Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT
Where Judaism, food and environmentalism meet up with foodies, farmers, activists, nutritionists, writers, chefs, home cooks, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, educators, rabbis and many more.
The Hazon Jewish Food Conference was life changing for me. It was like nothing I’ve ever been a part of before and more beautiful and inspiring than anything I could have imagined. Collaboration, creativity, healthy food, Jewish culture, sustainability, food justice, and the deep connection to others who share my passions for creating a world that I want to live in.
Whether you want to expand your culinary repertoire, experience the pleasure of harvesting your own organic fruits and veggies, unpack the complexities of our global food system, or connect to our ancient food tradition, there is something for everyone at the Hazon Food Conference.
- Enjoy outdoor wood-fire cooking, berry picking and veggie harvesting, late-night stargazing and bonfires, swimming, boating, hiking, and other summer-fun activities.
- Feast on kosher, organic, and ethically sourced farm-to-table cuisine.
- Develop a deeper relationship with your food and where it comes from.
- Learn with world-class experts, activists, artists, chefs, and community leaders.
- Strengthen your culinary skills with leading chefs.
- Examine issues of food justice and climate change.
- Celebrate Shabbat in a vibrant, pluralistic Jewish community, with three options for prayer services – renewal, traditional egalitarian, and orthodox.
- Young foodies – ages 5-12 – can learn alongside their parents and guardians in our specially designed Kids’ Food Conference. Click the “kids” tab to the right to learn more.
Four tracks will allow you to explore how we relate to food from four different angles:
- Food Justice and Sustainability
- Jewish Learning, History and Culture
- Health and Nutrition
- DIY (Do-It-Yourself) & Cooking Demonstration
Rates and Registration
Last year we sold out, and this year we are expecting an unprecedented 250 participants at this continuously growing event. Register now!
Registration fees include four-night stays at Isabella Freedman in our comfortable rustic lodging, wonderful, healthy, farm-to-table kosher meals throughout the weekend, and all programming. All prices are per person.
|Standard Plus This per-person price is for double-occupancy. Standard Plus rooms have queen or twin-sized beds, a private bathroom, and are located in our Weinberg and May buildings.||$990|
|Standard Housing This per-person price is for double-occupancy . Standard rooms have queen or twin-sized beds and a private bathroom in our Pine and Scheuer buildings.||$775|
|Basic Housing This per-person price is for double-occupancy. Basic rooms have twin-sized beds (some queen beds are available on a limited basis and are first come, first served) and a shared bathroom in our Maple, Blue Heron, and Cedar buildings.||$610|
|Dormitory This per-person price is for double or triple-occupancy, meaning you could be sharing a room with up to two other people. Dormitory rooms have bunk beds and a shared bathroom in our Kaufmann or Elm buildings.||$530|
|Camper The camper fee includes all meals, programming, use of the facility, and access to bathrooms and hot showers. Campers must provide their own tent and bedding. Prices are per person.||$300|
|Commuter The commuter fee includes all meals, programming, and use of the facility throughout the Conference. Overnight lodging is not included. Prices are per person.||$300|
|Children Children’s rates apply to children ages 5 -12 staying in the same room as two adults. Children under the age of 5 are free, and teens 13 and up pay adult prices. Prices are per person. Children will be automatically enrolled in the Kids’ Food Conference upon registering.||$240|
Single-occupancy upgrades are available for Basic, Standard, and Standard Plus lodging.
Online registration is for full credit card payments only. You will receive a confirmation email once you have registered. 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. Limited scholarships are available, please see the scholarships tab for details.
Kids Food Conference
While adults and teens are participating in the Hazon Food Conference, the home of the Jewish food movement, kids ages 5-12 will be having their own memorable experience at the Kids’ Food Conference! The Kids’ Food Conference will give KFC a whole new meaning!
Children will engage with field experts in dynamic and age appropriate ways on the same topics as the adult programming, including:
- Health and Nutrition
- Jewish Learning, History, and Culture
- Food Justice and Values
- Cooking Demonstrations and DIY Projects
Hazon, means “vision,” and works to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. In order for this work to succeed, we need young people to become involved in the movement towards a healthier food system. Youth have the power to take our society in a new direction and rethink the world into which they have been born.
It is up to us to make healthy food choices for ourselves, but in many ways our society puts us at a disadvantage. Youth do not have the buying power of adults, yet food advertisements are filled with exciting images of junk food. How do we ingrain the knowledge of healthy snacking into our minds so it is an easy choice to go for carrots and peanut butter instead of potato chips? How do we change the larger system so school food is healthy and tastes good? How can we grow food in our homes and communities? The KFC will address these issues and more in a dynamic, engaging, age-appropriate way.
I am planning to eat fewer processed foods at dinner times – i.e. things that come in a box – and work harder to prepare meals in advance that use whole ingredients instead, so I don’t have to sacrifice the efficiency of having food ready to eat when I get home.
We strive to make our retreats affordable to everyone.We believe retreats are important experiences to be shared. Inclusiveness is one of our core values. We strive to ensure that our retreats are as financially accessible as possible. We have a variety of scholarship options available.
Tamar Fund Scholarships
The Tamar fund makes our aspiration for inclusive retreats possible. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis and are awarded exclusively for dormitory lodging, camping, and commuting (pending availability).
