Organizational Retreats

Organizational Retreats

I’ve been at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center at least a dozen times for retreats. There is no better way to build community than to plan an immersive retreat in the midst of the natural beauty of Falls Village. The setting, the food, the staff all combine to create a most wonderful atmosphere for your organization.
—Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Senior Fellow, Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
 
 

Overview

Retreats have the power and potential to transform your organization. From leadership training and program planning to budget workshops and professional development, a retreat is an essential step toward organizational sustainability. Often a weekday retreat is best suited to this kind of work. Other times, organizations choose a shabbaton for a program that is more community-focused.

Hazon’s Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center has hosted retreats for hundreds of organizations that work with all sectors of the Jewish community. Isabella Freedman – located on 400 acres of lake, farm and woodland with kosher, farm-to-table food – is the perfect place to host your organization’s retreat. Freedman has always been a beautiful site, and this year we’re investing to upgrade our facilities and improve the retreat experience for all participants.

We have a number of weekday and weekend openings in 2016 and 2017 at a special rate for nonprofit organizations.

Our calendar fills up quickly, so contact us now to book your retreat. We can work with you to create an experience that is unique to your organization’s needs – including our signature JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education) program modules.

So whether you want to plan for the upcoming year, have a board retreat offsite, or offer your staff professional development opportunities, Hazon is your ideal partner in this work. We would be honored to host you and enrich your life with the magic of Isabella Freedman.

For more information or to book a retreat, please email outreach@hazon.org.

We’ve hosted events for the following organizations:

  • American Jewish World Service
  • American Pardes Foundation
  • Amherst Early Music
  • Anshe Chesed
  • AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
  • Bais Chana Women International
  • Basherte
  • Bavli Yerushalmi
  • Birthright/EZRA USA
  • B’nai Tzedek (Harold Grinspoon Foundation)
  • Board of Jewish Education
  • The Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel
  • Congregation Agudath Sholom, Stamford, CT
  • Congregation Beth Elohim
  • Congregation Beth Simchat Torah
  • Congregation B nai Jeshurun
  • Congregation Dorshei Tzedek
  • Congregation Kol Ami
  • Conservative Synagogue of Jamaica Estates Isralight
  • CLAL: National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
  • DaveTrek Adventures
  • Dorot Foundation
  • Harold Grinspoon Foundation
  • Hebrew High School of New England
  • Hebrew High School of West Hartford
  • Hebrew Institute of White Plains
  • Hillel
  • Hillel of New York
  • Indian Neck Folk Festival
  • Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Jewish Coalition for Service
  • Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst
  • Jewish Funders Network
  • Jewish Funds for Justice
  • Jewish Multiracial Network
  • Jewish Theological Seminary
  • Kehilat Hadar
  • Kane Street Synagogue
  • Livnot U’Lehibanot
  • Maimonides School, Brookline, MA
  • Mayanot
  • The Meaningful Life Center
  • Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leaders/ UJA Nesiya Institute
  • New Hyde Park Synagogue
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association
  • Orangetown Jewish Center
  • Oraita Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values
  • Pleasantville Community Synagogue
  • Ramaz High School
  • Reconstructionist Federation of New England
  • Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy
  • Sid Jacobson JCC
  • Society for the Advancement of Judaism
  • Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union, West Orange, NJ
  • Solomon Schechter High School, NY, NY
  • Solomon Schechter of Long Island
  • The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life
  • Temple Emunah Temple Israel Center, White Plains
  • Temple Israel of Great Neck Youth House
  • United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
  • United Synagogue Youth
  • Upper West Side JCC
  • UJA Federation of New York
  • Woodbury Jewish Federation
  • YCT Rabbinical School
  • Yedidya Center for Jewish Spirituality
  • Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Young Israel of New Hyde Park
  • 92nd St Y

Isabella Freedman is a home away from home that contributes to a sustainable and just world. The atmosphere makes you want to give back to their beautiful space and their professional and warm staff.
—Ruth Messinger, American Jewish World Service
 

The weekend was magical and transformative. Not only did we have an amazing time, but the retreat had a real and lasting impact on how the students thought about themselves, spirituality, and their relationship to Judaism.
—Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Tufts University Hillel
 

Inquiries

For more information and availability of dates, please email outreach@hazon.org.

