What Happens Next? (Canceled)

2020 seminar canceled. Those interested in the seminar for 2021 should email Jeffrey.summit@tufts.edu for more info.

Location: Tufts European Center, Talloires, France

Date: July 8 to July 14, 2020

Time: 12:00 am to 11:59 pm

Cost: Single occupancy $5150 per person, Double occupancy $3950 per person

Unfortunately, the seminar will not run in 2020.


What alumni are saying about “What Happens Next?” in Talloires, France
July 8—July 14, 2020

“A unique and wonderful week – an opportunity to reflect and engage with interesting, warm and bright people, to be inspired by learned and sensitive teachers, and to do it all in a location that looked like a fairy tale post card.”

-Jodi Landau Sieber, J80, A12P and Joseph Sieber A80, AG80, A12P


JOIN us for a week in a beautiful setting reflecting on what really matters in our lives.

ENJOY thought-provoking seminars addressing how to best direct our time and energy to ensure that our lives are fulfilling, meaningful and in balance.

LEARN with Tufts Emeritus Rabbi Jeffrey Summit and Reverend Scotty McLennan of Stanford University (formerly the Tufts University Chaplain).

INDULGE in wonderful food and wine in a charming mountain village on the shores of Lake Annecy. It has inspired the likes of Paul Cezanne and Jean Jacques Rousseau—and it will inspire you too.

EXPLORE the extraordinary natural beauty of Talloires as we hike in the local mountains and experience a trip to Annecy, known as "the Venice of France.

Sign up early as spaces are limited

Tentative Schedule “What Happens Next?” 2020

Wednesday, July 8
Plan to arrive in Geneva, Transport provided to Talloires and settle into hotel. • Lunch Buffet • Introduction to Seminar and Participants • Dinner in Talloires

Thursday, July 9
How can I find personal meaning and fulfillment now? • Morning Sessions (Focusing on reading selections from Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, F. Scott Fitzgerald, e Last Tycoon, Lawrence Kushner, Eyes Remade for Wonder, and selections from the Talmud.) • Lunch Buffet • Guided Hike to the Cascade d’Agnon • Dinner in Talloires

Friday, July 10
What is the best use of my time now? • Morning Sessions (Focusing on reading selections from Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses (poem), William Wordsworth, The World is Too Much With Us (poem), John Keats, Endymion, Mary Oliver (poetry), as well as selections from the Talmud.) • Lunch Buffet • Short Hike to Roc de Chere • Group transport to Annecy • Dinner in Annecy

Saturday, July 11
How can I balance nurturing my relationships with family and friends and contributing to the larger world? • Morning Sessions (Focusing on reading selections from George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara, Nadine Gordimer, The Late Bourgeois World, as well as passages from Abraham Joshua Heschel and Maimonides.) • Lunch Buffet • Guided Hike to the High Meadows Above Lac d’Annecy • Dinner by the Lake

Sunday, July 12
What exactly do I want to pass on to my family, students, children and grandchildren? • Morning Sessions (Focusing on reading selections from William Shakespeare, King Lear, Arthur Miller, All My Sons and the Talmud.) • Lunch Buffet • Boat trip to Annecy • Dinner in Talloires

Monday, July 13
What ultimately matters now? • Morning Sessions (Focusing on reading selections from Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Margaret Edson, Wit, poetry by T.S. Eliot and sources from Jewish mysticism.) • Lunch Buffet • Trip to the Resistance Museum in Thones • Talk with Rabbi Summit about the Holocaust and contemporary anti- Semitism in France • Dinner up in the mountains at Col de la Forclaz

Tuesday, July 14
Departure, transportation to Annecy and Geneva

All scheduled events are optional and the schedule is subject to change.

Learn more about Rabbi Summit and Reverend McLennan:

Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit, Ph.D., holds an appointment as Research Professor in the Department of Music and Judaic Studies at Tufts University. He is a Senior Consultant for Hillel International directing a national project entitled “Living Our Values.” He holds emeritus appointments at Tufts as Emeritus Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel and Emeritus Jewish Chaplain. Rabbi Summit is the author of two books and many articles on music, identity and religious experience. His ethnomusicology work in East Africa with the Smithsonian earned him a GRAMMY nomination. As part of his work on campus, he directed the Cummings/Hillel Program for Holocaust and Genocide Education. For years, he has taught seminars exploring personal ethics, values and spirituality.

Reverend Scotty McLennan, M.Div., J.D., is an ordained minister, lawyer, and author of three books on contemporary religion and ethics. He served as the Dean for Religious Life at Stanford from 2000–2014 and was the University Chaplain at Tufts from 1984–2000. He is now Lecturer in Political Economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He has taught courses on religion and ethics in a number of schools and departments at Stanford, including one on “The Meaning of Life.” Scotty is part of the inspiration for the cartoon character “Rev. Scot Sloan” in the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon strip Doonesbury, written by his roommate at Yale, Garry Trudeau.

Some additional comments from our participants from Tufts University:

“We would not have changed a single thing!  We were both left with a renewed appreciation for beauty and the non-material despite the significant transitions we've gone through over the past year.  The success of the seminar was a result of the openness, thoughtfulness and kindness of the other participants, the preparations and (kind) thought provocation by both Jeff and Scotty, the stunning location, and, finally, the impeccable planning provided by Gabriella.  It was very much a case where the whole exceeded the sum of the parts…

I think about that week often and the luxury it provided; a time to reflect on the important transitions that impact our lives and discuss them with a group of people who cared and did not judge.  Prior to the seminar, it would have been difficult for me to envision that anyone new can come into my life and stay.  These people, that place, and all those involved have managed to find a place inside me.

By the way, I also want to acknowledge the value of having folks both from Tufts and Stanford.  The groups of people provided a different and complimentary perspective.”

Andrew Driesman, E85 and Amber Driesman, J85 

“What Happens Next” is a gift to yourself from yourself with a little help from kind scholars, and gentle strangers who I now call friends and wonderful fiction and poetry. It is a pause in the maddening “race to nowhere” we call our world.

I hope to remind myself of this place and this time and this experience every time I read another poem and book and find some quiet just to think.”

Lisa A. Bertini and Jack L. Siegel, MD A82



For info about the registration process, please contact Gerry Wawrzynek.
For info about accommodations and on-site logistics, please contact Gabriella Goldstein.
For info about the program, please contact Jeff Summit