Bais Chana is a wonderful, inspiring place to learn more about Judaism and spirituality. The atmosphere is pleasant, the surroundings are beautiful, and the teachers and mentors are very knowledgeable, understanding, and generous with their wisdom and friendship. As a volunteer at a 3 week summer retreat a few years ago, i met many women with whom i built strong, lasting friendships that i treasure.
I have had an amazing experience on two of Bais Chana's Snorkel and Study trips. On each trip I was greeted by amazing women who were open to sharing their ideas and opinions as well as their friendship and compassion. I met two women on these trips, Estee Popack and Devora Leah Popack, whom I remain close with and who have helped me throughout some very difficult family troubles I've had in the past two years. Had I not gone on the Snorkel and Study trip during the Winter of 2009, I'm not sure how I would have been able to get through the things that I did. Bais Chana opened my eyes to different aspects of Judaism and practices that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. This organization has helped shape me into the woman I am today and I hope to continue to attend Bais Chana events and have the opportunity to share in many more memories and learning experiences in the future.
This organization changed my life for the better. It made me a better person and I thank Bais Chana for who I am today. It also helped me meet some of my best friends.
Had such an amazing experience in Bais Chana's Snorkel and Study program. I was greatly influenced by the Chassidic teachings and truly inspired by the other woman; the kindness, warmth and wisdom that goes on in Bias Chana is just incredible.
Bais Chana is truly an amazing organization. I traveled on a Bais Chana trip about 3 months ago and learned so much about myself. I actually am going another retreat in the summer.
Bais Chana is the answer to every Jewish womens prayer. It is a chance to get together with other women, learn and grow in an incredibly uplifiting environment.
Bais Chana is a great educational program which brings together women from across the globe. Everyone leaves feeling empowered and energized! It was a great experience for me!
I attended 2 Bais Chana programs as a volunteer. The days flew by. Everyone involved gained from the program. I feel every minute of the days there are programs I am unable to attend!
I've been to at least 10 Bais Chana Women International programs. The programs for teens, college students and women are always incredible. I have learned a tremendous amount and consider it a privilege to participate in Bais Chana programs.
Bais Chana Women International is a place where ALL Jewish women can learn, grow, work through real life issues, make friends that last a lifetime and have a great time, in a safe, welcoming and non judgemental environment.
Bais Chana is a place that every jewish girl should get a chance to experience!!!!
Its life changing and empowering!
This is a great program that caters to girls from all walks of life. It's all encompassing, spirited and the staff seem really caring. The experience was fulfilling and left me with great new friends.
I went to Bais Chana Un-Camp this summer and the Thanksgiving Weekend Retreat it changed my life. I'm a girl from a place where there are not many Jews and I am becoming more observant and learning more about Judaism. I had the great opportunity to go to Bais Chana this summer and this past November and I met girls from all over the world. There were girls that were raised in an observant Jewish household and girls that were not very observant at all they were just interested in learning. I was really nervous when I was going this past summer for the first time because I didn't know a single person that was going to be there and I thought as soon as Rabbi Friedman started talking I wasn't going to understand what he was saying. My fears were quickly dissolved. Everything was at a pace that no matter whom you were or what your background was you could understand and take away positively from every class. Also, I never thought you could put 50 girls together for three and a half weeks or even for the weekend and not have conflict or fighting. But, the girls that attend are all so kind and the counselors that they have leading us are some of the most helpful and interesting kindhearted people you will ever meet. I never felt so at home away from home. Bais Chana brought out the best in me. Taught me about myself who I am and who I want to become. I love Bais Chana Women International and I recommend it to everyone!
I have just returned from Bais Chana Teen Program and I am thoroughly impressed with its unique approach to empowerment by nurturing the key elements of the person. Although there is a structured program each girl is treated sensitively, as an individual. Significantly, the entire staff, under the wise, warm, and capable direction of Mrs. Hinda Leah Scharfstein, is hand-picked---each counselor contributes her special talents, skills, and ability to relate to the girls. There is a refreshing, non-judgmental atmosphere of genuine caring. Rabbi Manis Friedman teaches daily Torah classes which reach beyond the intellect and vitalize the core of the Jewish feminine soul. His nightly question and answer sessions, full of wit, wisdom, humor and personal stories address much that churns and burns in the hearts and minds of the girls. Mr. Yaakov Yitchak Rosenthal, a talented, caring handwriting analyst, physiognomist and life coach who concentrates on the social-emotional issues of teenagers, meets with each girl to point out areas of strengths and challenges in a positive, constructive, encouraging way. Rounding out the program is the art room, directed by Mrs. Aharah Aisman, which provides plenty of opportunity for self-expression, creativity and growth. Bais Chana masterfully nurtures the inner dimensions of the Jewish teenage girl, planting seeds of who she can become.
