Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT
Welcome in the new year at Isabella Freedman
To register for our Sukkot retreat, visit the Sukkahfest event page.
We are able to welcome guests to Isabella Freedman in a thoughtful, socially-distancing manner. Our team of prayer leaders and educators headline our various classes, and we will have Orthodox and Traditional Egalitarian prayer options. Other highlights include:
- Kosher farm-to-table holiday feasts featuring Grow and Behold meats, and delicious and plentiful vegetarian delights
- Communal Tashlich at our lake
- Enjoy the majestic beauty of fall foliage at Isabella Freedman
- Morning meditation and yoga
- Camp Teva programming for kids ages 5-12 – Jewish, Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Fun
- Guided farm tours, barnyard visits, pickling activities, apple and honey sampling, and hiking to a tranquil vista
Due to COVID-19 precautions, we will be operating at a slightly reduced capacity, with dining, davening spaces, and most programming occurring outdoors. Details below.
Registration Rates (3 nights, Mon-Thurs)
Standard lodging: $1040 per adult 16+ ($1660 for single occupancy)
Basic lodging: $770 per adult ($990 for single occupancy)
Dormitory lodging: $620 per adult
Children: $215 (ages 5-15)
Our two prayer options will take place outdoors, under tents in case of rain.
Orthodox Minyan led by Rabbis Avram Mlotek and Yehuda Witt. There will be a mehitza (separate seating for men and women). Dr. Sunnie Epstein will speaking and teaching throughout the holiday, including at this service.
Traditional Egalitarian Minyan: led by Rabbi Aviva Richman and others from the Hadar Institute.
Leaders and Teachers
More bios are coming soon.
Rabbi Avram Mlotek is a rabbi, cantor, actor and writer. He co-founded Base, a model for Jewish practice that reaches out to unaffiliated young adults. He serves as Director of Spiritual Life for the international Base program as well as the Rabbi in Residence at the JCC Manhattan. A grandchild of Holocaust survivors and Yiddish cultural leaders, he is the author of Why Jews Do That or 30 Questions Your Rabbi Never Answered and Passover in a Pandemic, both books illustrated by students of his from Base.
Rabbi Aviva Richman is a Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar, and has been on the faculty since 2010. A graduate of Oberlin College, she studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars’ Circle and was ordained by Rabbi Danny Landes. She completed a doctorate in Talmud at NYU. Interests include Talmud, Halakhah, Midrash and gender, and also a healthy dose of niggunim.
Dr. Saundra Sterling Epstein (Sunnie) directs Beyachad, a program bringing Jewish Education and Best Educational Practices Together and has been working in teaching texts, reaching and inspiring students of all ages, and looking at challenging issues in the real world in which we live and how we bring these three elements together for the past forty plus years. Sunnie has published widely in a variety of venues on topics including Women in Faith, Inclusion of LGBTQ Members in our Communities of Faith, and Environmental Sustainability.
Classes and Activities
We will hold a few outdoor classes throughout the holiday, as well as yoga, tours of our organic farm, and guided hikes on our trails. Our various educators lead a series of classes throughout the holiday.
While many of our activities are family friendly, there will also be some dedicated programs for kids. These will make use of our farm and the natural environment of the retreat center.
We will serve three meals each full day of your stay. Only dinner will be provided on your arrival day and breakfast on your departure day. Our kitchen and dining room are glatt kosher under supervision of the Hartford Kashrut Commission. Please indicate any special dietary needs when you register. We can provide vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or dairy free options and we will do our best to accommodate all your food allergies or other dietary needs. Each guest room / suite is equipped with a mini-fridge. We ask though that guests limit the amount of food eaten in your rooms and to be mindful of trash, given the area wildlife in our remote location.
Guest Conduct: Each guest will be required to be either a) fully vaccinated as of August 23, or b) have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to your arrival with the expectation that you will self isolate until you arrive on campus. If you arrive without meeting either requirement we will not allow you to attend the program. We will also be asking all guests to sign a waiver and questionnaire regarding our COVID-19 practices and your potential exposure or recent symptoms. We ask that everyone acknowledge a set of guidelines, including keeping a distance between guests not in your group when indoors, and being masked if requested by other guests in your vicinity.
Meals: Each group or family will have their own designated table to use in our Dining Tent. Food will be served from a buffet inside – depending on the COVID guidance at the time, we may ask that all guests wear masks while on the buffet line.
Prayer and Program Spaces: Our indoor synagogue space will be used for yoga and will have a max capacity based on COVID guidelines at the time. Our other indoor spaces will not be used for programming, but are available to lounge in.
Each prayer option will convene under a tent, which will also be used for classes and other outdoor activities as needed. We also will have our fire pit area set up with benches for gathering outside and the lake will be available for boating.
Are you excited? We are! Do you have friends that will be excited? Let them know about this opportunity! Do you have questions? Email the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We are committed to obeying the current rules of the Connecticut reopening plan and taking additional precautions. Our goal is not only to open safely, but to create confidence in our entire community of guests, employees, vendors, and contractors. We have been operating in various limited capacities since the summer of 2020 with no confirmed COVID cases or spread. We have strict cleaning and disinfection protocols in place.
All rooms will have been thoroughly cleaned before your arrival, and will have been vacant for at least 48 hours in between guests.
No. For non-COVID-19-related problems you can visit Sharon Hospital Emergency department (24 hr) or Torrington Urgent Care Center (8-8 weekdays / 9-5 weekends).
If you think you have been exposed to COVID‑19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your primary care provider for medical advice, and please let our lead staff know.
We’ve learned that nothing is certain right now. We also know that even though current guidelines allow us to open for this style of retreat, those guidelines may change or there may be other reasons that preclude us from being able to run. See our Cancellation Policy below for more details.
You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements. Our local taxi service is Watson Livery, 845-464-8178, which can pick up from the Wassaic Train Station. More information.
Given the short nature of the program, we do not provide housekeeping. If something small is needed, upon request we can arrange a time that works so that there is a gap between staff in your room.
We will provide a phone number upon arrival which you can use to contact our staff on duty. In the event of a medical emergency, please call 911 from your cell phone, OR 9-911 from any landline phone on campus. After calling 911, please contact a retreat manager as well.
If you or any member of your family / group gets sick, you have to return to your home immediately. We cannot allow guests to be quarantined on our site. Being near your primary care doctor is best.
If Hazon cancels for any reason we will refund your money in full. If you get sick and are unable to attend we will refund your money in full.
You are able to cancel your reservation until August 23 without penalty. If you cancel within 14 days of Rosh HaShanah the fee is non-refundable. If you have to leave early or arrive late, there are no refunds.