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