Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT
Once we were slaves in Egypt… and now we are free to celebrate Passover surrounded by the beautiful foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. Celebrate your freedom by bringing your whole family to an enriching, relaxing, and fun-filled Kosher-for-Pesach program in a beautiful country setting. It’ll be one of the best Passover vacations you’ll ever have!
Pesach at Isabella Freedman is the perfect vacation for the entire family. Highlights include:
- Interactive communal and semi-private seder options
- Eco-conscious Kosher-for-Pesach, organic, farm-to-table holiday meals
- Engaging sessions led by Rabbi Shmuel Braun, Bailey Newman Braun, Mattisyahu Brown, Dr. Erin Leib Smokler, Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, Jon Greenberg, Arthur Kurzweil, Elizabeth Yaari, and more!
- Songful Orthodox davening throughout the entire retreat and Traditional Egalitarian services on the last days (NEW)
- Forest exploration and foraging with Isabella Freedman educators
- Adamah farm tours and barnyard visits with baby goats
- Daily meditation and vinyasa yoga practices
- Daily guided afternoon hikes and evening sensory walks
- Camp Teva programming for children 2-4 (mornings) and ages 5-12 (full day)
For general program inquiries, please contact our Pesach event coordinator, Ayala Azari.
Camp Teva Pesach Program highlights include:
- Sensory awareness activities to experience the plagues of mitzrayim
- Interactive and engaging kids’ seder
- Kids’ yoga
- Nature arts & crafts
- Outdoor forest and field games
For information about our children’s program please contact our Camp Teva manager, Arielle Aronoff.
Moed:Festival (Chol Hamoed) highlights include:
- Musical performance by Zayah: A Musical Journey From Slavery to Freedom with Rabbi and Composer Isaiah Rothstein
- Silent Film Event with Live Music by World-Renowned Musicians Donald Sosin and Alicia Svigals – Das Alte Gesetz/The Ancient Law
- Searching for God in a Magic Shop: A Kabbalah Magic Show by Arthur Kurzweil
- Improvisational theater led by Leah Gottfried, director of the online series Soon By You
- Wild edible learning and tasting exploration with Isabella Freedman educators
- Participatory family musical Hallel
- Daily farm tours and barnyard visits
- Arts & crafts projects for both adults and children
- Extended hikes and tree identification walks led by our Isabella Freedman educators
- Quiet time on the lake or hiking on one of several well-maintained trails
Stay tuned for more presenters!
Rabbi Shmuel Braun is a teacher, mentor, and lecturer, especially known for his ability to take the loftiest concepts in Jewish mysticism and connect them to everyday life in a way that students from any background and level of knowledge will appreciate. Having grown up Modern Orthodox in Woodmere, Long Island, Rabbi Braun then spent many years studying at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, in the Brisk Yeshiva in Jerusalem by Reb Meir Soloveitchik, and also in institutions affiliated with Yeshiva University, Munkatch, and Chabad. This, together with his devotion and passion for the humanities, facilitated his developing a unique, progressive, and inclusive style that engages all people with diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Rabbi Braun has been teaching for over twenty years in various synagogues, yeshivas, and seminaries, and has traveled the globe lecturing on topics of Jewish Philosophy, Law, and Mysticism for thousands of people. Today he is also actively engaged in building bridges between different faiths through his organization S.O.U.L (Seekers Of Unity & Love). When he is not lecturing and teaching at Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere and other venues, Rabbi Braun is researching and writing his forthcoming book on Kierkegaard’s Existentialism and Chassidic philosophy.
Bailey Braun is a passionate school social worker, a Torah teacher, and a beloved mentor and ally to those fighting for a voice and platform. In melding her therapeutic practice with her commitment to Torah values and deep love of textual learning, Bailey has brought her unique perspective as a public speaker to synagogues, college campuses, and Jewish organizations throughout Canada. Her classes focus on and facilitate conversation about women in Jewish history, psychology, social justice, and mysticism.
Before jumping with both feet into the streams of Jewish joy, Rabbi-Chazan Matti Brown passionately sought for an experience of the oneness underlying the world’s wisdom traditions. A mentorship with Rav DovBer Pinson helped him focus and resolve this search, which in turn led him to Jerusalem to study for rabbinic ordination with posek Rav David Fink and educator Reb Sholom Brodt. As a certified life coach and somatics practitioner, Matti loves to turn spiritual teachings of the Torah into penetrating questions for self-investigation, insight and embodiment. As a baal tefillah and songwriter, Matti has helped fill the prayers of hundreds of people with song. He is also an editor of Jewish books, and currently lives in Jerusalem with his wife, the singer and storyteller Rachel Ravitz, and their twin daughters.
