Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT
Produced in partnership with
Shavuot is the time when the community gathers around the mountain, and makes pilgrimage to a holy place, for the ultimate transformative experience.
Join Rabbi David Ingber & Shir Yaakov Feit, Rabbi Avram Mlotek & Yael Kornfeld-Mlotek, Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, Rebbetzin Eve Ilsen, Rabbi Jill Hammer, Shoshana Jedwab, Rabbi David Evan Markus, and Arna Poupko Fisher for an immersive holiday experience unlike any other.
- Two complementary minyanim (prayer groups) designed to include and invite and diverse, creative Jewish community.
- Kosher farm-to-table holiday feasts featuring Grow and Behold meats, and delicious and plentiful vegetarian delights
- Pilgrimage Parade with Goats for First-Fruits/Bikkurim from Adamah Farm
- Camp Teva for Kids – Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Fun
- All-night tikkun leil shavuot vigil with mystical teachings, bonfire song circle, and a traditional beit midrash, followed by daybreak outdoor morning services
- 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 Torah Yoga sessions
- Beautiful Havdalah and closing ceremony Thursday night
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. A major 21st Century Jewish thinker and educator, his rich perspective, open heart and mind, and full-bodied approach to Jewish learning has brought him to speak throughout the United States and worldwide throughout Canada, Europe and Israel.
Rabbi David’s distinct approach to Torah, rabbinical teaching, and ritualistic practice is informed by his own personal seeking and learning from a wide cross-section of sacred traditions and faiths. He is enlightened by Jewish mysticism and Chassidut, fusing these beliefs with those of other ancient philosophies and world views. Particular influences include 18th Century Kabbalist and Founder of Chassidut, Rabbi Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov; the great 19th Century Ishbitzer Rebbe, R. Mordechai Leiner; and leading 20th Century thinkers from Kabbalist, Rav Abraham Isaac Kook to psychologist, Carl Jung.
Rabbi Ingber has taught at such eminent institutions as 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. He sits on the Board of Directors of Aleph and Synagogue 3000 Next Dor’s Working Group of Sacred Emergent Communities where he continues to teach.
Raised Modern Orthodox in New York, Rabbi David studied at several distinguished 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.
Shir Yaakov engages Jewish, multi-faith, and non-affiliated people around the world, building spiritual communities, facilitating and inspiring communal music, and helping people connect with their inner wisdom and truth. He works in formal and informal educational settings as a spiritual leader, teacher, and musician.
Shir Yaakov, his partner Emily, and their two daughters live in New York’s Hudson Valley, where they are helping to weave the Kol Hai community. Kol Hai’s Shabbat and Holiday gatherings draw upon Shir Yaakov’s extensive experience as a musician and reflect his unique ability to blend ancient and emerging wisdom to create a spiritual cultural Judaism that is contemporary, alive, and innovative. The music-filled, joyful experiences are held in and around New Paltz, NY and are open to all.
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.
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi ztz’l wrote in his book Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer: “God is always present. The question is, how present are we?”
We recognize and honor the fact that there are as many ways to be present to the Divine presence as there are people in the world. Wherever you identify yourself on the spectrum of Jewish customs and denominations, we hope to offer a connection-point for you here.
It is our intention to provide an opportunity for a diverse community to participate in prayer services that meet their needs and nourish their souls. To that end we offer two complementary options for prayer, not unlike the way in which we offer options for learning sessions and other activities during the retreat. Rather than divide the community, the different opportunities allow for greater connection, learning, encounter, and expression of uniqueness.
For our 5777 / 2017 Shavuot retreat, we will be offering the following two minyanim (groupings for prayer services):
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. This approach provides opportunities for folks across the gender spectrum to lead many of its portions and participate fully in the Torah service. There will be three visual divisions of the prayer space (a ‘trichitza’), allowing distinct areas for those who identify as men, women, and all genders to gather separately, creating one prayer community.
Rabbi David Ingber and Shir Yaakov Feit will guide participants through prayer services that span the four worlds of body, heart, mind, and spirit. Collaborating with Rav Kohenet Jill Hammer and Shoshana Jedwab among other talented leaders, 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 himself led this minyan with great kavanah and nachas.
All-inclusive rates start at $560 per person — and only $360 for campers!
Click the “register now” button above for information, room rates, and to register online. The retreat will end with a closing ceremony on Thursday night. Guests are welcome to stay over Thursday 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 call us at 860.824.5991 x0.
We strive to make our programs affordable to everyone.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
Check-in is from 2 to 5 pm on Tuesday, May 30, followed by a welcome and orientation. The retreat will come to an end with a closing ceremony after Havdallah on Thursday, June 1. You are welcome to stay over Thursday night and leave on Friday. Brunch will be served on Friday, June 2.
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:
- 2:03 pm on Tuesday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
- 4:03 pm on Tuesday from Wassaic Train Station to IF
- 11:30 am on Friday from IF to Wassaic Train Station
If you have not already reserved shuttle service during registration, please call (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 at least a week before the start date of the retreat to reserve your spot. For those of you driving, please see our website for directions to IF.
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.
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.
You may want to bring:
- Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
- 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
- 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.