6th Annual July 4th Weekend
Isabella Freedman Retreat Center
Wednesday, July 1 - Sunday, July 5th, 2015
Early Bird Deadline Midnight Thursday, June 25, 2015
Overall RSVP Deadline Midnight Sunday, June 28, 2015
MAIN DETAILS OF THE WEEKEND
I am pleased to announce our latest weekend at the beautiful Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, located near the beautiful Berkshires, in CT near the Massachusetts border. This is a top quality kosher catered retreat center funded in part by the Federation. The grounds are wonderful, secluded, with a private lake, and it will be a larger event than normal, with 100 to 150 people. We had our last few major weekends here where we had over 120 people attending, on average, a nice balanced mix of singles, couples and families, where each group felt comfortable and relaxed and part of the overall group. We also came here with a smaller group for the last 3 Simchat Torah last year, which we hope to do again this year.
This is truly a gem of a place, with privacy, nature, good people and kosher food. What more could you ask for?
Singles, Families and Couples are welcome and encouraged to come.
Please RSVP quickly, as this event will sell out, likely in advance. In fact, several recent weekends (last year’s July 4th Weekend at Isabella!) sold out in advance, and we often have waiting lists for my weekends—we usually do 3 to 5 weekends per year. Sign up early and often! If this weekend is a success, this will hopefully become an annual July 4th event.
Rooms — 3 Levels—Deluxe, Standard, Basic
Deluxe Lodge Rooms (large amount—30 rooms, plus 3 family suites of 2 rooms) with private bathrooms
Standard Rooms (moderate number, 14 rooms )with semi-private semi-shared bathrooms, in cottages
Basic Rooms (moderate number, 18 rooms)— with dorm style shared bathrooms.
Half of the rooms at the retreat are deluxe. Once we run out of a category of rooms, that’s it! For more details and some pictures, visit our room descriptions page.
NOTE THAT THERE ARE
MANY NEW DETAILS FOR THIS WEEKEND
AS OPPOSED TO THOSE I HAVE RUN IN THE PAST.
Highlights of the Differences
· Deposits Needed to Register and get early rates
· You Must Pay in Full in Advance of the Weekend
· You May Use Credit Cards To Pay, Via PayPal
· Check-in/Check-out - each day at 9:00, especially the last day, Sunday 9:00 AM
· Limited Rides, Organized Buses
FOOD, SAMPLE MENU AND KOSHER SUPERVISION
The food is catered by the Retreat Center. From what people who have attended events there have told me, the food is excellent, with great vegetarian options. We will also be having a BBQ and a bonfire on Sunday Night. Here is a sample menu.
As for kashrus, the kitchen is under the supervision of the main orthodox rabbi in Hartford, Rabbi Adler, the closest major community . I have made inquiries and I am satisfied with the kashrus. Also, the Carlebach Shul has had an annual retreat at Isabella Freedman for several years for Thanksgiving and several chabad and YU groups have had events here recently as well.
Complete the RSVP form here, SIGNUP BY THE DEADLINES ABOVE and sending in your deposit
($150 per adult, $300 per couple/family )(see Rates, Deposits and Payments).
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO ANSWER ALL RELEVANT QUESTIONS ON THE RSVP FORM. THIS HELPS MAKE THE WEEKENDS BETTER AND SIMPLER TO RUN.
We are considering having a CRAFTS DAY on Sunday July 6th, where you can learn some local crafts. The crafts we are exploring are: basket weaving, watercolors, drawing, jewelry making, photography, knitting, paper cutting. Time will tell as to which we crafts we will ultimately offer. Let me know on the RSVP site what your interests are. Also, if you are able to lead a craft class, or if you are interested in this part of the weekend. Crafts will cost between $15 & $40 each. If you can teach a craft, let me know on the RSVP site and if selected, I will be able to reduce your fees, depending on your skill level and experience teaching.
On Sunday July 6th will have the option for helping on the farm and farm tours at an additional cost—visit their site so you can get an idea of their activities.
Yoga & Lectures
We hope to have Yoga a few times each day during the retreat. If you are able to teach yoga and have experience, let us know on the RSVP Form, and you may be selected and receive a reduced rate. Also, We hope to offer some lectures on Shabbat and possibly on Sunday, depending on interest. If you have lectured on various jewish or other intellectual topics and have a demonstrated ability for giving an interesting and intellectual class or lecture, let me know on the RSVP Form for a possibly reduced rate.
HELPING ON THE WEEKENDS - Everyone helps some and Reduced Rates For Some
For first timers to my weekends, we run these events at a lower cost by having everyone help out during the event. Since the retreat center will be catering the food, the amount of help needed from everyone will be greatly reduced. Also, a limited number of reduced rates are available to some people who are willing to perform more substantial roles before, during and after the weekend. Let us know on the RSVP Form.
I need people to help with the organizing and running of the weekend. I will have a few ‘up to 50% off spots’ for those helping before, during and after the weekend and $25 - $50 off for key help during the weekend.
Also, I will have some ability to reduce the fee ($25 to $75 or more, depending on your experience and skills) if you can teach a craft, give a lecture at an intellectual & interesting level, help lead music and play an instrument at the kumzitz and BBQ, or have another special talent to teach the group. Let me known on the RSVP site.
We are also looking into offering some child care during the event. Families, let us know your interest in this and helpers, let us know if you have experience and we might be able to reduce your rate by as much as $100. This option depends on interest from parents. We would hope to offer this as babysitting outside your room at night, so parents can enjoy the activities, at an additional fee per child. Let us know on the RSVP form if you are interested.
LEAVING TIME, RIDES
Candle Lighting for Friday, July 4 is 8:13 PM, the latest Shabbat of the year! Please note that it takes a MINIMUM OF 2 hrs to 2.5 hours from Manhattan and Northern NJ to get to the Shaker Mill, and at least 2.5hr to 3 hours for Brooklyn, Queens and other points. We hope to start Shabbat early, around 7pm, so plan on arriving no later than 6PM.
For those coming on Friday, you will need to leave preferably at 12:30 pm, but in no case later than 2:00 PM from any location. Remember, there may be a lot of traffic leaving the city on July 4th, so come up Thursday night for the BBQ and for Friday activities. We can have people onsite using the facilities as of 1:00 PM at the earliest.