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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Heritage Retreats Inc dba University Heritage Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Judaism, Leadership Development, Religion, Special Education, Youth Development - Religious Leadership

Mission: We seek to revitalize Jewish identity through educational, religious and cultural initiatives that are designed to reach out to all Jews with an emphasis on those that do not strongly identify with Jewish life.

Target demographics: Jewish college students and young adults all over North America

Direct beneficiaries per year: 225

Geographic areas served: North America

Programs: Heritage Retreats is a one week immersion experience designed to revitalize Jewish identity among unaffiliated Jewish Youth.

Community Stories

125 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 zuckzuck

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have had the honor to be a chef with this amazing organization. I think the program has been life changing for all people that participate, including myself. You will experience a positive, healthy and meaningful approach to Judaism surrounded by beauty and love. If you have an opportunity be apart of this week long retreat, I promise you won't regret it!

scottsilverstone

Donor

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats provided me with one of the most powerful, inspiring, and fun times of my life. There are many Jewish kiruv programs, but Heritage connects people like nothing else I've seen. I've never seen so many people change so much over the course of one week. I'm still close with many of the participants from that camping adventure from four years ago.
When I look back today at the speakers provided, and the classes offered, I feel like I didn't even begin to scratch the surface of what was offered in terms of Jewish growth... my rabbis back home wanted to go with me! So many incredible rabbis in one place... half of our group ended up in Yeshiva within a year.
I now donate to Heritage regularly. It had such an impact on my life, and I know how much it's changed the lives of others.

Aleks G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreat was unbelievable. We were surrounded by spectacular views of Yellowstone and really capitalized on the nature around us. Along with the scenic wildlife, we were also surrounded by amazing moral mentors and people who wanted to get to know us so that they could show us how to become better people and better professionals. Heritage Retreat was an amazing week that started off with us camping in the foods and concluded with a magnificent shabbos in Montana. Within a week I was able to meet great people, mentors and animals. After spending a week in a tent and with no phone usage I came out with more questions to ask myself, but also a clearer idea of who I want to become and the person I'm supposed to be when I get back to campus. If you have had some exposure to judaism this is a trip you will not regret.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great experience at Heritage Retreat! Highly recommend this trip!

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

I've been a guest lecturer at Heritage Retreats for many years, and I've never stopped being amazed by what they do and how they do it! They bring together a group of young Jews from all over the US and for a week provide them with an exhilarating "learn hard-play hard" experience! The participants are given the opportunity to learn from amazing lecturers (not me, the other ones!), who lead great discussions on Jewish Identity and Philosophical fundamentals. This is all done, while hiking and exploring the most beautiful outdoor locations in the US and Canada! The logistics are so well taken care of that no one on the trip ever notices them- a sure sign of their success. By the end of the Heritage Retreats experience, the group leaves feeling an incredible bond between one another as well as feeling empowered Jewishly to step up and step forward in their personal lives and communities

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats is an exceptional organization- professional, experienced, and personally engaging. They help put Jewish college students and young proffesionals in touch with their Heritage and themselves in an enjoyable enviornment, through stimulating classes and discussions as well as great trips and activities.
The organization has a long term impact on the lives of many of its students, and I am honored to be a part of Heritage Reatreats.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing trip to Utah Summer 2015. Explored one of our nations best nature parks.

3 Carol165

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had an AMAZING time at the Heritage Retreats in Arizona. We had the MOST inspiring teachers, their intellect astounded me and made me really think about some important concepts, not just in Judaism, but in life. The mentors were also amazing, they were so caring and truly hoped to see everyone see the beauty in Judaism that they saw. This retreat gave me an opportunity I haven't had in a long time, to simply learn beautiful things in a beautiful place with beautiful people. I'm so blessed to have had this opportunity, as are all my other fellow retreaters. Thank you so much for such an amazing and MEANINGFUL experience, I have reflected on my experience and taken so much back with me!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5


