fbpx

Shavuot Retreat

May 18, 2018 - May 22, 2018

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT



view the 2018 schedule

Shavuot is the time when the community gathers around the mountain, and makes pilgrimage to a holy place, for the ultimate transformative experience. 
—Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi זצ׳ל
 

Choose from two prayer minyanim:

Open Orthodox Minyan

Rabbi Avram Mlotek and Yael Kornfeld-Mlotek will lead a team of inspired daveners in creating a tefillah atmosphere that is firmly rooted in Orthodox halacha, deeply spiritual and inclusive. There will be a trichitza (separate seating for men, women, and an egalitarian/mixed gender section). Partnership minyanim have women leading Kabbalat Shabbat, Pseukei D’Zimra, Hallel, the Torah Service, and Yizkor. In many cases, these are specifically done by women and gender non-conforming folks. Anyone can read Torah, and other than Kohen and Levi aliyot (which must be men), anyone can get an aliyah.

Jewish Renewal Minyan

Rabbi David Ingber, Shir Yaakov Feit, Rav Kohenet Jill Hammer and Shoshana Jedwab will guide participants through prayer services that span the four worlds of body, heart, mind, and spirit. They will employ the use of instrumental music, embodied prayer practices, Hasidic teachings, and contemplative silence to open the gates of revelation. Electronic amplification will be used to increase access for all participants. For over 10 years, Reb Zalman, ztz’l himself led this minyan with great kavanah and nachas.


Highlights:

  • Celebrate the holiday in a vibrant, pluralistic Jewish community
  • Kosher farm-to-table holiday feasts featuring Grow and Behold meats, and delicious and plentiful vegetarian delights
  • All-night tikkun leil shavuot vigil with mystical teachings, a bonfire song circle, and a Vision for Black Lives study experience taught by Linke Fligl in partnership with JFREJ, followed by daybreak outdoor morning services
  • Bikkurim Parade: The most joyous and creative moment in our retreat! Renew and re-enact the ancient procession to the Temple for Shavuot with our First Fruits Offerings (Bikkurim).
  • Camp Teva for Kids – Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming, and Environmental Education fun
  • Enjoy the majestic, subtle beauty of spring at Isabella Freedman
  • Midnight mystical hike to the top of the mountain, as well as daytime hikes, organic farm tours, and more.
  • Kosher artisanal cheese tasting and cheesemaking workshop
  • Daily morning meditation and yoga sessions
  • Beautiful Havdalah and closing ceremony Monday night

check out photos from Shavuot 2017   view the 2017 schedule

click here for holiday resources for shavuot

Eve Ilsen
Rebbetzin Eve Ilsen is a psychotherapist, teacher, storyteller and singer. She has studied closely with mythologist Joseph Campbell, Eutonia bodywork founder Gerda Alexander, and trained for years in Jerusalem in waking dream and the therapeutic use of imagery with Mme. Colette Aboulker-Muscat. Since returning to the United states in 1986, Ms. Ilsen has also worked in tandem with her husband of blessed memory, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi זצ׳ל, co-creating the Wisdom School, co-leading workshops and partnering at holy day retreats. In 2008, she was ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor. These days, Eve is invoking transformative states by performing in concert, as a singer and a storyteller.
 

Art Green
Avraham Yizhak (Arthur) Green was the founding dean and is currently rector of the Rabbinical School and Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion at Hebrew College. He is Professor Emeritus at Brandeis University, where he occupied the distinguished Philip W. Lown Professorship of Jewish Thought. He is both a historian of Jewish religion and a theologian. He defines himself as a Neo-Hasidic Jew and studied with Alexander Altmann, Nahum N. Glatzer, and Abraham Joshua Heschel, of blessed memory. He has taught Jewish mysticism, Hasidism, and theology at the University of Pennsylvania, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Brandeis, and now at Hebrew College. He and his wife Kathy z”l were active in the founding of Havurat Shalom in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1968, and he remains associated with the Havurah movement. A prolific author, Dr. Green has published “Radical Judaism: Rethinking God and Tradition” (Yale University, 2010) “Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002) and “A Guide to the Zohar” (Stanford University, 2003).
 

Rabbi Jill Hammer
Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD is an author, educator, midrashist, myth-weaver and ritualist. She is the co-founder of Kohenet: The Hebrew Priestess Institute. She is also the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic Jewish seminary. Rabbi Hammer is the author of The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons, and the co-author of The Hebrew Priestess and Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook. Rabbi Hammer conducts workshops on ancient and contemporary midrash, bibliodrama, creative ritual, kabbalah, Jewish dreamwork, and Jewish cycles of time. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Connecticut.
 

