Nov 2015 Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz/Birkenau

November 9 – 13, 2015


Bernie Glassman and the Zen Peacemakers are returning for the 20th year to the old site of the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oświęcim, Poland, for a Bearing Witness Retreat in November 2015. Bernie Glassman began the annual Bearing Witness Retreats in 1996, with help from Eve Marko and Andrzej Krajewski. They have taken place annually every year since then. Much has been written about these annual retreats; at least half a dozen films have been made about them in various languages. They are multi-faith and multinational in character, with a strong focus on the Zen Peacemakers’ Three Tenets: Not-Knowing, Bearing Witness, and Loving Action.

Most of each day is spent sitting by the train tracks at Birkenau, both in silence and in chanting the names of the dead. There is time to walk through the vast camps, do vigils inside women’s and children’s barracks, and memorial services. Participants meet daily in small Council groups designed to create a safe place for people to share their inner experiences. The whole group meets in the evenings to bear witness to oneness in diversity.

Although Auschwitz, the Place, is the main Teacher for this retreat, experienced Spirit Holders meet, with Bernie Glassman, each day to reflect on the retreat flow, schedule, events and make appropriate modifications if necessary.

Registration, Payment and How to Get More Information

Early Bird Fees Until December 31, 2014

Fee: $ 1,600 (includes tax deducticle donation of $300 for Scholarship Fund)

Fee: $ 1,400 (no tax deducticle donation)

From January 1, 2015

Fee: $ 1,800 (includes tax deducticle donation of $300 for Scholarship Fund)

Fee: $ 1,600 (no tax deducticle donation)

Young Adults (ages 18-28): $1,300

Single Room Add-on: $800

Double Room Add-on (For Non-Couples): $350 per person

Couples are in Double Rooms Free of Charge

1-Day Workshop (Nov 7) on Introduction to The Way of Council: $200
Workshop does not include room and board.

1-Day Workshop (Nov 14) on How The Way of Council Manifested in the Retreat: $200
 Workshop does not include room and board.

Sunday Tour of Old Jewish Quarter of Krakow: $50

Provide a Tax Deductible Donation for supporting this Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreat.

Please specify in the comments block, of the donation form, that your donation is for the support of the Auschwitz Retreat.

 You can also give Laurie Smith, (413) 367-5278,  your credit card information, or send a check made payable to Zen Peacemakers, PO Box 460, Sunderland, MA 01375 attention 2015 Auschwitz Retreat. The fee includes all buses, food and accommodations at the Dialogue Center in Oświęcim (walking distance to both Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau). Travel to Krakow and your stay in Krakow are not included in the fee. Please fill out the Registration Form below: There are a small number of single rooms. There are also double, triple and dorms (6 people to a dorm.) When you fill out the Registration Form please help us with room assignments by filling in your gender. Priority is given to couples for the doubles. If you are attending the retreat as a couple, please list your roommate and select “yes” on the couple’s button in the Registration Form. If you have a desired roommate, please give us their name in the appropriate box. If you have special needs please list them in the comments box.