Bais Chana Women International Inc Has helped me in many ways, and the two summers that I attended the camp was amazing and uplifting, I hope that they will be able to continue their job of empowering women.
Bais Chana has been great for me in the area of finding personal fulfillment, enriching my marriage, improving my parenting skills, and being a better person. I am very grateful to Hinda Leah Sharfstein and Rabbi Manis Friedman for their sensitivity and willingness to share their learning and expertise. I have also learned a lot from the many guest speakers and teachers. Two of my daughters have gone to the teen "Un-Camp" and gotten a lot out of it. The staff have been open and willing to give them support later in their lives, after camp was over, for years, and it has been wonderful.
Bais Chana has done so much for me. I learned so many basic ideals and philosophies which I was then able to expand on by continuing to learn at this woman's organization. They have excellent teachers whom teach about achieving your fullest in life, and handling various situations with different types of people.
The first time I attended Bais Chana's Retreat was as a young woman, quite new to Judaism, over 14 years ago. During my time there, I experienced an amazingly powerful and uplifting week, with lectures by various women, and talks by Rabbi Friedman. The talks were enlightening, touching and moving. The sense of comraderie amoung the women, and the care of each person there was truly unique. I returned to Bais Chana again two years ago, delighted to find that the same energy, the same amazing learning, and the same unique environment for personal growth and connecting with women had not been lost. I encourage any woman, of any age and level of observance, to attend one of these retreats. You will not be disappointed.
Bais Chana was an unexpected and exceptional gift of education, inspiration, and personal support that began for me in 2005. Following a referral from my Rebbetzin in Seattle, WA, I flew to my first Bais Chana program in Palm Springs, CA, and have since attended additional programs offered in Florida and Connecticut. Bais Chana fulfilled my search for a Jewish Women’s institution that would help further my goals for a greater connection with my heritage and Jewish women; and improve my understanding of the spiritual and practical aspects of observance. I need not be standing physically amongst Bais Chana’s remarkable educators, outstanding staff, or lovely venues to recognize the enormous impact this institution has had upon me nor, I imagine, its many attendees from all over the world.
After becoming frum when I was young and starting a Chabad on Campus program in my non-Jewish school I needed support, I needed to stay connected to the source of my mission: G-d. Bais Chana was my breather, my direct connection to G-d. Thank you Bais Chana for always pushing me to be the best Jew I can be. The Tanya classes, Rabbi Friedman's Question Box sessions and all the guest speakers are only the tip of the summit. The counselors and skill building activities along with the Jewish identity gained through every minute of the program make every moment worth a life time.
Bais Chana is where I laugh, cry, unwind, feel moved to thank God, feel safe to be mad at God, and where I have created deep bonds with truly remarkable women who have helped me focus the lens through which I view myself and the world in which I live. I believe that in most things in life, you get out what you put in, but at Bais Chana I think you just need to show up. Come as you are. The experience speaks for itself. You won't leave the same person.
This is the most incredible and warming place to discover ones Jewish roots. The Jewish people are an ancient people with a modern task. It is open to all people to discover exactly what Judaism has to offer the world, in a non judgmental, professional, warm and welcoming way. This non profit has the power to change the world, by harnessing the power of the human soul. It is open to couples, women, and teens. The staff is completely dedicated to making each woman's experience special, unique and absolutely unforgettable.
By attending classes and interacting with the other attendees, I was able to learn about healthy relationships and how to develop them. I also began to understand more about who I am and what my role is in the world and how to actualize the good that lies at the essence of each piece of crration.
