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Rosh Hashanah Retreat

Sep 30, 2016 - Oct 5, 2016

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

register now – it’s almost sold out!

I don’t have the strength to leave this beautiful place, so I’ll take it with me
—Arlene Newman
 

This Rosh Hashanah, treat yourself to the transformative experience of welcoming in the new year with lively, soulful prayer services, deep teachings, immersion in a relaxing wooded venue, tashlich in our stream, community celebrations, and fabulous farm-to-table feasting. Camp Teva children’s program available for kids 5-12 years old.

There are three ways to join us for this retreat:

  • Come for Shabbat: Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2
  • Come for Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah: Friday, September 30 to Wednesday, October 5
  • Come for Rosh Hashanah: Sunday, October 2 to Wednesday, October 5

Two styles of prayer services – Orthodox and Renewal – are offered to include a full spectrum of Jewish community celebrating the New Year together!

Rabbi Trugman
Rabbi Avraham Arieh and Rachel Trugman have thirty-five years of experience in Jewish education. They were a founding family of Moshav Modiim (the Carlebach Moshav) in 1976. From 1988-95, they served as Regional Directors of NCSY in Denver, Colorado. Upon returning to Israel they created Ohr Chadash: New Horizons in Jewish Experience, a dynamic educational program centered in Israel, which has run programs for tens of thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.
 

Rebbetzin Trugman
Rebbetzin Rachel Trugman has published seven popular books on Jewish spirituality and mysticism and has produced four music discs of original music. Rachel Trugman, along with being an educator, is also a family therapist with a private practice and an artist who has published a coloring book.
 

Eden
Eden Pearlstein (aka ePRHYME) is a recording, performing and ritual artist, author, and educator. As a founding member of The Darshan Project, along with Reb Shir Yaakov and Basya Schechter (Pharaoh’s Daughter), Eden’s work weaves together deep Jewish teaching and tradition with creative process in a form of musical midrash and contemporary pietistic poetry. Eden holds 2 Master’s Degrees from JTS, one in Experiential Education and the other in Jewish Thought and Philosophy. 
 

Dr. David Sanders
Dr. David Sanders is an innovative teacher and interpreter of Jewish ritual who connects people to deeper awareness with their strivings for meaning and purpose. He has been teaching Kabbalah for 25 years and maintains an active psychotherapy practice. Prior to earning his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1985, he was a rabbinical student in Jerusalem and for many years with Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik in New York. In 2005, with blessings of Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi, he founded Kabbalah Experience in Denver, Colorado. He continues to learn with and from hundreds of students each year and leads the KE community High Holiday services. David looks forward to a shared experience of creative individual and communal beginnings for the New Year.
 

Rabbi Avram Mlotek
Rabbi Avram Mlotek is the co-founder of Base Hillel and serves as rabbi for its DWTN location. Mlotek graduated cum laude from Brandeis University and has studied at Sarah Lawrence College, Yeshiva University’s Cantorial School and City College’s Educational Theatre department. A native Yiddish speaker, Mlotek’s Yiddish cultural work has brought him to China, Ethiopia, Israel, Sweden and Australia. Prior to joining Base, Avram served as a rabbi in training at The Carlebach Shul, The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and Hunter College Hillel. He completed two units of clinical pastoral education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Mlotek’s writing has appeared in The Forward, Tablet, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Week, The Huffington Post and Kveller, among other blogs. In 2012 The NY Jewish Week selected him as a “leading innovator in Jewish life today” as part of their “36 Under 36” section. In May 2016, Mlotek was listed as one of America’s “Most Inspiring Rabbis” by The Jewish Daily Forward. He is blessedly married to Yael Kornfeld, a geriatric social worker, and proud Tati to Revaya and Hillel Yosl.
 

Bonnie Houghton
Bonnie Houghton spent her youth and career with the US Forest Service, living and working in the mountains and wild places of the West. As a mountain guide, ecologist, environmental planner and public collaborator, Bonnie brings mindfulness, vision and organizational leadership to her commitments of egalitarian, ecumenical and Earth-based values being actively involved with JOFFEE/Hazon and the Colorado Interfaith Alliance. While participating in the Hazon Israel Bike Ride, Bonnie eagerly accepted the opportunity to spend 2015 studying at Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and this past year with the ALEPH Renewal Rabbinic program. Bonnie practices and teaches Mussar and is currently the Mussar Engagement Coordinator [and Spiritual Life Co-Chair] for Congregation Beth Evergreen, a Hebrew and B’nei Mitzvah teacher at Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, as well as a student and former Rabbinic intern with Kabbalah Experience in Denver where she and Dr. David Sanders have co-led Rosh Hashanah services for the past few years.
 

