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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

35 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.

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.

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

is a life changing experience.
gather strangers and make them brothers. with a bond that will last a life time.
is hard to describe in words the feeling of the program, we learned so much, we experience so much, having serious subjects, fun subjects, and most important we were able to share it with more people like us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on Heritage Retreats in Arizona this year, and it was a once in a lifetime experience! The women were some of the most kind hearted, genuine people i had ever met. The classes that we had were so invaluable and will stay with me forever. The people made the entire trip; climbing with them in the beautiful mountains in Sedona, was breathtaking. There was so much support from everyone, despite the Jewish background anyone had. I couldn't stop talking about it with friends and family and am so glad that I was a part of something that brings people together for such a meaningful week of compassion and bonding. Sedona will always have a special place in my heart now, because I will always associate it with Heritage.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Heritage experience was truly an uplifting one where everyone, from students through the staff left inspired and rejuvenated! Kudos to the amazing staff that put the program together so faithfully!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a phenomenal experience and unique opportunity for students to explore their Jewish roots in an accepting and loving atmosphere. Something that made the experience extremely productive to personal spiritual growth is the focus on the student 'as a whole'. The trips, lessons, one-on-one discussions are all geared and specifically directed to each student on a personal level which addresses the student's individual needs, keeping in mind her background, interests, and personality! I think that Heritage's fantastic teachers and the wonderful group of students make Heritage truly an effective and unique experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The week spent with Heritage Retreats was one of my most inspiring and memorable experiences in my life. Powered by a very talented staff, Heritage Retreats provided a wide array of opportunities to grow and learn, by scheduling a delicate balance of education and entertainment. The program has had a positive and profound effect on strengthening my Jewish identity, and is a experience which I still reflect upon even many months later.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats is an amazing and inspiring trip. Each day the participants are excited to be part of the program and eagerly participate in the classes and activities. It is extremely well run and attention is paid to every detail. Lives are changed with new meaning, excitement, pride and passion for being Jewish.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was very impressed by the effectiveness of the program. I attended as a mentor/volunteer. They did not pay for our airfare and instead asked the volunteers to cover that cost to keep as much as possible of the donations entirely devoted to helping the students. - The attendees seemed to feel very enriched and gained a lot from the program. Many committing to furthering their studies in a more formal setting. - It was truly amazing to see how much it affected everyone in a powerful way. - In summary: Well run organization - Amazing results.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

the week that I spent at Heritage Retreats was one of the best weeks of my life. Everything was amazing from the staff to the food to the atmosphere to the activities and the guys. the guys i met at heritage will remain my friends for the rest of my life. heritage feeds you both spiritually and physically. every morning started with interesting and exciting classes from down to earth relate-able teachers who will discuss any topic you might have. the afternoons are filled with all sorts of fun activities from surfing to golf to wine tasting and everything in between. Even though i was a mentor i still gained immensely from the program and had truly life altering changes for the better. i would definitely recommend this program to anyone. they cater to all people, beginner and expert. thank you so much heritage for changing my life

Volunteer

Rating: 5

heritage retreats is an amazing program. i was recruited in my school to go on the trip with these guys. they gave us an experience we will never forget. we got to hear incredibly insightful speeches on topics not usually discussed on a daily basis. they have really smart orators, who are engaging and very approachable so you can hear the speech and see the man in action applying what he teaches. those professionals are around the campus so one can form a lifelong relationship with men much wiser than ourselves. this program is a must for one beginning his search for spirituality. for not only are the speeches so informative but the program is so much fun. getting an education in surfing was exhilarating and professional golf lessons on a gorgeous golf course was awesome. and it doesn't end there, they are constantly making functions throughout the year to keep up the relationships that were formed. it seems as when one program is finished, i get a new email informing me of another! the boys come out of this program spiritually charged and with lives that will never be the same. inspired would be an understatement. i gained immensely as a mentor and would love to be involved with such a program forever. thank you heritage retreats.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I attended Heritage Retreats I was hesitant due to past Jewish experiences. Upon the completion of my retreat I had a completely different perspective. I enjoyed the warmth, intention and lessons afforded to me at Heritage and was grateful for the time spent there. The classes were informative, the teachers interesting and the journey important to my personla growth. I would recommend this path to those who want to embrace their jewish identity, those who want inspiration and self actualization and welcome the amazing environment.

Jesse E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before this trip I was in a bit of an emotional funk. After one week, however, I found my life re-oriented in a far more positive and healthy direction than the one I would have gone down had I missed out. The particpants and instructors were so kind and helpful, and the backdrop so beautiful, that I found it very hard to not take the imparted lessons to heart. I would recommend this potentially life-changing trip to, literally, anyone.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage retreats is an ideal setup for young adults to learn about their heritage in a relaxing and non-threatening environment. The teachers and warm and encouraging, the mentors, friendly and fun and the format enjoyable and pleasant. Anyone who experiences this retreat can consider themselves lucky.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats provided me with a phenomenal learning experience that allowed me to grow as an individual while giving of myself to others. The program afforded many college age students to explore their heritage in a non judgmental, relaxing, and stress free environment. The location, directors, teachers, and participants all add to the amazing experience that we all shared.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended Heritage Retreats six months after 9/11 and in the midst of forming a new company. The two week spiritual retreat was what my soul needed and have become a better person for it. Laughter and finding humor is a Jewish tradition and we exercised this a great deal over the two weeks. Of course enhancing my knoweldge of the Jewish traditions with talmudic study only furthered the experience. Heritage Retreats is one of those little known organizations that makes a great influence on those who attend. Ten years later I am still recalling those lenghty discussions, compelling lectures, and of course all the fun.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i had the wonderful privelage to be a volunteer on the heritage retreats program in yosemite, ca this summer, and found it to be an incredible, possibly life-changing experience for everyone invloved. the program gave people from all areas of the USA an opportunity to come togethor and connect to their roots, and in the process connect to each other and gain potentially life long relationships. the significance of the heightened connection to our roots that all of us on the program have gained is clear already, and will only become more evident as time goes on, and we are able to find meaning in our lives, and the signifcance of the deep relationships that have been forged will only grow as everyone on the program knows they have a support group to count on moving forward in their lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats was an amazing opportunity for me to explore my Jewish roots, and learn in a supportive setting of motivated students and exceptional teachers. Camping and hiking while surrounded by the breathtaking scenery at Yosemite National Park provided a positive new experience to many of the students who were city dwellers, and also fostered camaraderie among the group. The wide range of personalities, backgrounds, and origins of the students and staff made for a very memorable experience, and forged friendships across the country. I request that Heritage Retreats is counted in the Education for All campaign.

Sincerely,

Russell Olesh, Educator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a truly wonderful program where Jews of all backgrounds are given the opportunity to learn more about their Jewish heritage.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was not aware of Heritage retreats until I worked for them as a guide on one of their trips. I was totally impressed with their dedication, professionalism and expertise in teaching young jewish adults about their faith and culture. Young men who had never met, had fun, bonded, and learned together, forming what will probably be lifelong relationships with each other and their culture. Rabbi Krietenberg and his staff are truly passionate about what they're doing and it shows.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreat program enriches the lives of the students and gives them meaning to life. They come back with knowledge what Judaism is, combining out door activity with learning.They refer other students because they told me this is the best progrm they attended.One student of many that I talked to said "before coming to this program surfing was my first priority, but now since I attended the Heritage Retreat Judaism is my first priority,learning is second and surfing is last."