I went to Bais Chana, not knowing what to expect. My Rabbi and Rebitzen had been trying to get me to go to this one week program every year for the past 4 years, but there was always something stopping. This time around, I was ready. I wanted to go, to learn, to be with other women my age, hoping to find someone going through the same thing. The women there were all different- different religious backgrounds, different ages, different interests, from different places of the world...but all had one thing in common: all came to this program with an open heart and an open mind. Everyone had a story to tell, and from each girl, I learned something new, about myself, about religion, about life. One lunch, I sat down next to an older women, and we started talking. Well, to be honest, I did most of the talking...I had never met this woman before, barely knew her name, yet somehow, I found myself telling her about my inner-most worries, and my fear of the future. I could tell from her eyes that she was truly listening and taking it all in. She gave me the kind of advice that you expect from a best friend you've known for years...she told me exactly what I needed to hear, and throughout the rest of the program, made herself available to talk at any time. It turns out that Hinda Leah was *the* head of the program- and although she spent months organizing this program, when the girls arrived, she was not behind the scenes, but right there with us, at our side, ready to help. Speaking with Hinda Leah was the first step of the journey that I have been on for 6 months now. Though the program was only one week long, it changed my life. I am a better person, a stronger person, and a more confident woman, now, than I was before attending Bais Chana. I am happy to say that I still keep in touch with many girls from the program, including Hinda Leah.
I was lucky enough to have been both a counselor and participant in the Bais Chana program. Bais Chana is truly a unique organization. With respect to the camp, the counselors are hand picked by the camp's wonderful and caring director, for unique talents and personalities. The students that come are from all different backgrounds which made for a really interesting summer. The main teacher, Rabbi Friedman, is one of the most caring, intelligent and empathetic Rabbis I know. He would discuss difficult subjects in the classroom which forced such as love and intimacy and force you to stop and think. He would ask questions to the group just see the reaction of the students . I've seen him and the organization change people's lives. In addition to giving one on one counseling to any student who requested it, he also spoke to any of the counselors one on one, about anything. He has such a vast knowledge of different subjects, that one could ask him pretty much anything and he would give his opinion in a kind manner. The summer I worked with him and the entire staff changed. I recommend anyone who is searching, orthodox or not, to spend one day or a couple at Bais Chana.
In May of 2008, I was 21 years old and on the brink of divorce, after only five months of marriage with a guy I'd know for almost two years, and whom I believed I'd be married to for the rest of my life. I am very fortunate in that it became poignantly clear so early on that the marriage was not going to work out, however, my life had been turned upside down, and everything I thought I wanted and needed was seemingly being taken away from me against my will and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was heartbroken, angry, scared, and confused. During those tumultuous months I began to question what was really important to me. Where I wanted to go. What type of life I wanted to lead. I was advised by a Rabbi and mentor of mine to go and learn for a week at a Bais Chana retreat being held in the Berkshires, CT. I was a bit hesitant at first, because I knew that if the experience was a good one, I would likely have to face some harsh realities and make many difficult changes. I was also concerned that perhaps I'd be the only girl at the program in a situation like my own. I remember speaking to Hinda Leah (the program director) on the phone before applying. I gave her a basic run-through of who I was and what I was looking to get from the program, "So you think I should come?," I asked, "It will change your life," she replied. I felt that was a pretty bold statement, and decided to test her theory and go, and I am forever grateful that I did. Once there, I immediately knew it was where I needed to be. The women were warm, the grounds where the retreat was held were breathtakingly beautiful, and the classes were intellectually stimulating and soul-stirring. There was an air of unity and strength amongst the women that was palpable the whole week long. I met so many powerful people, staff and student alike, and made strong connections with many woman, of whom I'm still close with today. My experience at Bais Chana was a turning point for me in my life, and gave me the strength and clarity I needed, not only to move forward and make those changes, but to embrace them.
I have never experienced anything like this program before. They give one-on-one attention. The people working in this organization are always energetic, kind, and constantly have a lot of each student grow. The people running this program give up all their time and energy to make sure everything is perfect. I went there this summer expecting nothing much, and came out in awe! Not only was it a fun and beautiful experience, but I left a different person I came. It was something I would mention and reccomend to all my friends from then on. I grew. Learned. Experienced. There is no other organization like it.
When I first went to Bais Chana in 1980, I was 19 years old and ready to follow the path in life which was the absolute truth .I learned with other young women in a structured classroom setting from a very educated and interesting young rabbi about our jewish heritage. But it was much more than that, I felt like I had discovered the world, and my place in it! An enormous sense of happiness and fulfillment,every word so meaningful and reveling.Today, 30 years later, I thank Bais Chana for giving me the opportunity to learn what has become my life which I share with my children and grandchildren with so much joy and pride!!
Although I had previous Jewish learning experiences, going to Snorkel & Study 2009 during my winter break from college was definitely a defining experience. Different things I learned there gave me the resolve to move forward with certain life changing choices. (Including getting married). I also made some awesome friends which was a big deal at the time since I was a rather obsessive student and lost track of many of my previous friends.