Rabbi David Ingber
Rabbi David Ingber was named by Newsweek as one of 2013’s top 50 most influential rabbis in the United States as well as by The Forward as one of the 50 most newsworthy and notable Jews in America. He promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern Judaism. Rabbi Ingber has taught at the Academy for Jewish Religion, Columbia University, CUNY, Jewish Theological Seminary, Limmud LA, New York University, the 92nd Street Y, Pardes, The Skirball Center at Temple Emmanuel, and Yeshivat HADAR. Rabbi David studied at several yeshivot in Jerusalem and New York including Yeshiva University, Beit Midrash L’Torah, Yeshivat Chaim Berlin, and Yeshivat Chovovei Torah Rabbinical School. He also studied philosophy, psychology and religion at New York University. Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of Renewal Judaism, ordained Rabbi David in 2004. Prior to founding Romemu, Rabbi David was Rabbi-in-Residence at Elat Chayyim Retreat Center.
 

Yael Kornfeld
Yael Kornfeld-Mlotek works as the Synagogue Outreach Social Worker at DOROT, where they are partnered with nine different synagogues on the Upper East and West Sides of Manhattan, advocating and serving older adults. Yael received her BA in Judaic Studies from Rutgers University where she wrote an honors thesis on “Who studies Yiddish Today and Why.” Before starting her MSW program at Hunter College School of Social Work, Yael was an Avodah Service Corps Fellow in Washington, DC. A co-founder of Base Hillel, which empowers rabbinic couples’ homes to serve as convening points for Jewish life, Yael and her partner, Rabbi Avram Mlotek live in downtown Manhattan with their two delicious children, Ravi and Hillel.
 

Rabbi Avram Mlotek
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.
 

Shoshana Jedwab
Shoshana Jedwab is a prize-winning Jewish educator and the Jewish Studies Coordinator at the A.J. Heschel Middle School in New York City. She is the founding facilitator of the Makom Drum Circle at the JCC in Manhattan and is a percussionist and performance artist who has trained in bibliodrama and psychodrama. Shoshana has provided empowering drum circles to singles, student, training and bereavement groups. Shoshana has performed with Storahtelling, Chana Rothman, Debbie Friedman, Akiva Wharton, A Song of Solomon, Hebrew Mystical Chant with the Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn, and seasonal events. She is Kohenet’s ritual drummer and also serves on the Kohenet faculty.
 

shir-yaakov
Shir Yaakov Feit is a singer, composer, designer, producer, teacher and Aba. He, his partner Emily, and their two daughters live in New York’s Hudson Valley, where they are helping to weave the Kol Hai community. Shir Yaakov has recorded and released four albums of original music and co-founded and performs with The Darshan Project. His song “Broken-hearted” recently won the Jewish Daily Forward’s 2016 Soundtrack of Our Spirit songwriting contest. Professionally, Shir Yaakov has served as Creative and Music Director for Romemu, New York City’s largest Renewal synagogue; Director of Engagement at ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal; ritual consultant for Eden Village Camp; and visiting faculty at Hebrew College and the Academy for Jewish Religion-NY. He is a student in the Rabbinic and Spiritual Direction tracks of the ALEPH Ordination Program, a Wexner Graduate Fellow, and serves as a Spirit Holder on the Zen Peacemakers’ Bearing Witness Retreats in Auschwitz-Birkenau. shiryaakov.com
 

Eden
Eden Pearlstein (aka ePRHYME) is a recording, performing and ritual artist, author, and educator. As a founding member of The Darshan Project, along with Reb Shir Yaakov and Basya Schechter (Pharaoh’s Daughter), Eden’s work weaves together deep Jewish teaching and tradition with creative process in a form of musical midrash and contemporary pietistic poetry. Eden holds 2 Master’s Degrees from JTS, one in Experiential Education and the other in Jewish Thought and Philosophy. 
 

Erin Leib Smokler
Erin Leib Smokler is the Director of Spiritual Development and Internship Coordinator at Yeshivat Maharat, where she teaches Chassidut and Pastoral Torah. She earned her PhD and MA from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, her BA from Harvard University, and studied in Drisha’s Scholars Circle. She 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.
 

Dan Pelberg
Dan Pelberg is a meditation practitioner and teacher with significant silent retreat experience, having learned and sat with Rabbis and teachers in Israel, India, and the United States. He has taught on college campuses, Jewish social groups, Hebrew schools, on retreats, and more. Dan is an alum of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and Brandeis Collegiate Institute.
 

