Shavuot Retreat

May 30, 2017 - Jun 2, 2017

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

register now

Shavuot is the time when the community gathers around the mountain, and makes pilgrimage to a holy place, for the ultimate transformative experience. 
—Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi זצ׳ל

Join us for an immersive holiday experience unlike any other.



  • 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

Coming soon…

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.

register now

All-inclusive rates start at $560 per person — and only $360 for campers!

Click the “register now” button above for information, room rates, and to register online. The retreat will end with a closing ceremony on Thursday night. Guests are welcome to stay over Thursday night at no extra charge. Brunch will be served on Friday.

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.

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 two weeks prior to the start date of the retreat. Please only register after receiving a response; the scholarship will not be applied retroactively. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar at registrar@hazon.org or (860) 824-5991 x0.


apply for a Tamar Fund scholarship


Check-in is from 2 to 5 pm on Tuesday, May 30, followed by a welcome and orientation. The retreat will come to an end with a closing ceremony after Havdallah on Thursday, June 1. You are welcome to stay over Thursday night and leave on Friday. Brunch will be served on Friday, June 2.


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 from and to the Wassaic station at the following times for this retreat:

  • 2:03 pm on Tuesday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
  • 4:03 pm on Tuesday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
  • 11:30 am on Friday 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 those of you driving, please see our website for directions to IF.


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 acces to a virtual 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 our designated dining spaces. One of our mashgichim (kosher supervisors) must pre-approve all food items that enter the designated dining spaces. You can bring other non-supervised foods/drinks and enjoy them anywhere on campus besides the designated dining spaces.


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.

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.

more information about camp teva

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.

shavuot resources