Programs

Isabella Freedman offers a wide variety of activities from which to choose. Our talented and dynamic staff can custom tailor any program for your retreat or special event. Sample programs are listed below. (Prices vary depending on the program, number of participants and length of activity.)

 

Isabella Freedman Green Tour. From bamboo flooring to lightbulbs, from low flow toilets to solar panels, Isabella Freedman is a leading example of a green Jewish institution. Find out what we are doing (and what you can do) to lessen your carbon footprint.

Farm Tour. Bring your group down to the Sadeh, our five-acre vegetable field, to see where the vegetables begin! We can arrange a tour of the farm with our young Jewish farmers, who will introduce you to the wild and magical world of growing food in a Jewish context.

Barnyard Tour. We honor the traditions of the biblical shepherds by teaching about the importance of preventing cruelty to animals (tzar ba’alei chayim) in our organic goat dairy!

Guided tour of our unique Jewish garden. Take a walk through our very own gan eden (Garden of Eden) with a naturalist who will explain the meaning and design of our special Jewish seed-saving garden.

Jewish Permaculture Tour. The Kaplan Family Farm is just a short walk from the Isabella Freedman campus. As you tour our organic fruit orchards, berry hedgerows, vegetable fields and compost-yard chickens, you will see how we are bringing the commandments in Genesis to life as we “till and tend” the land in ways that enable it to flourish for generations to come. Includes a special compost demonstration: Psalms teaches that “the stone that the builders overlooked will be the cornerstone of the third Temple.” We are turning waste into valuable fertilizer for our fields — something you can learn to do in your own garden.

Service learning on the farm. Deepen your understanding of our food system and put your ecological values to action as you spend half a day lending a hand on our organic vegetable farm. Jewish tradition teaches us that we must work to repair the world: learn how we do this on our farm by using ecologically-restorative farming methods and cultivating a sense of awe and gratitude towards the natural world. No prior farm experience necessary.

Pickle-making 101. At Isabella Freedman, we make organic kosher lacto-fermented products, including pickles and sauerkraut. Learn about the magic of fermentation as you follow the steps from cucumber to pickle. Participants will harvest and ferment their own jar of kosher dills (seasonal).

Adamah Lectures. Many of the classes that are regularly taught in the Adamah Fellowship can be adapted for visiting groups. 90-minute lectures include topics such as Jewish learning, Ecology, Sustainable Agriculture, Permaculture, Eating Locally, Composting, Global Warming, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Cheese Making, Cobb Oven, Bee Keeping, Leadership and Group Building, Meeting Facilitation, Active Listening and Non-Violent Communication.

Jewish Programming. Adjunct rabbis and other Jewish educators may be available to lead services, Torah discussions and other Jewish rituals. Please check for availability.

Childcare. Please inquire about options for childcare and shmira (cabin night watch) for groups.

Children’s Activities Programs. We can create a children’s program for any length of time — from an entire weekend to just a few hours.

Custom Designed Nature/Adventure Program. The Berkshires is one of nature’s greatest playgrounds. We can arrange rock climbing, backpacking, caving, kayaking, tubing and ski trips at nearby locations.

Song Sessions. For those who love to sing but can’t remember all of the words or want musical accompaniment, we can lead your group in spirited and fun song sessions and singing at meals. We also offer indoor and outdoor campfire sing-alongs.

Specialized Entertainment and Lectures. We can arrange for professional singers, comedians, storytellers and lecturers to entertain and educate your group.

Swimming. We can provide a lifeguard for your group to use the pool or lake.

Other Programs. Let us know your interests. We may be able to accommodate them.