Zoe Aqua

Brooklyn-based violinist, teacher and composer Zoë Aqua was born and raised in Denver, CO. Quickly becoming an in-demand violinist in the klezmer scene, Zoë is a founder of Tsibele, an all-women klezmer quartet; she also performs regularly with innovative klezmer outfits Fraydele and Litvakus. Recent composition projects have included a new dance piece about minstrelsy and the Black Lives Matter movement created in collaboration with critically acclaimed choreographer Joya Powell.  Zoë is an experienced pedagogue, teaching general music and violin to elementary students at Family Life Academy Charter School II, located in the South Bronx. She is very excited about this special opportunity to use music to help harness spiritual energy and create sacred space. 
 

Alex-0939

Alexander Kugler is a warm, inviting and inclusive song leader and ceremonial facilitator.  Knowing the value of growing up in a synagogue community, Alexander loves supporting Jewish communities to deepen in their connection to nature, Spirit, and the ancestors through ritual, song and story telling.  With his eclectic musical training as opera singer for over a decade, serving as a cantorial soloist in Maryland, and composing ceremonial music for his monthly earth-honoring rituals, Alexander loves to synthesizes and draw from the many lineages he has studied under in order to support the authentic expression of whatever community he is serving. Alexander holds the title of Mesa Carrier in the Peruvian lineage of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition.  He also facilitates Men’s Work he calls Manhood Embodied and holds monthly Full Moon Celebrations with his community One Fire Wellness in Berkeley California.

 

Jon Gottsegen

Jon Gottsegen developed and refined his Jewish leadership voice through training with ALEPH’s Davvening Leadership Training Institute (DLTI) and with Rabbi Mike Comins as a certified Torah Trek guide. These experiences deepened his connection to nature-based spirituality which began as a youth and continued through primitive wilderness survival training in southern Utah. Jon shares his deep spirituality, by co-organizing a monthly sweat lodge in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and by participating in spirit-focused men’s work. He has been involved in leading small minyanim for several years, most recently in his home in Denver, CO. In his daily, left-brain life, Jon serves as the Chief Data Officer for the State of Colorado. Attempting to actualize leadership in his job and other communities as a service to the state and local areas, sometimes requires risk-taking and vulnerability which he openly brings to spiritual service leadership as well.

 

Rabbi Aaron Potek

Rabbi Aaron Potek was born and raised in Saint Louis Park, MN and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Engineering. After receiving rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in Riverdale, NY, he was the campus rabbi at Northwestern University. Aaron currently works with Jewish 20s and 30s as the Community Rabbi for Gather the Jews in Washington, DC.

 

More leaders and teachers will be announced soon!

We are proud to offer two ways to pray during the retreat.

Both the Orthodox and Renewal prayer service (minyan) are open to all and are utterly, uniquely beautiful and powerful.

Orthodox Minyan

Rabbi Trugman
Rabbi Avraham Arieh and Rachel Trugman have thirty-five years of experience in Jewish education. They were a founding family of Moshav Modiim (the Carlebach Moshav) in 1976. From 1988-95, they served as Regional Directors of NCSY in Denver, Colorado. Upon returning to Israel they created Ohr Chadash: New Horizons in Jewish Experience, a dynamic educational program centered in Israel, which has run programs for tens of thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.
 

Rabbi Avram Mlotek
Rabbi Avram Mlotek is the co-founder of Base Hillel and serves as rabbi for its DWTN location. Mlotek graduated cum laude from Brandeis University and has studied at Sarah Lawrence College, Yeshiva University’s Cantorial School and City College’s Educational Theatre department. A native Yiddish speaker, Mlotek’s Yiddish cultural work has brought him to China, Ethiopia, Israel, Sweden and Australia. Prior to joining Base, Avram served as a rabbi in training at The Carlebach Shul, The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and Hunter College Hillel. He completed two units of clinical pastoral education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Mlotek’s writing has appeared in The Forward, Tablet, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Week, The Huffington Post and Kveller, among other blogs. In 2012 The NY Jewish Week selected him as a “leading innovator in Jewish life today” as part of their “36 Under 36” section. In May 2016, Mlotek was listed as one of America’s “Most Inspiring Rabbis” by The Jewish Daily Forward. He is blessedly married to Yael Kornfeld, a geriatric social worker, and proud Tati to Revaya and Hillel Yosl.
 