Three years ago, I came from South Africa, to Bais Chana’s summer program. I was over worked and exhausted, looking for direction and a break. My life has never been the same since. Bais Chana has always been there for me and I see how they are always there for every Jewish Women, every step of the way. Whether it be a teenager searching for answers, an undirected student questioning her own identity and existence, a Professional looking to understand her role as a women, or a Mother wanting to strengthen her knowledge, Bais Chana empowers women to go out into the world with a strong sense of purpose and knowledge of their role as a Jewish women in an every changing world. I have been back to a program ever since, and I always feel that there is so much more to learn and gain, each time I am imparted with more strength and clarity . The organization has provided a continuum of strength and support for women of all ages and backgrounds to further their Jewish education. Whether you are a onetime attendee or come back regularly, you always leave with a life changing experience.
I came back, each time, stronger as an individual, as a Jewish woman,as a mother, a daughter and as a wife. The classes were very inspirational. And the women attending the classes also added so much to the experience.
In no uncertain terms, Bais Chana changed my life. I was able to reconnect with my heritage, meet amazing and supportive women, and walk away feeling empowered, educated, and excited about continuing my Jewish journey. The knowledge, friends and mentors I gained from each Bais Chana retreat have enriched my life, and on a daily basis, I draw from the lessons I learned at Bais Chana.
Bais Chana has completely changed my life in every way possible. Bais Chana's Snorkel and Study program opened my eyes to a whole word I did not know existed and has completely awakened my soul. At Bais Chana I have met wonderful women, amazing teachers, and formed everlasting friendships. I am extremely thankful for the inspiration and guidance that Bais Chana has given me.
This is the most amazing program I have ever attended. The atmosphere the staff creates is so unique and comfortable that friends are made quickly. The experience I had when I went was life changing. I have attended more than one program and each time I walk away with an unforgettable experience and at the end you see the difference in each person who left. Your views on life change and there's a new understanding of the world and all of leave with new friends. Bais Chana deserves the recognition, they work hard and truly make a difference in peoples lives. I know from experience because they changed mine.
bs''d Bais Chana is a unique school that helps women of all ages reconnect with the essence of their souls.
Bais Chana is a unique organisation, in it's ability to bring together women who are different in almost every way... (age, character, upbringing, nationality and career..) and blend them into one harmonious group, learning from and with one another. A single program which caters to the very individual needs of each participant (some facing serious challenges), is hard to come by. Participants leave changed, always for the better. The directors have worked hard, and succesfully created a haven of physical comfort, spiritual warmth and emotional growth.
I attended Bais Chana for the first time almost 2 years ago, and have taken part regularly since. Rabbi Maanis Friedman taught classes that stimulated my mind and soul in a way that opened me up to see the world from new perspectives. I thank G-d that there is at least one place where my questions about life, Judaism, and G-d are answered in away that I can feel at peace. Thank You Rabbi Friedman, and Bais Chana.
Bais Chana gave me my life back. I went to a summer Bais Chana program almost a year ago and the positive life changing effects continue to stay with me. At Bais Chana I was embraced with genuine love, warmth and acceptance. I am eternally grateful to them for what they so generously gave and taught me. Bais Chana is for all Jewish ladies, no matter what their background or observance is. I know that no matter what, Bais Chana will always be there for me as a home base. With open arms, I know I will be accepted and receive a chance to be reminded and refreshed about the purpose and foundations of life. At Bais Chana, everything becomes more clear and starts to make more sense. Rabbi Friedman's teachings of simplicity and reality are relevant to every life situation and really help to put things into perspective. Thank you Bais Chana.
