Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT
Welcome in the new year at Isabella Freedman
- Kosher farm-to-table holiday feasts featuring Grow and Behold meats, and delicious and plentiful vegetarian delights
- Enjoy the majestic beauty of fall at Isabella Freedman
- Morning meditation and yoga
- Beautiful Havdalah and closing ceremonies
- Traditional Egalitarian and Orthodox Minyanim (prayer services)
- Communal Tashlich overlooking Lake Miriam
- Camp Teva programming for kids ages 5-12 – Jewish, Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Fun
- Gan Adamah every morning for children ages 2-5
- Guided farm tours, barnyard visits, pickling activities, apple and honey sampling, and hiking to a tranquil vista
Lively prayer services, deep teachings, immersion in a relaxing wooded venue, tashlich in our stream, community celebrations, and fabulous farm-to-table feasting. It is our intention to provide an opportunity for a diverse community to participate in prayer services that meet your needs and nourish your soul. To that end, we offer two complementary options for prayer – Orthodox and Egalitarian – not unlike the way in which we offer options for learning sessions and other activities during each retreat. The different opportunities allow for greater connection, learning, encounter, and expression of uniqueness. Plus Camp Teva for Kids – Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Fun.
Orthodox Minyan with Rabbi Avraham Arieh and Rachel Trugman
Exuberant Chasidic davenning, teachings and meditations.
Rabbi Avraham Arieh and Rachel Trugman have 35 years of experience in the field of Jewish education. They were a founding family of Moshav Meor Modiim in 1976, where Rabbi Trugman served several years as the Director of the Center of Jewish Education, which successfully ran programs for over 5,000 participants from over 25 countries. In 1988, the Trugmans took the position of Regional Directors of NCSY in Denver, Colorado. The Trugmans returned to Israel in 1995 and are now the Directors of Ohr Chadash: New Horizons in Jewish Experience, a dynamic program they created that has run programs for tens of thousands participants. Their website, YouTube channel, blog, Twitter and Facebook have received hundreds of thousands of visits. The Trugmans have visited over 40 cities worldwide, leading Shabbatons, giving classes, performing music, and serving as scholars-in-residence.
Rabbi Avram Mlotek is the co-founder of Base Hillel and serves as rabbi for its DWTN location. Mlotek graduated cum laude from Brandeis University and has studied at Sarah Lawrence College, Yeshiva University’s Cantorial School, Jewish Theological Seminary, and City College’s Educational Theatre department. A native Yiddish speaker, Mlotek’s Yiddish cultural work has brought him to China, Ethiopia, Israel, Sweden and Australia. Prior to joining Base, Avram served as a rabbi in training at The Carlebach Shul, The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, and Hunter College Hillel. Mlotek’s writing has appeared in The Forward, Tablet, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Week, The Huffington Post and Kveller, among other blogs. The NY Jewish Week selected him as a “leading innovator in Jewish life today” as part of their “36 Under 36”, and he was listed as one of America’s “Most Inspiring Rabbis” by The Jewish Daily Forward. He is blessedly married to Yael Kornfeld, a geriatric social worker, and proud Tati to Revaya and Hillel Yosl.
Traditional Egalitarian Minyan (NEW)
In a synergy of traditional and progressive practice, people of all gender identities and expressions enjoy full participation in a complete service and Torah reading, and a good dose of great melodies.
Rabbi Aviva Richman is a faculty member at Yeshivat Hadar, and directs the Manger Winter Learning Seminar. Aviva has taught at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, and is a past Rosh Kollel of the Bet Midrash at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. She has also taught at the National Havurah Institute. She studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars’ Circle and was ordained by a private teacher. Particular interests include Halakhah, gender and sexuality in Judaism and niggunim. A Wexner fellow, Aviva is currently pursuing a doctorate in Rabbinics at NYU.
Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish is pursuing a doctorate in Talmud at Harvard University and directs Boston’s Teen Beit Midrash. A graduate of the Pardes Educators Program, she has taught Tanakh, Talmud, and Jewish Law in numerous settings including Yeshivat Hadar, Harvard University, Hebrew College, and the National Havurah Committee’s summer institute. Her specific interests include rabbinic approaches to Shabbat, gender, parenting, and education, and her article, “Upending the Curse of Eve: Reframing Maternal Breastfeeding in Bavli Ketubot” was published in 2017. She facilitated a Niddah Salon at Boston’s Mayyim Hayyim in the spring of 2018. Miriam-Simma revels in the process of learning Torah with and from her students.
Camp Teva – Kids Program
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.
Rates and Registration
shabbat elulFriday, September 7 –
Sunday, September 9
Sunday, September 9 –
Wednesday, September 12
|register for both
Friday, September 7 –
Wednesday, September 12
*Single-occupancy upgrades are available for Basic, Standard, and Standard Plus lodging.
You will receive a confirmation email once you have registered. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours of registering, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (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.
I am filled with gratitude and illumination from my time at Isabella Freedman. I am not sure where the scholarship money came from that allowed me to attend the retreat, but I hope you can share this whomever made it possible.
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. The Tamar fund makes that aspiration possible. Read about more about the Tamar Fund, in loving memory of Tamar Bittelman z’’l.
Please be sure to read the application guidelines in the form below
Arrival & Departure
Check-in is from 3 to 5 pm on Sunday, September 9. If you are arriving on another day, you may check in anytime after 3 pm. Check-in is located in the Main Building — the big red building in the middle of campus. You must be checked out of your room by 10 am on the last day of your stay if you are staying in a guest room.
Driving & Parking
Driving directions can be found on our website. If using a navigation system, our address is 116 Johnson Rd, Falls Village CT, 06031.
There are two parking lots: one next to the tennis court by the main entrance, and one by the barnyard on the other end of campus. There is also accessible parking located across from the Main Building. Please do not park on the grass anywhere on campus. Parking in front of guest buildings is not allowed.
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:
- 1:50 pm & 3:50 pm on Sunday, September 9 from Wassaic Train Station to IF
- 1:15 pm on Wednesday, September 12 from IF to Wassaic Train Station
Advance reservation is required for shuttles. The shuttle fee is $20 per person each way. If you have not already reserved shuttle service during registration, please contract us at email@example.com or (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 at least a week before the start date of the retreat to reserve your spot; space is limited.
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 access 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 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:
- Personal medications, including over-the-counter
- Chargers for electronic devices
- A water bottle and/or travel mug for use outside of dining spaces
- Ritual wear
- Comfortable clothes for yoga
- Hiking boots or sneakers to enjoy our hiking trails
- Lots of layers for variable weather
- A rain coat
- Camping gear, including your own tent, sleeping bag, pillow, and towel, if you are camping
- 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
- Toiletries like deodorant and toothpaste for sale in the bookstore
If you’re new to Isabella Freedman, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.