Read about more about the Tamar Fund, in loving memory of Tamar Bittelman z’’l.
- Applications must be received at least three weeks in advance of the retreat for which you are applying. Please only register after receiving a response; the scholarship will not be applied retroactively.
- We will respond to Tamar Fund scholarship applications within seven business days of receipt.
- If you are awarded a scholarship, you will have one week to register for the retreat at the reduced rate, after which time the offer will expire.
- A scholarship does not guarantee availability at the time of registration; due to the inherent turnaround time of the application process, we recommend applying as early as possible to secure a spot at the retreat.
- If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 824-5991 x0.
Lisa Anne Botnick Scholarship for Teens (13-17 years old)
Are you a young foodie? Do you dream about milking cows while in class? Are you interested in learning how to eat more sustainably? Are you curious about how to fight climate change at the grocery store? Then the Hazon Food Conference is for you! Learn, explore, and meet new people who are also excited about food! Bring back new ideas to your school and community. Through the generous support of a donor, Hazon is pleased to offer scholarships to a limited number of teens between the ages of 13 – 17. Email email@example.com for more information.
Scholarship For Rabbinical Students
Through the generous support of an anonymous donor, Hazon is able to offer a limited number of scholarships for current rabbinical students to participate. The goal of this scholarship is not only to make it possible for current rabbinical students to attend the Hazon Food Conference, but additionally to support rabbinic students who are interested in including issues of food justice and Jewish food traditions in their repertoire as rabbis and leaders in the Jewish community.
We are especially looking for individuals who are looking to bring back Jewish food education to their communities and their studies. Open the application below to apply. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The scholarship will cover all program fees and housing expenses ($530 value).
The following will be expected from all rabbinical student scholarship recipients:
- Active, enthusiastic participation throughout the entire conference, beginning Wednesday August 9th at 3:00 pm through Sunday, August 13th at 11:00 am
- Participation in services, according to your background and training, such as preparing allyiot for Saturday morning services, leading services, etc;
- Help lead blessings before or after meals;
- Other responsibilities, as they arise. These roles will be established prior to the conference with enough time for you to adequately prepare.
In addition, all rabbinical scholarship recipients will be asked to participate in:
- Advertising and recruiting at your Rabbinical school – you will share with the newsletter, listserv, both prior to the Food Conference and writing about your experience after.
- Organize one event at your school before the conference like a lunch-time or evening text study, and one follow-up event after the food conference. Some potential post event ideas can be a house-meeting, teaching, pie baking event with text study, a dvar torah given at your student pulpit, or an adult study session.
This scholarship is available to matriculated students of accredited rabbinical schools. Students entering Rabbinical School in Fall 2017 are eligible to apply. Students who will have graduated before August 2017 are not eligible to apply.
If you are currently enrolled in a rabbinical school and are interested in further exploring the intersection of Jews, food, and contemporary life please submit your application by July 9, 2017
Denver and Boulder Area Residents Scholarship
Through the generous support of Rose Community Foundation, Oreg Foundation, and 18 Pomegranates, Hazon is pleased to offer Food Conference scholarships for people from the Denver and Boulder areas. We are seeking a diverse group of applicants of all ages and religious backgrounds who want to get inspired by national programs and like-minded leaders so that they can return and continue to make Jewish food and environmental programming a vibrant part of the Colorado Jewish community. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
Detroit Residents Scholarship
Hazon Detroit has limited scholarship funding available for participants at the Food Conference. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest Pre-Arrival Information
Arrival & Departure
Check-in is from 2 to 5 pm on Wednesday, August 9. If you are arriving on a different day, you may check in with the retreat manager on duty anytime after 4 pm on your arrival day. You must be checked out of your room by 10 am on Sunday, August 13 or by 10 am on your last day. The Conference will come to an end with brunch on Sunday.
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:
- 2:03 pm on Wednesday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
- 4:03 pm on Wednesday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
- 11:30 am on Sunday from IF to Wassaic Train Station
If you have not already reserved shuttle service during registration, please call (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 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 for the Conference, you will receive access to a virtual rideshare board so you can connect with fellow 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.
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.
You may want to bring:
- Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
- Chargers for electronic devices
- 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
- Gear for summer weather (sunglasses, swimsuit, hat, sunscreen, water bottle)
- 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 there are details of your stay or arrival that you still need to share with us here at the retreat center, please email us at email@example.com
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.
At last year’s Food Conference we had an all-star line-up of presenters. You can expect nothing less this year. Stay tuned for more information!
Nigel has spoken, taught, or written for a wide and significant range of audiences. (A selection of his essays are at hazon.org/nigel). He has twice been named a member of the Forward 50, the annual list of the 50 most influential Jewish people in the United States, and is a recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award. He has given Commencement speeches at Wagner (NYU, in 2011) and at Hornstein (Brandeis, in 2014). In 2015 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Before founding Hazon, Nigel was a professional fund manager in London, where he worked for NM Rothschild and was co-head of UK Equities at Govett. He has an MA in History from Georgetown, and has learned at Pardes, Yakar, and the Hebrew University. He was a founder of Limmud NY, and serves on the board of Romemu. He is believed to be the first English Jew to have cycled across South Dakota on a recumbent bike.
The Hazon Food Conference is about collaborating with other food professionals, getting creative in the kitchen and thinking in new, creative ways about traditional foods and the system of which they’re a part.