Everything changed after my first encounter at Bais Chana in 2005. After spending almost 6 hours (what felt like two minutes) with other women and the most candid Rabbi I had ever met, I had a burning excitement within. With openness and sensitivity, we had spoken about purpose, fear, sexuality, death, health, family, love and everything in between. I had wondered how I had been functioning all this time without having had these vital conversations. All I knew was that, for the first time, I felt empowered and alive as a woman and citizen of the world. Bais Chana is the only organization I know of today that addresses the genuine needs of today's woman, engaging them in important conversations that are all-too-often ignored. Bais Chana programs give women an aesthetic, engaging, warm and honest atmosphere in which to connect, celebrate and address real issues. The environment, activities and courses are carefully planned in a way that every one - regardless of background and affiliation - feels they are being spoken to. From all my years of involvement with Bais Chana, I have met hundreds of women, all whom report a heightened sense of purpose, understanding and happiness. The participants are diverse. The food is healthy and tasty. The accommodations are always beautiful and exciting. The lectures (or conversations) are always open and relevant. It has been five years since I sat as a student in Bais Chana. But it is not a thing of the past. Every single question answered and connection made has carried me through my life much as it has for the countless other women. Why? Because Bais Chana talks to women in a way they can't forget. At Bais Chana, I learned why I should be treasured as a women. I learned to better respect my parents...and myself. I learned how to bless my relationships. I learned how to LEARN. I was given the tools I didn't KNOW I needed - to function not just as a "normal" person but a better, more honest, intuitive and WHOLE person. At Bais Chana I learned not to settle for less. From myself and from the world. Bais Chana is proof that simply by addressing the core elements of existence, we can emerge more fulfilled, connected and fearless. Taking time out of our busy lives to give attention to everything that matters is an indescribably important gift. Imagine a world where more and more women had the opportunity to be heard, share their own voice and have access to all the beauty and purpose life has to offer. Imagine women could come together to attune themselves with truth in a down-to-earth, non-judgmental and totally engaging way. Imagine every woman coming alive. Just imagine.
After college I attended Bais Chana Women International for the first time at a study retreat in St. Paul, MN. It was an eye opening, stimulating Jewish experience where I was introduced to Kabbalah, Chassidut, and very meaningful commentary on Jewish life and Jewish law. The educators did and continue to do an excellent job of showing how the Torah is relevant to each person's life. The group was non judgmental and I felt very comfortable asking questions and exploring my own connection and interpretation of Judaism. I came away with many answers and many more questions. I am still friendly with many of the women that I've met at Bais Chana events. Each venue has it's own charm from beautiful rustic cabins in the Berkshire Mountains to 5 star Key Largo resorts. The food is excellent.
Bais Chana is an organisation that transforms one's outlook, definition and ability to live in this world as a true Jewish daughter of G-d. Â From the first time I came into contact with Bais Chana - at a retreat in the Berkshires early 2005 - I was overwhelmed by the way in which I was welcomed even though I knew so little, how I was treated as though I was already a 'woman of worth', how simple everything seemingly was - but how very complex in a most soul searching and yet to be intriguing manner. Â The most low-key approach to visitors, both new and old - threw me.Â It was so non-threatening.Â Hinda Leah - the amazing organiser, director, fundraiser, teacher and about to become friend - heads up this extraordinary organisation.Â From her lead comes the young women who help with everything from room finding, general enquiries, feeding both physical and spiritual, teaching and also yet again - friendship. Â But what is it that really happens - nothing - nothing except that through the amazing teaching from some of the most gifted lecturers in the Jewish world - life in its myriad of views is dissected, analyzed and put back together again in a form that enhances you.Â When Rabbi Friedman teaches, he is speaking to you, and you, and you…and me. All without judgment - all with experiences given over through incredible knowledge, humility, joy and love. He touches each of us as though we are the only ones in his path.Â This level of teaching is what I call a gift from G-d - allowing us an insight as to who we are, have been and may yet become. Â Since then I have been an avid devotee of the Rabbi and Bais Chana and all of their superb lecturers, Freidy Yanover, Malka Touger, Rivka Slonim amongst many, many others. Â I have lots and lots of stories about what this organisation does and how it affects those fortunate beings who attend one of their retreats whether they be, teenagers, students, women of all ages or even the couples.
I first began to teach at Bais Chana some sixteen years ago when the program was still located in Minnesota and ran programs for college aged women twice a year, during the Winter Iintersession and during the Summer. I have watched-- with wonder_- as Bais Chana has evolved as an institute, a university without walls -- that offers eclectic and cutting edge programmaing to women of all ages ( and some programs for couples as well) in a variety of destinations. Bais Chana has created a community of women that often spans teengagers and their relatives , mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, grandmothers etc. It is a place where you find women of every socio-economic strata, every culture, race and professional orientation. It is a place that transcends the general ways in which we divide ourselves. From the first time, I was hooked on the unparalleled experience and have been back, most often twice a year and sometimes thrice, to teach at one of the many programs. I often try, and always fail, to properly encapsualte what it is that gives Bais Chana its unique power. The best I can muster is the fact that Bais Chana creates a crevice in time and space that allows people to learn about themselves, their relationships and their tradition in an environment that is completely non judgemental and totally accepting. It allows each of the women ( and the couples) to find a safe harbor in which they can open up to profound ideas and practical ways to implement them. As an instructor, all I can say is that teaching at Bais Chana is a blessing and a privelege. We all become more porous, more open to each other, we are all teachers and students on these retreats and we emerge not only richer but completely transformed. I know this sounds like hyperbole, but please believe me when I say that this is rather understated!
