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Facilities

Isabella Freedman rests on 400 acres of forested land and lush meadows in the foothills of the southern Berkshires – just 1 hour from Hartford, Connecticut, 2 hours from New York City and 3 hours from Boston, Massachusetts. Our cottages and gathering spaces are nestled around two lakes at the base of a beautiful wooded ridge that is dotted with hiking trails. In every season, Isabella Freedman s stunning mountain vistas, serene lakes and miles of trails are certain to inspire your senses and offer your spirit a place for renewal.


Isabella Freedman features a variety of spaces designed for small or large gatherings such as classes, workshops, services, or meetings. We offer our guests options that range from quiet nooks on our scenic grounds to spacious gathering places both indoors and out. We can accommodate up to 150 people in indoor program spaces, and up to 200 people in outdoor spaces.

  • Glass-walled synagogue with inspiring lake and mountain views
  • 2,000-square-foot breakout room/lounge
  • Large theater/recreation room
  • Beautiful dining hall with cathedral ceiling
  • Two 700-square-foot yurts (circular buildings)
  • Large screened-in gazebo

Whether your group chooses to meet indoors or outside, Isabella Freedman offers a variety of meeting spaces from intimate places for a small gathering to spacious rooms and breakout areas for larger groups.

Benches Beautiful outdoor spaces offer opportunities for quiet conversations and contemplation.

 

Synagogue Interior The glass-walled synagogue (occupancy: 100) has inspiring views of the lake and mountains.
 

Gazebo A large screened-in gazebo (occupancy: 20) sits lakeside on the lawn beneath the dining porch.
 

Theater/Rec Room Our large recreation room (occupancy: 150) can be used for stage performances, dancing or playing games.
 

Lounge Our 2,000-square-foot lounge (occupancy: 50) is perfect for meetings, celebratory gatherings and cozy movie nights.
 

Red Yurt Exterior Both yurts (occupancy: 50) are air-conditioned and heated for year-round use.
 

Red Yurt Exterior Yurts are ideal spaces for yoga, meditation and movement classes.
 

Fire Circle We even have a fire circle for evening bonfire programs.
 

We invite you to enjoy the simplicity, comfort, and charm of our country lodging. We can accommodate up to 150 guests in our well-appointed rooms. Each of our ten lodges has its own unique character. Our accommodations are air-conditioned during the summer months and heated throughout the winter. Some buildings have rooms with private baths; others offer shared bathrooms for two or three rooms. Handicap-accessible rooms are also available upon request.

Standard Plus Rooms: Weinberg and May

Guest Room   Guest Room

Guest Room   Guest Room

Our standard plus rooms have private bathrooms and are available with two queen-sized beds, three twin-sized beds or one queen-sized bed and two twin-sized beds. These are our newest, most spacious rooms.

Standard Rooms: Pine and Scheuer

Guest Room  Guest Room

Guest Room  Guest Room

Our standard rooms have a private bathroom. Some rooms have two twin-sized beds, and some have one queen-sized bed and two twin-sized beds.

Basic Rooms: Cedar, Blue Heron, and Maple

Our basic rooms have two twin-sized beds. A limited number of queen-sized beds are available. Bathrooms are shared by two rooms.

Dormitory Rooms: Elm and Kaufmann

Our dormitory rooms bunk beds and shared bathrooms.

Camping

Tent

Camping is available in the fields and surrounding woods. Campers supply and set up their own tents and equipment and have access to bathrooms and hot showers.

 

Dining RoomIsabella Freedman serves a variety of delicious meals that are prepared with the highest-quality ingredients. Our lakeside dining room can accommodate up to 118 guests; we offer moveable seating and either buffet, family-style, or plated meals. Our menus change to reflect what is in season. During the growing season, we serve fresh, organic fruits and vegetables straight from our own farm and orchard.

Our kitchen and dining room are glatt kosher under supervision of the Hartford Kashrut Commission.

Our dining hall features Adamah Foods.

Swimming & Boating

We can provide a lifeguard for your group to use the pool or lake.
 

Children's Programs and Childcare

We can create a children’s program for any length of time — from an entire weekend to just a few hours. Please inquire about options for childcare and shmira (cabin night watch) for groups.
 

Hiking Trails

Several trails lead directly from the retreat center up into the hills and around the lake.
 

Athletic Facilities

Tennis court and half court basketball.
 