Dr. Jon Greenberg received his bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from Brown University and his Master’s and Doctorate in agronomy from Cornell University. He has also studied with Rabbi Chaim Brovender at Israel’s Yeshivat Hamivtar and conducted research on corn, alfalfa, and soybeans at Cornell, the US Department of Agriculture, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Cancer Research. Since 1989, he has been a science teacher and educational consultant. Dr. Greenberg was Senior Editor of science textbooks at Prentice Hall Publishing Co. Previously on the faculty of Yeshivas Ohr Yosef, the School of Education at Indiana University, and the University of Phoenix, he has taught at the Heschel School since 2008. He is a frequent speaker at synagogues, schools, and botanical gardens. Dr. Greenberg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arthur Kurzweil is a writer, teacher, publisher, and magician. He has been a member of the Society of American Magicians for almost 25 years.
Dr. Erin Leib Smokler is the Director of Spiritual Development at Yeshivat Maharat, where she teaches Chassidut and Pastoral Torah. She is also a faculty fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She earned her PhD and MA from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and her BA from Harvard University. Rabbi Dr. Leib Smokler previously served as Assistant Literary Editor of The New Republic magazine, and her writing has appeared there, as well as in The New York Times Book Review, The Jerusalem Report, and The Jewish Week.
Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is the Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. He is a deeply traditional and radically progressive advocate for trans rights and a vocal ally for LGBT inclusivity. Rabbi Moskowitz received three Ultra Orthodox ordinations while learning in the Mir, in Jerusalem, and in Beth Medrash Govoha, in Lakewood, NJ. His writings can be found at rabbimikemoskowitz.com.
Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein serves as the Rabbi-in-residence for Hazon. Growing up in a multi-racial Chabad family in Monsey, NY, Isaiah is pulled towards building platforms for Jews of all backgrounds to celebrate their identities and affinities – together – with the rest of community. Isaiah received rabbinic ordination and master of social work from Yeshiva University’s RIETS and Wurzweiler School of Social Work. During his spare time, Isaiah is a Jewish Engagement and Diversity Consultant with his organization, the Union Street Sanctuary, and plays music with his band Zayah. Isaiah currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Elizabeth Yaari is an artist and co-founder of Explora-Torah. For the last 11 years, she has used Bibliodrama and art to engage workshop participants in authentic storytelling, self-expression, co-creativity, and deep mutual understanding of themselves, the Bible, and nature. She is a graduate of The Institute of Circlework.
Parents, you can relax into the retreat, knowing that your children are playing and learning with exceptional Jewish experiential educators.
We have an engaging, thoughtful, and fun Camp Teva program planned for children ages 5-12.
Gan Adamah is for children ages 2-4. Parents/Guardians can choose to drop off their children or stay with them. Gan Adamah provides a safe and engaging space for toddlers to play, explore, sing, and move. Programming is from 9am – 12pm each morning of the retreat, except arrival and departure days.
When you register kids during your event registration process, they are automatically enrolled in Camp Teva! All-inclusive kids’ rates include Camp Teva programming.
When is Passover? In 2019 Passover will start Friday, April 19th and conclude Saturday night, April 27th. Join us for the whole time, or for a few days.
Extend your stay for Moed:Festival! If you are planning on coming for either First Days or Last Days, you can choose to extend your stay by 1-3 nights to stay for part or all of Moed:Festival. Just select First Days or Last Days; on the registration page you can add extra nights.
all of pesach
Fri, Apr 19 –
Sun, Apr 28
Fri, Apr 19 –
Mon, Apr 22
Mon, Apr 22 –
Thu, Apr 25
Thu, Apr 25 –
Sun, Apr 28
|Child under 2||$0||$0||$0||$0|
Prices above are for multiple-occupancy rooms; single-occupancy upgrades may be available for Basic and Standard lodging. Click on the red “register” button to see available options.
Children’s rates apply to children in a room with two adults.
Prices are per person and include accommodations, all programming, and buffet meals featuring ethically sourced and farm-fresh ingredients, healthy snacks, matzo, and wine.
Through our online registration system, you will be able to choose your lodging, sign up for transportation shuttles and other amenities, and indicate special needs. Before completing your reservation, you will have an opportunity to register additional guests on the same credit card.
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 contact us at email@example.com or (860) 824-5991 x0.
What is Passover? Passover is the Jewish tradition’s “eat seasonal” poster child. Also known as “Chag Ha-Matzot” (possibly a holiday celebrating the new barley harvest) and Chag Ha-Aviv (“holiday of spring”), Passover is a time to notice and celebrate the coming of spring. The seder plate abounds with seasonal symbols: the roasted lamb bone celebrates lambs born in spring; karpas (dipped green vegetables) symbolizes the first green sprouts peaking out of the thawed ground; and a roasted egg recalls fertility and rebirth.
Passover offers a perfect opportunity to combine the wisdom of a traditional Jewish holiday with our contemporary desire to live with our health and sustainability in mind. For example, some families put an orange or olive on their seder plate to recognize women’s rights and solidarity with Middle East peace.
Click the button below for Passover resources including ideas for activities and rituals, Passover recipes, and sustainability tips.