Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT
Escape to the Berkshires for intimate, socially distanced Pesach retreat.
We are able to welcome guests to Isabella Freedman for Pesach, in a thoughtful, socially-distancing manner.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, we will be operating at a reduced capacity, with mostly outdoor programming, and indoor and outdoor dining options at around 25% capacity. Details below.
We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.
Pesach at Isabella Freedman will feature a liberal-Orthodox prayers, limited program and activities for adults and kids, kosher-for-Passover meals, and options for communal seders or a semi-private option.
Full Stay (10 nights)
Fri, March 26 – Mon, April 5
Standard Plus lodging: $3455 per adult 16+
Standard lodging: $3130
Children (5-15): $985
Fri-Tues, Mar 26-30
Standard Plus: $1760
Children (5-15): $515
Fri-Mon, April 2 – 5
Standard Plus: $1305
Children (5-15): $375
Yeshivat Maharat will be co-sponsoring our Pesach retreat this year, and our teachers include Rabbi Doctor Erin Leib Smokler and Rabbi Jeffrey Fox as well as others. Davening will be led by Rabbi Yehuda Witt on First Days and Chol H’amoed and Rabbi Avram Mlotek and Yael Kornfeld will be leading davening during Last Days. We will also be featuring a zoom lecture with special guest Dr. Jon Greenberg from Torah Flora.
Shabbat before Pesach: This year, Pesach begins on Saturday night. Our retreat will begin on Friday, with Shabbat services, programming, and meals served ahead of chag.
Seders: There are three options for each seder. You can join a communal seder in our Dining Room led by our guest educators. Or you can choose to hold your own seder as a family unit in our Library room (which we call semi-private). We will also have an outdoor tent for those who want to eat outside. Seders will be assigned seats as well as all other meals. Your choice of dining will remain the same the entire program. You can select your dining option when you register. There will be a few tables indoors in case of bad weather.
Classes and Activities: We will hold a few outdoor classes throughout the week, as well as yoga, tours of our organic farm, and guided hikes on our trails.
Kid’s Activities: While many of our activities are family friendly, there will also be some dedicated programs for kids throughout the week. These will make sure of our farm and the natural environment of the retreat center.
Meals: 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. Ahead of the late Seders we also serve an earlier light supper. 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 have a negative COVID-19 test, even if you have been vaccinated, 72 hours prior to your arrival with the expectation that you will self isolate until you arrive on campus. If you arrive without your test results 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 6′ distance between guests not in your group and being masked at all times while around other guests (other than when actively eating in our dining spaces).
Each group or family will have their own designated table to use throughout the week, either in our Dining Hall or the adjacent Library space. Both rooms will be around 25% capacity. They have high ceilings and will be ventilated with fans and open windows. Please note: due to our desire to ventilate the spaces, mealtimes may be chilly!
In addition, we will have outdoor seating available in a tent which you are welcome to use. Please select the outdoor dining option when you register.
Our method of food service will vary depending on the meal. Options will include already packed grab-and-go meals, family-style service for your table, and meals served by our staff from a buffet.
Due to COVID safety guidelines, we are only using housing options with private bathrooms, and therefore only have two tiers of lodging available. Larger family parties may receive suites of rooms that share a bathroom.
We have tried to set up rooms to provide more space for guests to relax and work, due to our indoor spaces being limited.
Prayer and Program Spaces:
Our indoor synagogue space will be used for yoga and will have a max capacity of ten people at a time, and our other indoor spaces will be available for meals only. Every indoor space will be sanitized and deep cleaned multiple times throughout the day. We are constructing a tent which will serve as our prayer space throughout the week, and be available for classes and outdoor socializing. 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.
Connecticut state is now in Phase 2 of a reopening plan. We are committed to obeying these rules strictly 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 are limiting the number of guests on site to under 50% of our capacity. We have strict cleaning and disinfection protocols in place.
We reopened for a similar style of reduced-capacity programming from June-September 2020, including hosting retreats for Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot with great success and no COVID spread.
All rooms will have been thoroughly cleaned before your arrival. If you are coming for a partial stay, our schedule allows for our room to be vacant for 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.
Housekeeping is provided upon request. We will arrange a time that works so that there is a gap between staff in your room. Expect a 24 hour window from when you request housekeeping services to when they are completed. Extra sheets and towels will also be provided upon request. There is no laundry on site. If you require laundry services we recommend that you use a local laundromat or bring enough clothes for your time here.
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 March 1 without penalty. If you cancel within 10 days of Pesach the fee is non-refundable. If you have to leave early or arrive late, there are no refunds.