Living life fully is what we all strive for, and the prerequisite for this is knowing and being who you are. The freedom of being yourself starts with feeling safe. Bais Chana is a a safe haven where the souls of women are brought to the surface, and explored with honesty. When this "open soul surgery" takes place, and you have the opportunity to cradle that soul in your hands, a holistic transformation takes places. All that life is, comes from this point. And, what comes next is continuous, organic growth. Bais Chana - I first went in 1993 when I was a young mother, with my baby in my arms. Now, that baby goes to Bais Chana. I feel a sense of deep, soulful security, knowing that my she is getting what I got, and for generations, this will matter...not only to my descendants, but to the communities they live in and nurture as well.
I first started going to Bais Chana when I was 16. I was just coming into my womanhood and had lots of insecurities about my image, friends, and boys. After one weekend on the program I felt I wasn't alone. there were many emerging adults, emerging woman with the same questions and we found a place in which we can find answers. Bais Chana has provided me with a safe haven throughout my teenage and early-adult life. I learned how to relate to myself with dignity, with respect. I learned how woman are valued and cherished. How we should not be afraid to stand up for what we believe in. Bais Chana has fueled me with the strength and confidence to continue in my education and professional career path. Bais Chana helped me develop long lasted relationships with men and woman. I believe all woman should spend some time on the program, empowered by other great woman, and enriched by inspiring teachers.
In today's fast paced individual oriented society many are searching for meaning and community. Bais Chanah provides a safe nurturing environment for womento find cameraderie, purpose and anchors in an increasingly confusing world and to explore deep philosophical questions about the complexities of life. I have seen many women from all walks of life and diverse persuasions, find direction and guidance in a non threatening and emotionally supportive environment.
Bais Chana is the beginning of life's essential journey for many woman. Our generation is one that seems to be on a constant search for truth and meaning. Bais Chana provides an environment of study that is both safe and honest. I have had the opportunity to counsel woman at Bais Chana on rebuilding their lives after loss, on strengthening themselves in order to strengthen their relationships, on repairing relationships with others through self introspection and perhaps most significantly on their unique individual contributions in a society which advances rapidly in the dissemination of information but fails miserably in human relationships. Women come to Bais Chana to heal. Bais Chana goes the extra mile and gives woman life.
I didn't know what to expect and was suprised when I found myself in the midst of a spiritual rejuvenation! The environment is ideal for meaningful discussions about life. Although the women who attend are from many different backgrounds...the support generated by a natural connection with other women is wonderful. It was the perfect retreat for the soul!
I had heard Rabbi Manus Friedman speak once many years before going to my first Bais Chana. Newly Baal Tsuvah and looking for more learning I booked a Bais Chana retreat and with trepedation got on a plane to Palm Springs to join a group of women for a Bais Chana experince. After just a few days I returned totally transformed. The method of study was fantastic. Rabbi Friedman and the other teachers were more than that. Since then I have been to Bais Chana more than 15 times and helped to bring the retreat program to Florida so more women (and couples) could be exposed to this wonderful learning experience. I also was involved in the first Bais Chana trip to Israel. I, personally, love the Women's Retreats. Learning in that environment is easy. There is a commraderie amongst the women and an ease of communication. The thoughts that are expressed by the teachers and the students help take one to new levels of spirituality and understanding. I have gained many wwonderful friends from these retreats who live all over the world. We continue to share our lives and experiences with each other despite the miles that separate us growing upon the base that was established at our Bais Chana experience. I have tried many other learning experiences and have yet to find one that even approximates the type of learning and life style changes that one can experience at a Bais Chana. If you haven't been to a Bais Chana I stronly recomment that you find a program and go join the other women, couples or teens that are going for an experience of a life time.
Bais Chana brings together women of all ages and stages of their intellectual, emotional and spiritual development. Through lectures and small group discussion with outstanding lecturers, I have been able to broaden my view of how I look at people and the experiences that occur in my life.
