Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT
Shavuot is the time when the community gathers around the mountain, and makes pilgrimage to a holy place, for the ultimate transformative experience.
Join us for an immersive holiday experience unlike any other.
Produced in partnership with ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
The JOFEE Network Gathering takes place June 6 – 9th. Join top-notch educators and exceptional professionals working in Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education (JOFEE) organizations and then stay for Shavuot!
Kosher and eco-friendly farm-to-table feasts
Parade for First-Fruits/Bikkurim with Adamah and the Goats
Camp Teva for Kids – Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Fun!
All-night vigil with chanting, meditation, text study and more
Daybreak outdoor musical Torah service
Enjoy the beauty of spring at Isabella Freedman
Midnight hike to the top of the mountain
Kosher artisanal cheese tasting and cheesemaking workshop
Daily meditation and Torah Yoga
Beautiful havdallah and closing ceremony Monday night
Hai. In addition, he is a lead teacher in DLTI, and heserves both Romemu and ALEPH as Creative Director and is well known as a stage artist and liturgist performing with The Epichorus and Darshan. Working in both Jewish and multi-faith contexts, Shir Yaakov weaves a tapestry of Kabbalistic wisdom, contemporary songwriting and deep personal spirituality to offer a spiritual cultural Judaism that is contemporary, alive, and innovative. He has recorded and released four albums of original music. shiryaakov.com
Jewish Renewal practices at Shavuot: Context and Details
We are thrilled to welcome leading renewers of Judaism today to Isabella Freedman for Shavuot. Reb Zalman z”l and his students worked tirelessly for decades to build a Jewish Renewal movement that:
- infuses ancient Jewish wisdom with a modern socially progressive consciousness;
- is joyous, participatory, spiritually substantial, profound and engaging;
- re-imagines practices such as meditation, sacred chant, embodied prayer, healing services, eco-kashrut, transformative ritual, music, and the renewed study of traditional texts;
- is fiercely and lovingly egalitarian, vigilant in devotion to righteousness in social and political causes, passionate about Learning in memory of Reb Zalman זצ׳ל, and holistic in our understanding of the interconnectedness of mind and body, earth ecosystems and human welfare, and the contribution of all religious traditions to gobal well-being;
- embraces the use of instrumental music as a spiritual tool on Shabbat and Holidays;
- employs consistent electronic amplification in order to increase access to prayer for all participants during all services; and
- is committed to holding space for an egalitarian prayer community that includes all genders and often inspiration from the spiritual paths of the rest of our human family while remaining rooted in Jewish tradition and practice.
All-inclusive rates start at $570 per person. Click the “register now” button above for information, room rates, and to register online. The retreat will end with a closing ceremony on Monday night. Guests are welcome to stay over Monday night at no extra charge. Brunch will be served on Tuesday!
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 860.24.5991 x0.
We strive to make our programs affordable to everyone.
Check-in is from 2 to 5 pm on Friday, June 10th, followed by a welcome and orientation. The retreat will come to an end with a closing ceremony after Havdallah on Monday, June 13th. You are welcome to stay over Monday night and leave Tuesday. Brunch will be served on Tuesday.
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:
- 2:03 pm on Friday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
- 4:03 pm on Friday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
- 11:30 am on Tuesday from IF to Wassaic Train Station
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 more information on getting here, click here.
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 rideshare 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 (right hand side of the page) is the best way to be notified when movements occur.
If you plan to supplement our delicious, healthy, farm-to-feast meals, you may bring food, sealed in original packaging, with conventional kosher certifications for your meals in the dining room. One of our mashgichim (kosher supervisors) must pre-approve all food items that enter the dining room. You can bring other non-supervised foods/drinks and enjoy them anywhere on campus besides the dining room.
You may want to bring:
- Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
- 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
- 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.
Camp Teva is for kids ages 5 – 12, and runs simultaneously with retreats geared toward adults. Camp Teva combines the best of Teva’s signature Jewish environmental education with all of the opportunities provided by the Adamah Farm to create a distinctive and creative way for kids to have a fun and safe Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education experience while their parents are enjoying Hazon’s many retreats, conferences, holidays, and workshops at Isabella Freedman. A transformative experience for the whole family!
When you register kids during your event registration process, they are automatically enrolled in Camp Teva! All-inclusive kids’ rates include Camp Teva programming.
Ahhhh…Shavuot. The Jewish holiday that commemorates when Jews received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The holiday that celebrates the first fruits of the season. And the (only?) Jewish holiday where vegetarians don’t feel marginalized by a table crammed with meat-heavy dishes.
Shavuot also coincides with the annual wheat harvest in Israel, and in the days of the Temple, ancient Jews would bring their first fruits as sacrifices to God. In this time of bounty we are encouraged to give of ourselves and reflect on the gifts that the earth provides.
Click the button below for Shavuot resources including ideas for activities and rituals, recipes, and sustainability tips.