Pesach at Isabella Freedman

Apr 10, 2017 - Apr 19, 2017

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

Once we were slaves in Egypt… and now we are free to celebrate Pesach 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.

On Pesach we gather around our tables, either with families or friends – and in this case, at a communal seder table – for the annual retelling of our people’s exodus to freedom in the promised land. At this retreat, we began as strangers, coming together for the week. Our journey to Connecticut was not perilous, as was the journey of our ancestors through the Sinai desert hoping only for manna and to reach their destination. Our togetherness at the Isabella Freedman Pesach Retreat gave us pause; it gave us hope for the future of the world and for redemption.
—Sandy Wasserman, Passover 2016

Click here to read Sandy’s full blog post: RETREAT! On Passover you can ‘Retreat,’ and then ‘Return!’


First, please choose which nights you’d like to stay. On the next step you can choose your lodging.

Holiday  Pesach First Days Shabbat & Last Days
Days Monday, April 10 – Wednesday, April 19 Monday, April 10 – Thursday, April 13 Friday, April 14 – Wednesday, April 19
# of Nights Nine Three Five
Dormitory*** 1790 780 1225
Basic 2000* 890* 1400*
Standard 2550* 1120* 1825*
StandardPlus 2800 1220 1975
Teen 13-17 1000 450 650
Child 5-12 750 335 500
Child under 5 100 50 75

*Single-occupancy upgrades are available for Basic and Standard lodging.

Options in gray are sold out.

Child and teen rates are for children and teens sharing a room with two adults paying the double-occupancy rate or one adult paying the single-occupancy rate.

If you’re having trouble seeing the lodging options, try opening the page in a different browser or an incognito window.

Prices are per person and include accommodations, all programming, and AdamahFoods buffet meals featuring ethically sourced and farm-fresh ingredients, healthy snacks, matzo, and Shabbat 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.

Our online registration is for full credit card payments only. If you would like to pay in installments, please call (860) 824-5991 x0. Please review our lodging options and rates prior to calling.

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 call us at (860) 824-5991 x0.


Check back soon for more information on our 2017 Passover Retreat!

View the 2016 Schedule.

Pesach at Isabella Freedman is perfect for the entire family. This year we are featuring:

  • Interactive communal and semi-private seder options
  • Eco-conscious festive meals and snacks
  • Guided mountaintop hikes
  • Daily yoga, meditation, and healing movement activities
  • Orthodox prayer services overlooking the campus lake
  • Jewish text studies and personal growth discussions
  • New growth on the farm, greenhouses, and visiting baby goats
  • Camp Teva, an engaging children’s program

For general program inquiries, please contact our Pesach event coordinator, Ayala Azari.

Camp Teva highlights include:

  • Sensory awareness activities to experience the plagues of mitzrayim
  • Chocolate seder
  • Kids yoga
  • Nature arts and crafts
  • Outdoor forest and field games

For information about our children’s program please contact our Camp Teva manager, Arielle Aronoff.

For additional information about housing and registration please email

View the 2016 Schedule.

Our Pesach 2016 Retreat included an amazing line-up of teachers:

Rabbi Shmuel Braun, Bailey Newman, Rabbi Asher Crispe, Sara Esther Crispe, Cantor Benjamin Houben, Gavriel Porten, Dr. Jon Greenberg, Yoga Instructor Rebecca Bloomfield, Cantor Mordechai Schram, Rabbi Jeff Fox, Elizabeth Yaari, Educator Laura Evonne Steinman,  Educator Donna Rudolph, and more!


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.

Rabbi Asher Crispe is the Co-Director of, a social mosaic which perpetuates the arts, sciences, literature, and music through Jewish tradition. He is a highly knowledgeable technology expert and futurist as well as a media aficionado with a thorough and intimate knowledge of emerging developments in science and the digital universe. With over 20 years of experience as an educator, Rabbi Crispe regularly travels the world as a speaker / lecturer teaching in Jewish centers and academic institutions. He specializes in illuminating the arts and sciences through the lens of the Torah. His lectures have focused on: music, film, architecture, gender theory, psychology, education, economics, regenerative medicine and physics. He has also served as a consultant for financial, medical, and technological projects all relating to future trends.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of, a social mosaic which perpetuates the arts, sciences, literature, and music through Jewish tradition. She has traveled the world as a sought out motivational speaker and educator, presenting on interpersonal relationships and the Kabbalistic approach to self-development. Sara Esther was also the creator of where she served as its editor for eight years, served as Director of Communications for the Chabad on Campus International Foundation and has worked with Part2Pictures as a consultant on Judaism for shows on the Oprah Winfrey Network and HARPO Productions. A prolific writer, her pieces can be found, amongst other places, on The Huffington Post, Times of Israel and She is currently working on a book about parenthood titled, “I Used to be the Perfect Mother, Then I Had Kids.” She lives with her family in Danby, Vermont where they run Jewish experiential retreats.

