsite meals. This includes Saturday dinner, Sunday dinner, and Monday lunch

IX. If I have 8th graders interested in attending L'Taken, can I bring them?

  • Our program is designed for 9-12th graders. We typically discourage congregations from bringing younger student as the programming is built with high school students' education in mind. Additionally, the age breakdown of our attendees is about 50% 10th grade, 50% 9th, 11 th and 12th graders. This makes it especially difficult socially for those younger than 9th grade.

X. What measures are being taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?

  • The health and safety of our participants has always been our top priority and will remain so as we work to open L'Taken safely. As we consider every aspect of our program and operation in light of COVID-19, we have updated the following FAQs to answer some of the questions you may have , including information regarding our vaccination policy and trip insurance.
  • Some highlights include: requiring vaccinations for everyone on site, masking policies, and creating bus groupings to keep "pods" together

Forms & Registration

I. What information will my student's families need to have on hand while they fill out registration?

  • They will need to have the group or congregation that their child is traveling with, the date of their child's L'Taken, their child's health insurance information, and their congressional district
    • If the congressional district is unknown, each participant can find their district at house.gov, which is linked to on the registration form

II. How long will it take families or chaperones to register?

  • It should take about 15 minutes for families and chaperones to register for L'Taken. Each family will register their child in our CampMinder registration system. It should be noted that you cannot save your registration form and come back to it. It must be complete in one sitting.
  • Families will also need to log back in to their CampMinder account to upload their vaccine card and complete the Pre-Arrival screening form. These are due 3 weeks before your arrival at L'Taken

III. One of my students entered the wrong congregation on their registration, what do I do?

IV. What forms do I need to complete? When are my forms due?

V. How do I let you know that I would like my students to be paired with students from another congregation?

  • At this time, teens from congregations are not permitted to share rooms unless they are traveling to L'Taken together. We are hopeful that this will change in future year when there is less risk of COVID-19.
  • If you are traveling together and need to combine the housing of your teens, please indicate this on the Housing Assignment Form for both congregations

VI. My congregation is planning on arriving a night early. Where should I indicate this?

  • When you fill out the Travel Form, you will indicate your arrival and departure date. We will book any extra hotel rooms accordingly, and the charge will be added to your final bill.

VII. How do I get my student's health and safety information?

  • Two weeks before L'Taken, your weekend contact will provide you with your students' health and safety information. There will also be hard copies of the information in your arrival envelopes that you receive at registration

Transportation

I. How much does the RAC transportation cost?

  • The RAC transportation costs $65/person. This covers Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and transportation to your departure location. This is required if you will need ground transportation provided to you throughout the weekend. If you are bringing your own transportation, you will not be charged.

II. Can congregations use their own transportation during the L'Taken weekend?

  • Yes, some congregations do use their own transportation buses to get around DC during L'Taken. We don't allow the use of Uber or other rideshares in place of RAC transportation because it can often lead to a delay in your travel, and therefore missing parts of the program.

III. What time should my transportation arrive and depart the city?

IV. What is the best way to get from my arrival location to the hotel on Friday?

  • This will depend on your arrival location and the hotel for your seminar
    • At DCA, or Reagan National Airport:
      • If your seminar takes place at the Hyatt, there is a free shuttle to the hotel directly from the Hyatt
      • If your seminar takes place at the Hilton, the RAC is providing a free shuttle to our participants. More information will be provided to the parties that will be using that service, as per your travel form
    • If you are flying into IAD (Dulles International Airport) or BWI (Baltimore Washington Airport), we recommend you reserve a SuperShuttle. SuperShuttle can accommodate up to 10 people, and can be reached at 1(800) 258-3826
    • If you are taking the train and arriving into Union Station, we recommend one of two shuttle services. If you are traveling with a smaller group, you may want to consider taking a taxi or a rideshare to the hotel

V. We are traveling in our own bus and have extra seats. Is there anything we can do with this space?

  • In future years, we will allow congregations to open up their spaces to other congregations. However, this year we are keeping consistent bus groups to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19

Billing

I. Will families pay on an individual basis?

  • Families will not be given the option to pay when they register. Congregations will pay for the entire group. Invoices can be viewed in your congregation's CampMinder account. Families then pay you in whatever way works for your congregation.

II. When will my congregation receive our invoice?

  • · Congregations will be sent their invoice 6 weeks before their weekend

III. How will congregations pay the final bill?

  • Congregations will have two options when they pay their final bill. Either they can send the RAC a hard copy check, or pay by e-check in CampMinder

IV. Where can I find a statement of my L'Taken charges?

  • Under the "Financial Management" tab in CampMinder, you will be able to view your full statement. This is only visible in the primary account for the congregation

Programming

I. How does the RAC choose which policy issues to teach about at L'Taken?

  • Every L'Taken seminar addresses 10-12 different issue areas in a variety of interactive formats. These issues, ranging from Gun Violence Prevention to Criminal Justice Reform and Racial Justice, from LGBTQ+ Rights to environmental and economic justice, are selected based on both the current legislative agenda and issues of primary concern to the Reform Movement. The students are exposed to multiple perspectives on the issues, the Jewish values, texts and teachings that guide our thinking, and the positions adopted by the Reform Movement.