Rabbi Aaron Potek
Rabbi Aaron Potek was born and raised in Saint Louis Park, MN and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Engineering. After receiving rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in Riverdale, NY, he was the campus rabbi at Northwestern University. Aaron currently works with Jewish 20s and 30s as the Community Rabbi for Gather the Jews in Washington, DC.
 

 

Renewal Minyan

Dr. David Sanders
Dr. David Sanders is an innovative teacher and interpreter of Jewish ritual who connects people to deeper awareness with their strivings for meaning and purpose. He has been teaching Kabbalah for 25 years and maintains an active psychotherapy practice. Prior to earning his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1985, he was a rabbinical student in Jerusalem and for many years with Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik in New York. In 2005, with blessings of Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi, he founded Kabbalah Experience in Denver, Colorado. He continues to learn with and from hundreds of students each year and leads the KE community High Holiday services. David looks forward to a shared experience of creative individual and communal beginnings for the New Year.
 

Bonnie Houghton
Bonnie Houghton spent her youth and career with the US Forest Service, living and working in the mountains and wild places of the West. As a mountain guide, ecologist, environmental planner and public collaborator, Bonnie brings mindfulness, vision and organizational leadership to her commitments of egalitarian, ecumenical and Earth-based values being actively involved with JOFFEE/Hazon and the Colorado Interfaith Alliance. While participating in the Hazon Israel Bike Ride, Bonnie eagerly accepted the opportunity to spend 2015 studying at Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and this past year with the ALEPH Renewal Rabbinic program. Bonnie practices and teaches Mussar and is currently the Mussar Engagement Coordinator [and Spiritual Life Co-Chair] for Congregation Beth Evergreen, a Hebrew and B’nei Mitzvah teacher at Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, as well as a student and former Rabbinic intern with Kabbalah Experience in Denver where she and Dr. David Sanders have co-led Rosh Hashanah services for the past few years.
 

Zoe Aqua

Brooklyn-based violinist, teacher and composer Zoë Aqua was born and raised in Denver, CO. Quickly becoming an in-demand violinist in the klezmer scene, Zoë is a founder of Tsibele, an all-women klezmer quartet; she also performs regularly with innovative klezmer outfits Fraydele and Litvakus. Recent composition projects have included a new dance piece about minstrelsy and the Black Lives Matter movement created in collaboration with critically acclaimed choreographer Joya Powell.  Zoë is an experienced pedagogue, teaching general music and violin to elementary students at Family Life Academy Charter School II, located in the South Bronx. She is very excited about this special opportunity to use music to help harness spiritual energy and create sacred space. 
 

Alex-0939

Alexander Kugler is a warm, inviting and inclusive song leader and ceremonial facilitator.  Knowing the value of growing up in a synagogue community, Alexander loves supporting Jewish communities to deepen in their connection to nature, Spirit, and the ancestors through ritual, song and story telling.  With his eclectic musical training as opera singer for over a decade, serving as a cantorial soloist in Maryland, and composing ceremonial music for his monthly earth-honoring rituals, Alexander loves to synthesizes and draw from the many lineages he has studied under in order to support the authentic expression of whatever community he is serving. Alexander holds the title of Mesa Carrier in the Peruvian lineage of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition.  He also facilitates Men’s Work he calls Manhood Embodied and holds monthly Full Moon Celebrations with his community One Fire Wellness in Berkeley California.

Jon Gottsegen

Jon Gottsegen developed and refined his Jewish leadership voice through training with ALEPH’s Davvening Leadership Training Institute (DLTI) and with Rabbi Mike Comins as a certified Torah Trek guide. These experiences deepened his connection to nature-based spirituality which began as a youth and continued through primitive wilderness survival training in southern Utah. Jon shares his deep spirituality, by co-organizing a monthly sweat lodge in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and by participating in spirit-focused men’s work. He has been involved in leading small minyanim for several years, most recently in his home in Denver, CO. In his daily, left-brain life, Jon serves as the Chief Data Officer for the State of Colorado. Attempting to actualize leadership in his job and other communities as a service to the state and local areas, sometimes requires risk-taking and vulnerability which he openly brings to spiritual service leadership as well.

