CBST 2023 Congregational Retreat

For CBST’s 50th year our retreat theme is multigenerational community! We are highlighting the beauty of our community that spans many generations, and encouraging groups and individuals of all ages and generations (Silent Generation, Gen X, Gen Z, Boomers, Millennials—everyone!) to attend and make this retreat a true high point of the year.

Save the date for Friday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30, 2023 at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center! All members are invited to register. Registration is due by Friday, March 24, 2023. You must be a member to attend the retreat and registration is required. Learn more about membership »

Pricing and scholarship details will be made available on the retreat registration form. We will be posting more details, including programming overview and COVID protocols soon.

Retreat General Info

When to Arrive

Onsite check-in at Isabella Freedman opens on Friday, April 28 at 3 p.m.
Kabbalat Shabbat services begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m.

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). 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! 

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. Note that Kabbalat Shabbat services begin at 5:30 p.m.

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: 

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 kickball 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). 

Retreat Chorus!

Have you ever wanted to be part of CBST’s chorus? Now’s the time—ALL ages welcome! There will be 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. All rooms have WiFi.