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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

70 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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats was an all around meaningful and educational experience. It opened up my eyes to the practical side of Judaism and how it can apply to everyday life. Not to mention the beautiful scenery we were surrounded by in Sedona, Arizona really added to the pleasant atmosphere of the trip.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I really enjoyed my experience with the Heritage Retreats. It was well-organized and had a good balance of education and fun activities. The staff was very nice and helpful. The trip helped me gain better understanding of myself, people around me and the society in general. The lessons were relevant to our daily lives which made them very interesting and engaging. Overall, I had an unforgettable time, made great friends and would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering strengthening their Jewish identity.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats has the three components of an impactful, educational trip. One, the staff is truly concerned about each and every participant. I was privileged to have deep, meaningful discussions with knowledgable women that have so much wisdom to share. Two, the people that attend Heritage trips are intelligent, mature and are excited about learning more about themselves and the world we all inhabit. This atmosphere is ideal for growth and good ole' fashioned fun. Third, the locations of the trip are just breathtaking! Being able to walk 5 minutes and stumble upon a beautiful mountain overlooking the ocean is a privilege that the trip grants to its participants. Linking beauty and growth is a connection that Heritage does intentionally because you really cannot have one without the other. Heritage Retreats is a very unique program that needs to be cherished and shared with as many people as possible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage retreats was an amazing experience! It helped really cement my faith in Judaism and have a great time doing it. If any young man has interest in learning more about Judaism and wants to also have a blast with like minded Jews, be should definately come to Heritage Retreats! The rabbis were all amazing and Yosemite was absolutely gorgeous!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you!!! I was amazed at the care, love, and beauty of Judaism that everyone from Heritage instilled into the hearts of the ladies on the retreat. Every second was worthwhile. The connection to every soul on the retreat was felt and will forever be cherished.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats helped me to, not only learn in-depth about my Judaism, but to come up with more questions for further learning after the trip. The tutors were friendly, informative, helpful, and personable....And who can resist a trip to California?

Client Served

Rating: 4

I really enjoyed being a participant of Heritage Retreats. I learned a lot and met amazing people. It was a very well put together program and I recommend it to many different types of people. I came away with a stronger understanding of myself, both as a Jew and as a person.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My overall experience of Heritage Retreats was a positive one! You can go from living/working/studying in the city, trying to make sense of it all... to a close knit, very unique and special family like environment in the 1st day! Add to that: Beautiful Location(s), Authentic Jewish learning, fun and adventure! They had an overall passion for being "cool", authentic and themselves. The staff went out of their way to be a mentor, friend and family member to ensure everyone was getting what they came for. Very diverse backgrounds of participants as well! Everything from yeshiva students to working class to well established professional. All in all, an unforgettable experience that can truly enrich anyone's life for the better! I came in curious and left with some life long friends, a deeper appreciation and knowledge for my "heritage". This is a worthwhile cause for anyone wanting to give and receive more!

nava_winkler

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a great time at Heritage Retreats. The program was educational and inspirational with pleasant company and adventurous field trips on a daily basis. The teachers were accessible, knowledgeable and supportive. If you are interested in exploring your Jewish roots (at any level) and desire the resources to do so, i would warmly recommend Heritage Retreats. Don't stress, ask questions and enjoy the week.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My experience on Heritage was fantastic! Coming from a very secular home I had no problem with fitting in. The tutors really take the time to listen to you either in a group or one on one. They can answer any question you could possibly have. It was very inspiring and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in going!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats has shown me a rich wisdom synthesized from thousands of years of scholarship and packed into the Jewish religion inside torah. It has connected me to my culture, community, and I have stayed in touch with new friends. It taught me ethical values, discernment, and decision making, instilled in me a greater love of learning, and found me teachers to help me understand how I can use wisdom to discern the most important ways to make an impact in the world. As a graduate student this program has provided wise paths in my future, and enabled me to better use my knowledge for a greater impact on human welfare. Since this program I continue to study Jewish Wisdom from the teachers of this program and highly recommend it for the 2012 Top Rated Award.

Elina S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was an amazing experience. The people were very nice. The environment was very relaxing and stimulating. The food delicious. I found myself on this trip. I am very greatful for everything they did.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to Heritage retreats to get away from the world, but I ended up finding myself because of it. Heritage retreats teaches an individual how to become a better person. I really appreciate the program for all it has done.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats is a very well-run program that brings together some of the brightest minds in Judaism with some of the most inquisitive students. It's inspiring to have such special Rabbis and staff give their time. I'm glad to have met everybody involved in the program, from all over the world. A great experience.

Client Served

Rating: 4

As a young college student I found this program very insightful, very pleasant, and very beneficial with regards to my overall education. The speakers and discussions encompassed much more than learning, but rather more exploration, and the basis for becoming wise, which in my opinion is a strong foundation and a wealth of principles.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I didn't know what to expect. For weeks, I studied the website. Eventually, I decided to apply and prepared myself to spend one, long week in the wilderness with a group of Jewish women.

It wasn't summer camp and it wasn't school. It was a learning opportunity and a place to reset my religious biological clock. Each day, we met with a variety of world renown scholars and teachers, and carefully debated and learned about ideas ranging from sacred text to societal norms. As the week continued, I found myself excited for every class and every moment to interact with women from different backgrounds countries and observance levels.

Heritage Retreats surpassed my expectations. Instead of the traditional classroom/school setting, the teachers provided me with the enough tools for me to make my own decisions. In fact, the week was not long as I originally thought, but rather not long enough. Heritage Retreats gave me more than a weeks worth of memories. The other participants and have a special connection, and I value the contributions to my future as a Jewish woman.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program helped me learn more about my religion. Through the classes and activities, I learned ways of incorporating more aspects of Judaism into my life. Also, I learned how to become a better individual through understanding the Torah (holy scrolls). Since this was an all girls' trip, I was able to relate to others and bond with them. I felt like we were able to connect on multiple levels no matter our affiliation within Judaism. It was a wonderful week of developing our inner selves.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heritage Retreats program was a turning point in my life. The experience opened my eyes to a life that at that moment I realized that I was missing. It was a life of my grandparents, which was taken away from them by the Soviet Kommunist regime. I was introduced to the Jewish tradition of my ancestors. The spiritual fire in my grandparents that was extinguished by the kommunists, has been reignited in me. Heritage Retreats provided a friendly and a loving atmosphere for me to learn and interact with other fellow participants, to learn from them and about them. Through that experience I was able to make new friends and to create a foundation to build the rest of my life upon.

Tyler C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Looking back on the trip, I have nothing but fond memories. The quality of discussions led by the rabbis, the great mixture of guys from various parts of the world really made the trip, and the expeditions through some of the most beautiful landscapes were incredible. Food was great. I really appreciated our ability to explore on our own too.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience at Heritge Retreats was truly amazing. Everyone on the trip came from a different part of the country, yet we all seemed to get to know one another so well and have made friendships that will last. The topics that were taught we not only inspiring, but really touched our hearts. I felt re-connected to my Jewish roots and learned things frrom that basics, to really deep and spriritual subjects. The program was in an setting that made all the girls feel comfortable and relaxed. This created an enviornment that enabled us to be able to really focus on the material we were learning and the people around us we were connecting with. It was really a life changing and touching experience that I will always remember.

Brandon L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was first given the opportunity to attend Heritage Retreats in Santa Barbara, CA in December 2009. A last minute addition to the program, it really blew me away. What I thought was going to be a fun week long vacation in California turned out to be just that, and so much more. It was the perfect balance of fun and learning, but it was the people (both staff and program participants) that really made it amazing. It was so great, I even went back the next year!