II. What does it mean that the RAC does non-partisan advocacy work?

  • Part of the great religious prophetic tradition is to explore what is broken in our world and, inspired by our faith, work to repair it. The First Amendment to the Constitution recognized the importance of the religious voice when it ensured that the government would not be allowed to stifle that voice. With that right comes the responsibility to engage in discussions about public policy in a non­ partisan way.

    Like every other religious denomination in America, the RAC's positions are based on the consensuses of decision-making processes of its national organization. The RAC does not speak for each of the members of Reform Jewish congregations and cherishes the rich diversity of views among those members.

    The RAC, like Reform synagogues and other religious organizations across the U.S., is a 501(c)3 tax­ exempt religious organization. This status allows us to engage in advocacy about the issues we care about as Jews and Americans. (For example, we advocate on issues ranging from supporting paid family and medical leave to strong North American leadership in the Middle East peace process.) At the same time, our tax status forbids us from endorsing or opposing any political candidate or party. In shorthand: we engage on issues, not individuals or political parties.

    While the general stance of the positions taken by our national organizations are moderate-liberal, reflecting the trend of the broader Jewish community at the polls, the RAC has played a distinctive role in forging bi-partisan and interfaith coalitions during Congresses and Administrations controlled by both parties that have been effective in finding common ground. We take seriously the importance of being non-partisan and welcome opportunities to work with elected officials from across the political spectrum.

III. How are the positions of the Reform Movement decided?

  • The Religious Action Center implements the policy positions adopted by the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Ultimately it is the members and rabbis of Reform congregations who set the policy for the Movement. During the Union for Reform Judaism's Biennial General Assembly, nearly 2,000 delegates from the majority of our 900 member congregations consider, debate and vote on resolutions that reflect the consensus positions of our membership. Similarly, at the annual conference of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the rabbis vote directly on the policy positions of the CCAR. In our work, we never claim that these positions reflect the view of every Reform Jew; only that they are democratically-decided policies of the institution. The democratic process and the commitment of the Reform Movement to speak out on issues of concern is as old as the Movement itself, and is evidenced by the hundreds of resolutions adopted since its inception. It is these resolutions that give the RAC its mandate to act. All resolutions are posted on the URJ's resolutions page.

IV. How are diverse opinions explored and encouraged throughout the conference?

  • RAC's positions are based on the consensuses of decision-making processes of its national organization. The RAC does not speak for each of the members of Reform Jewish congregations and cherishes the rich diversity of views among those members.

    During the opening, Friday night sermon at the L'Taken seminar, the Leadership Development Director emphasizes the importance of respecting and exploring diverse viewpoints, reminding students that while the Reform Movement has taken a particular stance on each of the issues that we explore, our tradition values debates and discussion around issues. He encourages students to picture a page of Talmud, where both the majority opinion and the minority opinion are preserved and respected. The value of considering multiple perspectives on a particular policy issue is reiterated in different ways throughout our programming.

V. Are L'Taken participants required to advocate the positions of the Reform Movement?

  • No student will ever be asked to advocate a position with which he or she disagrees. Each student speaks on only one topic during the group's visit to Capitol Hill. Since they are on Capitol Hill representing our Movement, we do ask that students select an issue with which they agree with the position of the Reform Movement. We work closely with individual students to explore the issues and answer their questions to ensure they are comfortable with and knowledgeable about the issue. Throughout the weekend, a broad range of issues are addressed -- including those affecting the U.S. (e.g. homelessness), the world (e.g. the crisis in Darfur), and Israel (e.g. the peace process). Students are almost always able to identify an issue that they are excited to speak about.

    During our lobby preparation process, we always offer to schedule visits for students in their home states with Members of Congress if they are unable to lobby on an issue that they are particularly passionate about. We strongly encourage all participants to take seriously the right and opportunity they have to make their voices heard, regardless of their views on the issues that we present.

Information for New Delegations

New groups and congregations join us each year. Let us help you make this a reality for your delegation! First time groups and groups that have not attended L'Taken in the past four years receive a L'Taken scholarship. We also have a variety of resources available to support groups in their first year of L'Taken.

Below is information to help you prepare and plan to bring your group for the first time to a L'Taken Seminar:

What is L'Taken?