Sarah Chandler
Sarah Chandler is a Brooklyn-based Jewish educator, artist, activist, and poet. She teaches, writes, and consults on issues related to Judaism, earth-based spiritual practice, the environment, mindfulness, food values, and farming. Ordained as a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess) in 2015, she is studying as a shamanic healer apprentice at The Wisdom School of S.O.P.H.I.A and Kabbalistic imaginal dream work at The School of Images.
 

Linke Fligl
Linke Fligl is a queer Jewish chicken farm & cultural organizing project that uses farming and gathering to grow a Jewish culture aligned with values of diasporism, anti-oppression and dreaming the world to come. The Linke Fligl team in partnership with Jews for Racial and Economics Justice is excited to hold down an all night study of the Vision for Black Lives platform.
 

Arielle Aronoff
Arielle Aronoff came to Hazon first as a Teva educator. She found a place in this community and did not want to leave. After spending the fall and winter at Isabella Freedman, she took a seasonal outdoor education position for the spring and quickly returned to be manage Camp Teva prior to her current role as Director of Teva. Before coming to Hazon, Arielle worked as a farmer, baker, and healthy school food advocate/educator. Arielle spends her time hiking, baking sourdough bread, and foraging for berries and mushrooms.
 

Isaiah Rothstein
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 enjoys bringing movement to strings, things, and people–wherever the air flows (he told us, to tell you, to ask him, what he means by that). Isaiah currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his two awesome roommates.
 

Jess Berlin
 As the Director of Retreats at Isabella Freedman, Jess Berlin leads the talented Retreats team who produce and host over 70 events each year.  Jess is a strong believer in the power of multi-day immersive experiences as a tool for creating long-lasting positive change in a person’s life.  She has a lifelong passion for Judaism and spirituality, having spent four years studying and teaching in Israel as well several months studying meditation in India. After graduating from Queens College, with a degree in Urban Planning, she served as a key administrator at American Jewish World Service and AVODAH and a farm educator at Eden Village Camp. Jess enjoys being part of two meditation communities, practicing and teaching visualization techniques, rockhounding, and caring for her cast iron cookware.

 

Eli Weinbach
Eli Weinbach is the Retreat Coordinator at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Prior to joining Hazon, he worked as a Research Associate for Haskins Laboratories, a research institution affiliated with Yale University. He attended Yeshiva University where he studied Psychology. In his spare time Eli enjoys reading, listening to music, and adventuring.
 

The retreat will end with a closing ceremony on Monday night. Guests are welcome to stay over Monday night at no extra charge. Brunch will be served on Friday.

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 registrar@hazon.org or 860.824.5991 x0.


Tamar Fund Scholarships

Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for Shavuot 2018.

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.

Application Process

  • Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis and are awarded exclusively for dormitory lodging, camping, and commuting (pending availability).
  • Applications must be received at least three weeks in advance of the retreat for which you are applying. Please only register after receiving a response; the scholarship will not be applied retroactively.
  • We will respond to Tamar Fund scholarship applications within seven business days of receipt.
  • If you are awarded a scholarship, you will have one week to register for the retreat at the reduced rate, after which time the offer will expire.
  • A scholarship does not guarantee availability at the time of registration; due to the inherent turnaround time of the application process, we recommend applying as early as possible to secure a spot at the retreat.
  • If you have any questions, please contact us at registrar@hazon.org or (860) 824-5991 x0.

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

Check-in is from 3 to 5 pm on Friday, May 18, 2018, followed by a welcome and orientation. The retreat will come to an end with a closing ceremony after Havdallah on Monday, May 22, 2018. You are welcome to stay over Monday night. Check-out is at 10 am on Tuesday.

TRANSPORTATION

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 for this retreat:

  • 4:15 pm on Friday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
  • 9:15 am on Tuesday from IF to Wassaic Train Station

If you have not already reserved shuttle service during registration, please contact us at registrar@hazon.org or (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 at least a week before the start date of the retreat to reserve your spot; space s limited. For those of you driving, please see our website for directions to IF.

RIDESHARE

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 acces 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 (right hand side of the page) is the best way to be notified when movements occur.

KASHRUT POLICY

If you plan to supplement our delicious, healthy, farm-to-feast meals, you may bring food, sealed in original packaging, with conventional kosher certifications for your meals in our designated dining spaces. One of our mashgichim (kosher supervisors) must pre-approve all food items that enter the designated dining spaces. You can bring other non-supervised foods/drinks and enjoy them anywhere on campus besides the designated dining spaces.

PACKING LIST

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
  • Camping equipment, including a tent, sleeping bag, and towel if you are camping

We provide:

  • Toiletries like deodorant and toothpaste for sale in the bookstore
  • 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

If you’re new to Isabella Freedman, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

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