The Impact

The goal of our programming is to profoundly strengthen Jewish life by enabling those that do not strongly identify with their heritage to experience how Judaism is indeed relevant in their lives.

By reconnecting in the right direction will accrue dividends for generations to come.

What Our Students Are Sharing

“Equipped with visionary speakers, premier rabbis and dynamic peers in a radiant and beautiful setting, for the first time, I was able to grasp the critical importance of Torah learning and what role I play and where I fit in as a Jew destined to cement his impact in the world.

Heritage Retreat guided me on my Jewish pathway to success as a responsible young leader, and demonstrated that Judaism is indeed a bright and prosperous way of life, and a way of life I am eagerly committed to leading.”

David K., George Washington University
“The week-long Heritage Retreat turned into a journey of a lifetime.

For the first time, I felt pride in the many profound accomplishments of the Jewish people. I now have renewed interest in being in Israel and building my life there.

Heritage Retreat was a pivotal experience in my personal growth that has helped me develop into the best Jewish woman I can be. Heritage assists young adults to realize their greatness waiting to be revealed within them.”

Karen S., Graduate of UCLA
“Heritage Retreat exposed me to a different dimension of life. I have put so much energy into academia and other areas of achievement. It is nice to round that out with more internal accomplishments. I learned the essential value of the “real” me and becoming a better person.”
Sari Z., Dalhousie University
“Thank you for an amazing Heritage Retreat. The classes were so inspiring, and the teachers there were so thoughtful, and welcoming. The experience exceed and all my expectations!

The students that I met on this program were genuine, intelligent, and so inspiring. It was amazing to share in the stories about their lives, I also made a heartfelt connection with many of them. There was also such an array of activities, that were not only exciting, but also helped us develop a deeper sense of community.

Until Heritage retreat it was not clear to me where I was going Jewishly, but this experience really gave me perspective and now I can honestly say “I know where I hope to aspire to be. Thank you so much!”

Emily H. , U.C Irvine
“Heritage Retreats was my first interaction with more committed Jews my age and the first time in my life that I truly felt a connection to Judaism. I had gone to Israel a few weeks earlier with Birthright, and while I had a lot of fun, I felt something was missing. On Birthright, I felt that I made a few friends, on Heritage Retreat, I felt like I met my brothers for the first time.

Throughout the trip I came to terms with how Judaism is a part of their lives, and was able to learn more about how is a part of my own. outside of my own home, I have never felt such warmth and understanding from any group or community. I like to think that I do not get emotional, but saying goodbye to everyone on the last day brought me to tears, even just thinking about it now.

It was shortly after that I got my own Chumash and started studying Torah weekly with a friend from the retreat. I am more active in the Jewish community partly because I finally feel like that is where I belong. My Heritage Retreat remains the most enlightening and spiritual experience in my life.”

Benjamin B.
“Few experiences during my college career have had so profound and lasting of an impact on my life as Heritage Retreats. Coming from secular household where the extent of Jewish observance ending with the fading of the eighth Chanukah candle, I had entered college with an essentially barren understanding of Judaism, much less an awareness of my Jewish identity. At 20 years old, I had never had a bar mitzvah, never read from the Torah. Yet there I was, for seven days, stranded in a cabin in Santa Barbara without access to Internet or phone, with a bunch of Jewish guys.

Those seven days comprised one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

Insightful discussion took place among surfing, hiking, and the occasional impromptu rent-a-bike scavenger hunt in downtown Santa Barbara. Indeed, the learning environment nurtured at Heritage Retreats was especially engaging. The rabbis were extremely knowledgeable yet easy going on easy to talk to, while the students fed off each other’s curiosity, fostering an ideal atmosphere to learn and ask questions.

Igor C.
Heritage Retreats challenge and broadened my perspective in ways greater than even the best courses I took in college. It proved to be a remarkable opportunity to experience firsthand, rather than merely told, what it means to be Jewish

Yet what seems to be perhaps most difficult to put into words is the clarity of direction that Heritage Retreats brought to my search for a Jewish identity. The more time I spent at Heritage Retreats, the more Judaism and my role as a Jew made sense.

Heritage retreats helped lay the foundation for continued spiritual growth. This past summer I studied in Jerusalem. I have integrated certain Jewish observances, and read the Torah every week. I could not imagine doing those things before Heritage Retreats. This 7-day adventure turned out to play a crucial tole in a life-long journey.”

Alumni Achievements

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