L'Taken is a transformational 4-day experience focused on Jewish values, tikkun olam and public policy. The program exposes high school students to a variety of public policy issues, guides them to explore the Jewish values surrounding these issues and teaches them the skills to be an effective social justice advocate. The weekend culminates with meeting on Capitol Hill. Your teens will have the opportunity to speak truth to power as they share their views on social justice topics with leaders on Capitol Hill. While exploring Washington, D.C., teens build and strengthen their congregational community and experience their own individual capacity to create change. Get answers to all of the L'Taken Frequently Asked Questions and learn more about L'Taken.

What are the costs for a first time congregation attending L'Taken?

The costs for L'Taken are outlined on our group logistics page . Congregations attending for the first time receive a $200 per person scholarship for up to 10 people (maximum $2,000 scholarship). This scholarship will be applied to your final bill.

My families are concerned about missing school. Does the RAC provide excused absence letters?

Yes! We have an excused absence letter that students can use to inform their school of their absence over the L'Taken weekend. The first is a letter from the RAC and the second is a letter you can use to personalize for your students. This can be found on the information on our website for students and families.

How does transportation work for L'Taken?

Please see our detailed transportation information.

Friday arrival:

All groups are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the Washington, D.C., area. Groups are also responsible for arriving to the program hotel on their own. The costs associated with this travel are not included in the published program fees.

If your seminar is at the Hyatt, the hotel provides a free shuttle from DCA airport but please note that the hotel runs one shuttle vehicle on a fixed schedule and large groups may have to split between two shuttles. If your seminar is at the Hilton and you're flying into DCA, we will be providing a shuttle from the airport to the hotel. More information will be provided to the congregations using this service closer to the weekend.

Those traveling into Union Station, Dulles airport or BWI will have to arrange their own transportation to the hotel. See above for our suggested options available.

Local Transportation during the weekend and Monday departure:

If you are not traveling with your own bus to L'Taken, the RAC provides ground transportation throughout the weekend for an additional charge of $65/person. This fee includes transportation around the DC area on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and transportation from Capitol Hill back to your departing location.

When will I receive the schedule?

The final schedule for the weekend will be sent out the Tuesday prior to the weekend. Our sample weekend schedule will give you a very good sense of the weekend.

I see that the L'Taken program begins at 6:15 PM on Friday. We are arriving to D.C. earlier than this. What should we do?

If your group is arriving early and would like to store bags before venturing out into the city, the front desk of your hotel will be able to help store your luggage.

If your group is arriving in DC on Thursday night, please make sure that you tell us in advance. We will work with the hotel to arrange hotel rooms for your group for an extra day at our group rate. We will charge you for those extra nights on your final bill. If you would like to arrive in DC on Thursday, please make sure to include this information on all of your forms as well as send us an email reminder.

Where does the program take place?

The majority of L'Taken will take place at the hotel. In August, we will send out an email with your specific hotel details. We do not post hotel information on our website for security purposes. On Saturday and Sunday, we will visit various places around D.C, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Georgetown, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the Smithsonian museums. On Monday, we will be on Capitol Hill for lobbying.

What weekends is L'Taken offered and how do I register for L'Taken?

You can find a list of this season's L'Taken weekends on our website and register your group.

How can I connect with other chaperones and congregations that bring groups to L'Taken to learn best practices?

Great question! Join us in the L'Taken Chaperone Group in The Tent. The Tent is the URJ's networking platform. The L'Taken Chaperones group will allow you to connect with chaperones for tips, ideas and best practices to make the most of your L'Taken weekend. The first time you enter The Tent, you'll be prompted to create an account.

What is the role of a L'Taken chaperone?

First and foremost, the role of L'Taken chaperones is overseeing the health and safety of your participants and directly supervising them.

Chaperones play an integral role in the overall L'Taken experience. In a nutshell, your role as a chaperone during the L'Taken seminar has three parts:

First, we ask that you make every effort to ensure your students' attendance and participation in all aspects of the program, including meals. Our programming is designed to follow an arc that prepares participants for their meetings on Capitol Hill on Monday. It is vital to their experience that they are present for programs. This includes three off-site field trips into D.C., when you will be responsible for supervising your participants. Please note that you will also be responsible for any night time supervision of your students.

Second, please strive to help your participants get the most out of the seminar by facilitating group discussions and informal conversations that give them a chance to contextualize what they are learning. Your students will not all be at the same programs at the same time. By checking in with them one-on-one and as a group, you will help them integrate their experiences into a broader understanding of social justice as both an American ideal and a core Jewish value.

Third, roll up your sleeves and help us out! You will be given the chance to support the RAC's program staff and Legislative Assistants in their programming, and we ask that you volunteer for at least one or two of these opportunities. Our staff puts a great deal of effort into creating high level programming that is dynamic and informative. For many of these programs to run at their optimal level, we need help from chaperones to role play, lead discussions and facilitate activities.

For more information about what to expect, check out our chaperone video. We could not run L'Taken without our dedicated chaperones! Thank you for all that you do!