Our store features books, Judaica and eco-friendly products.

learn more about the store

It is not upon you to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.
—Rabbi Tarfon, Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Ancestors) 2:21
 

At Isabella Freedman, we believe that environmental stewardship is a primary ethical obligation. With our planet’s ability to support life diminishing, a great change in our stewardship of the earth is required more now than ever before.

As an active reminder that our actions matter, we offer programs that give participants the knowledge, skills and confidence to be active agents for tikkun olam (healing the world) inside and outside the Jewish community. All of our environmental programs are deeply rooted in Judaism, a tradition intricately connected to nature’s rhythms and grounded in the value that all life is sacred.

At Isabella Freedman, we understand that environmental stewardship is a primary ethical obligation. With our planet’s ability to support life diminishing, a great change in our stewardship of the earth is required more now than ever before. Yet in the face of overwhelming need, we often feel helpless to make a difference. At Isabella Freedman we offer experiences and tools to engage our visitors and partner organizations in embracing environmental responsibility within our grounds and beyond.

As an active reminder that our actions matter, we offer programs that give participants the knowledge, skills and confidence to be active agents for tikkun olam (healing the world) inside and outside the Jewish community. All of our environmental programs are deeply rooted in Judaism, a tradition intricately connected to nature’s rhythms and grounded in the value that all life is sacred.

We offer hands-on opportunities at our forested campus for participants of all ages to learn about everything from how to grow your own food, to how to make your home healthy and energy efficient. Click here to learn more about our environmental commitment, including the ways in which we conserve energy and water, limit the use of toxic chemicals, reduce waste, and prepare and serve food with the environment and human health in mind.

We have long- and short-term programs that train environmental leaders. Young adults in their 20s can apply to be part of the Adamah Fellowship, a three-month leadership training program that integrates organic farming, sustainable living, Jewish learning, community building, and contemplative spiritual practice. And every fall, our campus is home to the Teva Learning Alliance‘s outdoor educational program for Jewish dayschool students.

Isabella Freedman also runs the Jewish Greening Fellowship, an innovative 18-month program that makes environmental stewardship a priority in Jewish camps, day schools, JCCs, human service organizations, and synagogues in the New York area. Generously sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York, the Jewish Greening Fellowship trains Jewish communal professionals to be environmental change leaders in their organizations and communities.

Recognizing that environmental stewardship is a core Jewish value, Isabella Freedman is committed to operating our facility in ways that minimize our impact on the natural environment.

At Isabella Freedman we:

Conserve Energy and Water by

  • Upgrading all lighting throughout the facility to be as efficient as possible.
  • Purchasing energy and water efficient models when replacing lights, toilets, and washing machines.
  • Installing low-flow eco-sprayers in the kitchen.
  • Turning off heat and air conditioning when buildings are vacant.
  • Installing only low-e double pane windows when replacing windows.
  • Installing motion sensors and timers on lights throughout the facility (turned off on Shabbat).
  • Establishing a policy to change the sheets and towels every third day, except in the cases of a shorter retreat or a customer request.
  • Washing laundry with phosphate-free detergents.
  • Installing new, more efficient furnaces with AFUE ratings of 90 or higher.
  • Harvesting rainwater for landscape irrigation.
  • Purchasing new air conditioning units rated at least SEER 14.

Limit the Use of Toxic Chemicals by

  • Prohibiting the use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides anywhere on the grounds.
  • Painting all indoor spaces with low or no VOC paint.
  • Using treated lumber for building projects that does not contain arsenic.
  • Using laminated wood flooring with at least 35% FSC Certified wood content. Click here to learn more about responsible forest products.

Prepare and Serve Food with the Environment in Mind by

  • Purchasing produce from local organic growers whenever possible.
  • Using herbs grown on site, eggs from our chicken coop, and honey from our bee hives when they are available.
  • Composting all vegetable and fruit scraps.
  • Using reusable utensils, flatware, and table settings and avoiding Styrofoam completely.
  • Using cloth napkins or recycled paper napkins when disposables are necessary.

Reduce Waste by

  • Providing recycling bins in main meeting areas.
  • Separating the recyclable content from the waste collected daily from guest rooms.
  • Using recycled paper and paper products in the office as well as in the public bathrooms.
  • Having a local recycling vendor pick up bottles, cans, plastics, cardboard, and newspapers twice a week.
  • Donating, when feasible, larger items such as furniture, tires, appliances, and bedding, rather than discarding them to the landfill.
  • Training new staff on recycling policies.

To learn more about environmentally conscious building and facility management, please visit the US Green Building Council’s website.