An acquaintance of mine suggested I attend one of Bais Chana's women retreats, and I admit I was a bit intimidated at the idea of being surrounded by individuals who were more knowledgeable and certainly more Jewish than me. Surprisingly, the experience I had at the retreat was trans-formative and of course everyone was so kind. Most of the women who have attended come back saying how 'amazing' it was and for me that isn't the right word. I'd say it was interesting, expanding, and confusing. I'm a non-Jewish woman who's been exposed to more liberal forms of Judaism and I was a bit scared to be surrounded by an Orthodox group. As much as I found such a strict lifestyle so unappealing, when the reasons why such observance is practiced, things started to make more sense. Plus, the women that attend were at different places with Judaism and there were women who were converting. It was refreshing to have converts there (especially women of color). I found the retreat caused me to expand my mind. I knew as soon as I returned to my 'life' that I wouldn't radically change anything but what I learned there and was exposed to has stayed in my head. I question things like I haven't before and I've started making small changes towards a more fulfilling, spiritually enhanced life. The retreat was definitely an important and life changing step for the beginning of a spiritual awakening.
I spent 5 weeks of my summer amongst other woman and young adults who were also learning about their Jewish Heritage, some for the first time ever. The lead teacher, Rabbi Friedman was really phenomenal in the delivery of his lectures. Each lecture was filled with insight and knowledge, and was delivered interspersed with humor tidbits, making his lectures sound all the more so very exciting. Mostly everyone who attends the yearly retreat, feel empowered in their role of feminity and Jewishness. There are also a lot of fun acctivities, to help rejuvinate not just the mind, but also the body.
I have been listening to the Rabbi's lectures on CDs for several years and they have enriched my religious life, relationshps with friends, family and my self-esteem. I attended the retreat for adult women for the first time last summer and it absolutely enhanced my life. I am writing this 10 months later - the experience 'sticks' - it is not like a vacation to a retreat that is wonderful but resolutions end within the week of coming home. That is why I choose to support this organization financially. Rabbi Freidman has brilliant insight with individuals in addition to his reknown knowledge of Torah. He generously spoke with me one-to-one and profoundly changed my life. This is not said trivially. And it was before I made a financial committment to Bais Chana. Hinda Leah, who organizes and runs much of the programming, is one of the most sincere, kind, down to earth, intelligent, strong, competent and loving people I have ever met. She is a role model for women because she is so comfortable in her own skin. Just being around her enabled me to grow. One does NOT need to be observant to learn from her, and observant women can find in her a very strong role model for fulfilling many roles that are self-actualizing at the same time. Between the Rabbi and Hinda Leah - one can only grow in this environment. I also received wonderful warmth and friendship from Chaya Epstein who was teaching at BC last summer. Everyone there - including those not named - have one purpose - to help women self-actualize in a healthy environment. That is why I became a donor and plan to go to their retreats again.
I first came to Bais Chana almost thirty years ago and I can honestly say that my daily life has been altered ( for the better) ever since. BC helps an individual to see their role in the continuum of Jewish life and womanhood. It has been very validating to be exposed to such powerful role models as the instructors and past students.
The opportunity to be immersed in the total learning environment for a weekend, a week or a summer is not only stimulating, but tremendous fun!
My recent attendance at a four-day seminar was empowering in many ways. Being snowed-in for thirty six hours only enhanced the closeness to other participants and staff!
Attending Bais Chana 30 years ago was a transformative experience that altered my life in a totally positive way. It was stimulating, thought-provoking and provided me with a new paradigm in which to look at my life. Rabbi Manis Friedman told the truth without flinching or glossing it over. He held classes twice daily in which his students were literally mesmerized by his charismatic personality and depth of wisdom. Coming as a professionally-trained psychotherapist, I was amazed to discover that Rabbi Friedman knew more about the human personality and psyche than my most gifted instructors in graduate school. In addition, he held private audiences with his students. During my two sessions with him he was able to take apart and put my life back together again with uncanny skill. I will forever be grateful to Bais Chana for this. My peers were other young women who had the courage to challenge themselves and to embrace a set of spiritual teachings that provided new insights. The young women who served as counselors always found the time to help us each, one on one, to learn new tools and resources. Many of my best friends and my three daughters have all had the opportunity to benefit from this extraordinary learning experience.
