CBST 2022 Congregational Retreat

Registration for the 2022 Congregational Retreat has closed. If you could not join us this year, we hope to see you next year! For those that are registered, see below for more information: 

Dear 2022 / 5782 CBST Retreat-goers, 

Welcome to the CBST retreat! We are looking forward to spending Shabbat in the country, surrounded by nature, good friends—old and new—and wonderful learning, praying, and playing together. Our theme this year is Shmita: Together Again!

Letter & Brit Links

COVID Policy 

Covid Rapid Test Required!

*In order to attend the retreat, each individual participant (all ages) must provide a negative COVID rapid test, taken within 24 hours before arrival onsite at the retreat. PARTICIPANTS WILL NOT BE ADMITTED WITHOUT A PHOTOGRAPH OR THE PHYSICAL TEST RESULT.​ *If you do not have access to a rapid test, email jkatz@cbst.org BY WEDNESDAY and a test will be provided for you at arrival at Isabella Freedman. If you test positive, however, you will not be admitted to the Retreat and will need to return to Wassaic station. 

Indoor Masking Policy 

In keeping consistency between our CBST policy at 30th Street and while we are off-site at Isabella Freedman, all participants of all ages must remain masked for indoor programs in communal spaces. During meal times participants must remain masked unless actively eating/drinking (so keep masks on when getting your food or schmoozing!). Masks are NOT required outdoors or in individual private rooms. 

Vaccination Policy 

All CBST Retreat Participants who are eligible MUST be fully vaccinated, and boosted. *CBST's definition of fully vaccinated means you have received either 1 and 2 doses of Pfizer/ BioNTech or Moderna plus a booster dose; or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson plus a booster dose. 

Schedule

View the schedule in our program booklet here!

How to Get There 

View a map of the retreat center here and see below for information on how to get there. 

By Car: 

Address: 116 Johnson Road, Falls Village, CT 06031 (GoogleMaps directions are reliable).  

By Train:  

Metro North from Grand Central Station to Wassaic (Harlem Line). You may have to transfer trains at Southeast, in a coordinated transfer directly across the platform. Check train schedules on the Metro North website.  

Van shuttle pick-up from train: For those who already registered and paid for a van pick-up: 

  • Take the 1:46 p.m. train out of Grand Central to connect with the 4:08 p.m. shuttle at Wassaic. 
  • Take the 3:44 p.m. train out of Grand Central to connect with the 5:52 p.m. shuttle at Wassaic.  

Van shuttle return on Sunday: Van will leave Isabella Freedman at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, for a train leaving Wassaic at 2:15 p.m. and arriving to Grand Central at 4:44 p.m.  

Please note, there are only enough seats on each shuttle for the exact number of registrants for each shuttle time. Shuttle registrants can only be accommodated at the time they registered for. If you are registered for the 4:08 p.m. shuttle but running late, you will not be able to take the later shuttle. Likewise, if you are on the 5:52 p.m. shuttle, you will not be able to get a ride on the earlier shuttle. If you are not registered for the shuttle, but need a ride from the train, see below.  

Taxi from Train: We recommend you book taxis well in advance. Here are some options: 

When to Arrive

To avoid traffic and ensure arriving on time, we strongly encourage you to leave New York City by 2pm. If you leave after 2pm, plan on heavy traffic and know that you may miss some of our opening programs. It makes for a much more serene entry into this weekend if you are able to leave earlier! 

Onsite Registration at Isabella Freedman opens on Friday, April 29 at 3pm, and you are free to arrive as early as 2pm. However, your room will not be ready until 3pm. Shabbat programming begins at 5:45pm.  

What to Bring

All accommodations include linens and towels, and all rooms are heated. It can be chilly at night and in the morning, however, so bring layers for chilly and rainy weather (just in case!) 

  • Good shoes for hiking, playing softball, walking on gravel/unpaved roads 
    • Note: This is an area prone to ticks, so long sleeves, pants tucked into high socks, and insect repellant of your choice are recommended at all times. Showers and full-body tick checks should be performed every evening. Please refer to the CDC Tick Guideline for instructions. 
  • white shirt or top for Friday night—a custom to welcome Shabbat 
  • Toiletries 
  • Water bottle 
  • Crafting accoutrements—knitting needles, yarn, crochet hooks, embroidery, and more! 
  • Hand drums and musical instruments  
  • Board games to share 
  • Softball and other sporting equipment 
  • Beverages (alcoholic and non) to share during the Shabbat afternoon softball game and cocktail/mocktail hour (To be respectful of everyone in our community, alcohol will be kept on a separate table) 
  • Kippah, Tallit, and Tefilin (if you have) 
  • Kosher snacks to share (Note: Isabella Freedman requires a Hechsher [kosher symbol] on all foods, and no outside food of any kind may be brought into the dining hall
  • Bathing suit if you plan to swim or boat in the lake (Please note: everyone is required to wear a lifejacket on dock or in water, regardless of age). 
  • Money for the Isabella Freedman Bookstore/Shop (Mmmmmmm, pickles!) 

Retreat Chorus!

Have you ever wanted to be part of CBST’s chorus? Now’s the time—ALL ages welcome! There will be 3 rehearsals on the retreat and a performance Sunday morning. 

A note about cell phones and screens

With the combined relaxing nature of Shabbat and our camp location, we ask you to refrain from using any and all electronic devices in any of our public spaces over the weekend—especially on Shabbat. You are of course permitted to use electronic devices in your own rooms. We hope that you’ll take advantage of every moment to spend time with old and new friends, family, and yourself in the wonderful, once-a-year community space that we create together. Note: there is very little reception at Isabella Freedman. 

Contact Info

  • Questions? Contact Jesse in the office at jkatz@cbst.org, available until 5pm on Friday.   
  • Contact number at Isabella Freedman: 860-824-5991 ext. 0   
  • How can someone reach me in case of an emergency? Please call (860) 453-3963 to reach a guest only in an emergency situation, after contacting the appropriate emergency services. 

We’re so excited to see you this weekend! 

L’shalom, 

Rabbi Yael Rapport and CBST Retreat Committee Chairs Shelli Aderman, Naomi Blakeman, Gerry Goldhaber