Dr. 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

Elizabeth Yaari is an artist and co-founder of Explora-Torah. For the last 11 years 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 for Circlework.

Do we serve kitniyot?
No. We do serve quinoa, which has been certified by the Orthodox Union as Kosher for Passover and is not kitniyot.
Do we serve gerbrokhs?
Yes. We do serve matzah products as gerbrokhs. If you require non-gerbrokhs meals, please mention this when you register. Non-gebrokhs options are available upon request.
Are your facilities kosher?
Our kitchen and dining hall are under strict kosher supervision, certified by the Hartford Kashrut Commission.
I can’t stay for the whole retreat. Am I able to stay for only part of the retreat?
Yes! Partial stays are available in the following increments:

  • First Days: Monday, April 10 – Thursday, April 13
  • Shabbat Chol HaMoed & Second Days: Friday, April 14 – Wednesday, April 19

Through our online registration you can register for a full stay or one of these partial stay options.
What is the cost of the retreat?
All-inclusive rates for a full stay range from $1790 to $3540 per person, depending on accommodations.
Is transportation to and from the retreat provided?
We provide a round-trip bus from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Round-trip bus fare is $80; one way is $40. You will have the opportunity to sign up and pay for the bus ride when you register. We also offer a shuttle to Wassaic Train Station for guests departing on Thursday, April 13, and a shuttle from Wassaic Train Station for guests arriving on Friday, April 14. Guests who do not take the bus or shuttle must arrange their own transportation to and from the retreat. Upon registering, guests will receive a link to a rideshare board for the retreat. Click here for more information on how to get here.
What time is check-in and check-out? Check-in is from 2 to 5 pm on Monday, April 10 and on Friday, April 14. You must be checked out of your room by 10 am on the day your retreat ends. The retreat will come to an end after brunch on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
What is the seder like?
We offer a traditional communal seder on the first and second night of Passover led by our rabbi in residence. Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy a semi-private seder with their friends and family in our second dining room on one or both nights.

Please also refer to our general FAQs for questions about our retreat center. If you can’t find the answer to your question, give us a call at (860) 824-5991 x0 and we’d be happy to answer it for you.

You may want to bring:

  • Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
  • Toiletries
  • Flashlight
  • Chargers for electronic devices
  • Sun protection (sunblock, sunglasses, a hat)
  • 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
  • Warm clothing and layers

We provide:

  • Toiletries like deodorant and toothpaste for sale in the bookstore
  • Extra kippot and tallitot, in addition to siddurim and haggadot
  • 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

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.

more information about camp teva

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, recipes, and sustainability tips

passover resources

Payments made will be refunded in full (less a $50 processing fee per person) if you cancel at least 14 days prior to the offical start of the retreat. If you cancel between 13 and 7 days prior to the retreat, a 50% refund will be granted. No refund is available if you cancel within 6 days of the retreat , if you do not show up, or if you leave a retreat early for any reason.

The official start of the retreat is considered the retreat start date, whether or not it precedes your arrival date. This policy also applies to the cancellation of a portion of a registration. For example, if you registered for a full stay, and want to cancel the First Days portion of your registration, the above cancellation policy will be applied to determine if you are eligible for a partial refund.

This policy applies even if the cancellation is for medical reasons.

Hazon reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In the event of such a cancellation, you will receive a complete refund.

Inclement Weather: Hazon reserves the right to cancel a retreat due to inclement weather if, in its judgment, it will be unable to operate safely. In the event of such a cancellation, a full refund will be issued. In the event that the retreat proceeds as scheduled, no refund will be available.

If you have any further questions, please call the Registration Office at (860) 824-5991 x0.