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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.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats provided me with an incredible opportunity to learn, reflect, create relationships with fantastic, inspired teachers, ask questions, and find truth that really resonated with me. The activities were fantastic, from sea-kayaking, to ropes course, to bicycling on the beach, and afforded the group the opportunity to truly bond. Some of my closest friends today are from Heritage Retreats. The quality people on the program, coupled with extraordinary leadership, made the program one that I enjoy attending at every opportunity. At Heritage Retreats, the program is well-run and organized, and there is tremendous attention to detail and care for each of the participants. From the welcome packages on our beds when we arrived, to the heartfelt goodbyes and Shabbat package takeaways…no small thing was left unnoticed. To date, I’ve attended four Heritage Retreat programs, and am looking forward to the next one.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came as a tutor to the Heritage Retreat and was amazed by what was accomplished there. In just one week 25 Jewish women were given the core principles of Judaism. Classes were given everyday and fun activities were offered where tutors and students were able to get to know eachother, have fun together, and learn from eachother. The teachers on the trip gave over enlightening classes which enabled the students to understand their Judaism on a deeper level. It was truly amazing to see the transformation in the way these women saw their Judaism. I thank the Heritage Retreat staff for being able to be a part of the experienc and hope that more Jewish women will be able to enjoy this opportunity as well.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the number one program for someone looking to explore their jewish heritage. The staff is outstanding and the facilities are beautiful. The students get the opportunity to study about their heritage in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. The result is that all participants leave with a wonderful and positive experience.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I had a very positive experience on my Heritage Retreats trip in the winter of 2007. It was incredibly worthwhile endeavor in which I gained much wisdom about Judaism from the many talented rabbi's and other participants on the trip. There was a wide range of people on the trip and the activities planned ensured that there would be something of interest for everyone. If you are on an outdoors type of person this is an even better trip as there are many opportunities for great competition on the athletic fields in addition to the great hikes and potential beautiful scenary. Perhaps it is this environment that helps you engage in such meaningful and exciting discussions or perhaps it is the fact that we are taking a break from our busy lives to get together (even as a group of strangers - at first) and talk about things that really matter. This trip will help you find who you are and what it is important to you. This trip is a true get-away, both physically and meta-physically and it will stick with me for the rest of my life.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats was an amazing experience--for a week of deep connection and learning, exploring Jewish roots and identity from an honest open and supportive place and forging lasting friendships--a summer to remember!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats is a unique and innovative program that gives unafilliated young adults an opportunity to learn more about their roots. To me the extraordinary aspect of this Nonprofit is two-fold; the success that the tutors and educators have in developing long lasting bonds with the students, and the sheer volume of inspirational education that takes place in such a short period of time.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats is a wonderful non-profit organization that gives Jewish professionals the opportunity to discover their roots.As a volunteer on one of their famous summer retreats, I was given the opportunity to connect with other people my age for a fun, meaningful, and informative getaway. We shared great times together, heard from amazing orators, and thoroughly enjoyed one another's presence. The friendships and bonds that we initiated on the retreat will last a lifetime. I truly feel that both the participants and the volunteers come out of the retreat with a much clearer view on Judaism and are inspired to be better people who are ambitious in attaining their goals and aspiriations both professionally and spiritually! Thank you for giving me the chance to be part of this incredible organization!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I didn't know much about Heritage Retreats when I decided to venture off to California, but my experience far surpassed any pre-conceived notions I ever could have imagined. The program was so well-planned that I really got to make the most out of the 7 day retreat. From the moment I arrived, I knew I was in the right place. The beautiful scenery, warm camraderie and excellent teachers helped me to take a step back and re-examine my life and where I am heading and where I want to be. The amazing people I met and inspiring classes have made a tremendous impact on my life. There really aren't words to thank the staff and participants of Heritage Retreats for the wonderful experience I had and the inspiration that continues to live on.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This amazing program provides a great way for Jewish collge students to learn about their heritage in a beautiful setting. The staff does a great job of providing a five star resort-like atmosphere where students of all backgrounds can relax and enjoy with great food, sports, activities, and classes. The lectures are thought-provoking, insightful, and interesting all while not pushing a particular point of view. I left there feeling a tremendous sense of connection with my Jewish heritage as well as a deep insight into my own life's meaning.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being involved with Heritage Retreats for many years now has enhanced my love for the Jewish people. Watching all types of Jews come together in a non-judgemental, learning and growning environment makes you realize what is really important in life. The program allowed me to meet individuals and establish relationships that i would never have a chance to do otherwise. What could be more meaningful than woman coming together, taking time out of their busy lives to learn and discuss Torah true yedishkeit. Thank you Heritage Retreats for this life altering experience.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a tutor on Heritage Retreats I had the opportunity to come in contact with a wide range of amazing jews from all over the country and had the pleasure of working with an incredible staff. The setting is always just right, providing a comfortable atmosphere where participants can learn more about their Jewish heritage from world renowned personalities and from a staff of tutors who are more like friends than anything else. As a tutor I have kept in touch with many of the students from the program and continue to be inspired by their willingness to grow and how they have taken what they have gained on Heritage Retreats and made an effort to apply it to their everyday lives. I can honestly say that the moments of inspiration and the relationships I have made on Heritage Retreats are ones that I cherish and will take with me for many years to come.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've gained tremendously from my experiences at Heritage Retreats. My life has been inspired and enriched by the students, volunteers and teachers I've met. I was amazed at the open-mindedness and courage the students displayed in their willingness to challenge their previous convictions about Judaism. They chose to spend a summer or winter break by taking classes, often without friends, instead of taking a vacation. They didn't flinch from the difficult task of examining their lives and determining what kind of positive changes they could make. I only hope to emulate their example in some way.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Equipped with extroadinary speakers and educational experts, the staff at Heritage Retreats transformed my knowledge and drive to learn more about who I am and how to improve my lifestyle on an accelerated level. In a very personal setting, I was nurtured for over a week by countless leaders who sat patiently teaching me for hours on issues ranging from personal development to strengthening one's relationship with friends and family. Heritage Retreats left an enduring and permanent mark on my life, where by I will utilize the skills and abilities they taught throughout every facet of my life and with my own family.