 

 

More information coming soon…

register now

All-inclusive rates vary depending on the length of your stay and the type of room you select. Prices include all programming, lodging, and meals. Click the “register now” button above for information, room rates, and to register online.

Online registration is for full credit card payments only. If you would like to pay in installments, pay by check, or apply approved financial aid, please call (860) 824-5991 ext. 0. Please review our lodging options and rates prior to calling. You will receive a confirmation email once you have registered and made a payment online or by phone. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours of registering, please call us at (860) 824-5991 ext. 0.

We strive to make our programs affordable to everyone.

Click here for information about Financial Aid. »
Thanks to a generous donation, the Tamar Fund was created to allow a select number of individuals to pay a discounted registration fee. The Tamar Fund is in loving memory of Tamar Bittelman z”l who attended the Hazon Food Conference in Davis, California in 2011. Torah, Jewish community, ecology, and DIY food were values that Tamar held dear in her own life, and she very much appreciated the intersection of these values at the Hazon Food Conference. Sharing a meal with Tamar, particularly a Shabbat or Chag meal, was an experience filled with kedushah, where one was effortlessly and joyfully escorted to “a different place.”

Tamar Fund scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis. Applications must be received at least three weeks prior to the start date of the retreat. Please only register after receiving a response; the scholarship will not be applied retroactively. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis; receiving a scholarship to attend does not guarantee space. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar at registrar@hazon.org or (860) 824-5991 x0.

 

apply for a Tamar Fund Scholarship

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

Check-in is from 2 to 5 pm on your arrival day (Friday, September 30 or Sunday, October 2, depending on which option you register for). You must be checked out of your room by 10 am on the day your retreat ends. The retreat will come to an end with brunch on Wednesday, October 5.

TRANSPORTATION

For those coming from the New York City area, we are conveniently located just half an hour from Wassaic Train Station, the last stop on the Harlem Line of the Metro North. We offer a shuttle service at the following times for this retreat.

Arrival Shuttles – from Wassaic Train Station to Isabella Freedman:

  • 2:03 pm & 4:03 pm on Friday, September 30
  • 2:16 pm & 4:16 pm on Sunday, October 2

Departure Shuttles – from Isabella Freedman to Wassaic Train Station:

  • 11:30 am on Sunday, October 2
  • 11:30 am on Wednesday, October 5

If you have not already reserved shuttle service during registration, please call (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 at least a week before the start date of the retreat to reserve your spot. For those of you driving, please see our website for directions to IF.

RIDESHARE

Help to reduce the environmental impact of car trips to and from Isabella Freedman by checking out our carpool initiative! Upon registering you will receive a link to a unique ride share board to help connect you with fellow retreat participants. Offering a ride in your car will help reduce carbon emissions, cut down gas costs and make new friends! If you are looking for a ride, adding yourself to the wait list (on the right hand side of the page) is the best way to be notified when movements occur.

KASHRUT POLICY

One of our mashgichim (kosher supervisors) must pre-approve all food items that enter the designated dining spaces. If you plan to supplement our delicious, healthy, farm-to-feast meals, your items must be completely sealed in original packaging. Unapproved food and drinks may be enjoyed anywhere on campus besides our dining spaces.

PACKING LIST

You may want to bring:

  • Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
  • Toiletries
  • Flashlight
  • Chargers for electronic devices
  • Sun protection (sunblock, sunglasses, a hat)
  • Rain gear (a jacket and/or umbrella)
  • Ritual wear
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes for yoga
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Hiking boots to enjoy our many trails
  • Camping equipment, including a tent, sleeping bag, and towel if you are camping

We provide:

  • Toiletries like deodorant and toothpaste for sale in the bookstore
  • Extra kippot and tallitot, in addition to siddurim
  • Yoga mats, blankets, and blocks
  • Heat and A/C in all guest rooms
  • Linens and towels in all guest rooms
  • Alarm clocks in all guest rooms

If you’re new to Isabella Freedman, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

More information coming soon!