Wow...where can I begin? if I had to describe in one word this organization and what it does for people, I would just say "AMAZING"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rabbi Manis friedman is unbelievable...I was put in touch with the organization at a time in my life I needed it the most. Rabbi Friedman gives classes on torah, life in general and judaism for young women, older women and couples and all jews...He takes the hardest subject and breaks it down for a 5 year old to understand...no one else can do this! you can listen to him for hours and never get enough...not only you learn but you open your eyes to things of life that change your life. I saw the most secular women become the most religious women thanks to him...and they love it!!!! I have grown and matured in the person that I am thanks to his teachings and advices. He is the best out there! Thank you bais chana!
Bais Chana was co-founded by Rabbi Manis Friedman. He is a truly gifted individual. He has the ability to bring lofty subjects to the simple minded. His passion and resolve to educate Jewish women and imbue them with wellsprings of Torah is truly an inspiration.A Jewish women is the symbol of Judaism,she blesses the home, her husband etc Its institutes like these that understands the importance in educating Jewish women and youth.Bais Chana gives all students the tools (Chassidus, Torah)to go out there and face the world and built a binyan ad e ad. Masiach now!!!!
Bais Chana is for all Jewish Women who are interested discovering the secrets for successful marriages,family and love.tried and true. I've been learning at Bais Chana for over 20 years. Bais Chana is filled with amazing teachers and the very best being Rabbi Manis Friedman. His insight into the female psyche is extraordinare. For example: ask: why do people change once they are married..answer: because they become related and we treat our relatives differently. and on and on. learning about my Jewishness with Bais Chana is always a life enhancing experience. I always walk away with life changing ( for the better) tidbits, I love it just as much at 50 as I did at 30. !!!
Offering spiritual awareness is one thing but doing so in a professional, organized and detail oriented manner while maintaining sensitivity and warmth is a consistent motto at Bais Chana. That just makes an annual event the ground work for wonders to unfold!
after having such a positive experience with my own teenage daughter going to a bais chana retreat we decided to get involved and help. the camaraderie and acceptance of both the counselors and other participants make a world of difference for the teens. i have seen numerous times girls stay up all night talking to help other girls.
First, I am an avid Manis Friedman fan - his writings and lectures never fail to inspire me. Furthermore, I have met a LARGE number of women that have gone through this program and every one of them has benefitted from it. It is a beautiful operation that focuses on acceptance and education, while being sensitive to peoples various needs and backgrounds. I hope they are able to continue their work for many long years!
After living in Brooklyn for a while, I wanted to attend a program to learn more about Judaism in a non-judgmental environment. I heard about Bais Chana from friends who went and loved it, no matter where they were holding in Judaism. When I contacted Bais Chana about attending a summer program, they were extremely helpful in setting up a low long-term payment plan so I could attend the program at all. I went in July-August 2008 and it was s great experience-everything I was looking for. The classes with Rabbi Manis Friedman were more than insightful-he answered questions that hadn't been resolved for years while I was learning about Judaism. His knowledge is vast and well-rounded. I asked for and received personal advice from him that still benefits me to this day. The administration was organized and helpful. Even the food was good! All in all, it was a great experience that was very beneficial for me.
Bais Chana has reached out to my very popular-culture teen in a way that engaged her and did not reject her superficial values, while helping her begin to consider the serious questions of life. For a teen who only wants to listen to MP3 music and be with her friends, this is a major accomplishment! Don't know how they do it.
Nothing I can say about Bais Chana can properly describe it's greatness. Bais Chana has something to offer everyone- I first attended a week-long program in Key Largo as a college student who knew next to nothing about Judaism. I continue to be blown away, years later, as a fully observant, married Jewish woman. I've even seen girls who grew up in religious homes be moved to tears. The classes are absolutely incredible, life-changing, and incomparable to any other organization I've ever experienced. I can't say enough good things about it. The learning, the nonjudgmental atmosphere, the FUN and adventure of it all. And the friendships! I still keep in touch with other girls and women that I've met at Bais Chana from around the world. I don't buy into things easily, but I would and do recommend Bais Chana to people all the time.
Bais Chana is a safe haven for Jewish women of all backgrounds and religious levels to join as one. Through daily organized scheduled classes, learning groups, and lectures, the study of numerous concepts comes alive. Rabbi Manis Friedman is captavatiing. His intellect and approach is mezmorizing. He constantly left me with a desire to hear more! The friendships and support that were created during my stay at Bais Chana will forever remain a treasure in my life.