I think Heritage Retreats is a train to greatness. I bumped into my first Heritage Retreats opportunity this past summer, and I wish the same bump to anyone who might be deliberating on whether or not to go. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. It wants you to experience, learn, be challenged and engaged, pushed yet relaxed without any requests or demands, ulterior motives or expectations. It - that is, the diverse rabbinical leadership, guides, volunteers, and all of the age-ranging observancy-varied attendees, were beautifully accepting and interested in one another. I learned that it only takes 36 hours to feel like family, especially in Poland. Warsaw - Lublin - Majdanek - Belzec - Krakow - Auschwitz/Birkenau - Krakow - Wolbrom - Wodzislaw - Lodz The dynamic leadership is scholarly, CAPTIVATING and full of vim. The deep, deep insight to Polish history and Polish/Jewish history put a lens on my mental camera. The cornucopia of kosher foods was tasty and fresh. The countrysides were lush, clean and picturesque. Krakow is magnificent. I had always wanted to go to Poland, to be depressed and uplifted simultaneously. Whoever you are, however your faith, whatever your age, you'll find something you're looking for. Even if it is unknown. To rekindle....you will.
I had a marvelous experience participating in the Heritage Retreats. It was two weeks of learning and bonding. My connection to Judaism grew and I also saw that the other participants gained tremendous amount as well. In fact, over the years following my experience on Heritage Retreats, I have encountered several other fellow participants. And I was deeply impressed to see how far they have grown as well. It is genuinely inspiring.
This is an organization worth support.
Heritage Retreats is one of the most unique and innovative programs for connecting young Jews to their heritage. It provides the ultimate "Learn hard, Play hard" experience by combining great outdoor activities with engaging lectures and group learning. People who never met feel like brothers after a week at Heritage Retreats, and when they leave, they not only bring new friends with them, but a whole new relationship with Judaism and religion in general.