I am very grateful to have attended the Heritage Retreat Sedona program this past summer. I went not really knowing what to expect and felt a bit out of touch with Judaism. I hoped the experience would give me a better sense of my connection to Judaism and also help me make a decision about the extent to which I wanted to incorporate Judaism into my life. Despite my being unfamiliar with most of the concepts that we discussed, I still found the topics fascinating and easy to follow along with. I found the speakers discussions to be both engaging and very applicable to my life. I took away a great deal from the speakers, the Rabbi, and the other participants of the program. The program would not have been what it was if not for the extremely passionate teachers and tutors, who at any moment were ready to answer my questions, clarify a topic, or even offer me advice.
Heritage Retreats fostered an environment of openness in discussion and sparked my curiosity for Jewish learning. As a result, I decided to become more involved in Jewish life on campus at the University of Georgia. It was a very special experience and I made many new friends through it from all over the country. From Heritage I learned many invaluable lessons and would recommend this program to anyone, no matter their Jewish background or past experiences.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a trip to Poland to better understand what happened during World War Two. I expected some history and perhaps some cultural engagement. What I found instead was an extremely knowledgeable and passionate group of leaders who were able to intellectually emotionally and spiritually connect me to my heritage through Poland. We rejoiced at the life that flourished in Poland as well as carefully delving deep into our emotions that visits to the death camps evoked. In context for both what it meant then as well as a distinct appreciation for what it means for me today, I came away with a new found appreciation for life and my heritage.

1 Jason81

Client Served

Rating: 5

At a time in my life when my medical studies had become my primary pursuit, Heritage Rereats came along to rekindle my Jewish spirit. They taught me how to reincorporate religion into my life, through educating me and encouraging me to make informed choices. I firmly believe that my experience with them this summer will push me to become a holistic physician, providing care for the mind, body, and spirit of my future patients.

Truly inspirational

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had an amazing time on my Heritage Retreat in Sedona, AZ in summer 2014. I went already having a strong connection to Judaism based on a love for the Jewish community and an identification with my ancestors. I left having discovered a more personal connection; throughout the week I learned how Judaism can help me be a better person and how I can incorporate it into my daily life. I also saw this firsthand by interacting with the incredibly kind and passionate fellow participants, tutors, and teachers that were on the retreat with me. The teachers took every available moment in the day to talk with me one-on-one, and I have stayed in touch with several of the tutors and teachers. My Heritage Retreat was an invaluable experience that I will always keep with me as I continue exploring my connection to Judaism.

Eilan A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing program! I can safely say that I was blown away from the staff and quality of the program. Highly recommended in every way!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful time on Heritage Retreats and would recommend it to anyone and everyone looking to gain experience and wisdom all while having a great time. Between the activities and the knowledge gained it is the people alongside you that you meet and connect with that really make the program special.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to Banff National Park in Canada with Heritage Retreats. We hiked, camped, white water rafted, and much more. It was honestly one of the best trips/programs I have ever done. The views I have seen will forever be in my mind. Everyday I learned and experienced something new. It is a very open environment with something for everyone. A lot of the wisdom/knowledge that I learned have stuck with me. The program instructors are diverse and offer something for every participant. I recommend this program because of its amazing excursions and educational opportunities that are gained from attending. I hope to participate in more programs in the future.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats was a most incredible experience for me! I went a little nervous, not knowing what to expect, and came back with such fulfillment and gratitude. It was everything I had needed and more! In just one week, I met so many incredible people, teachers and peers, people who I plan to stay in touch with forever. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful, the activities were really fun, the times we had together were precious, and all of that will remain in my best of memories. But what affects me most perhaps to this day are the lessons we had. They really stimulated my mind and inspired me to think beyond. I gained so much insight in that short time. I gained valuable lessons that I will take with me for life! I would highly recommend this program to anyone who's considering it. It is really worth it.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats was one of the most incredible experiences I've had as a young adult in pursuit of creating a meaningful life. The program is comprised of some of the most kind-hearted, genuine, and beautiful individuals who truly give their all to enrich the lives of others. I learned so much about my heritage, myself as an individuals, and gained values and lessons I plan to carry with me for the rest of my life. I am so thankful for a program like this that has given me the knowledge and insight to become a better person.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats was truly an amazing experience. The friendships and lessons garnered will forever stick with me and I am grateful for going. Aside from the beautfiul locale in Yellowstone National Park, I was able to learn valuable lessons about my heritage and be proud of who I am. Recommend to anyone interested enough to learn more about Judaism!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats was an incredible program that offered a community of learned teachers and peers to come together in order to grow spiritually. The program was full of life, learning, and adventure that made it unique and life-changing. Heritage Retreats is an amazing program that helped me to believe in myself and pursue my Jewish identity and gain futher knowledge. My time spent in Arizona will forever be imprinted on my heart.