Jewish Learning Retreat FAQs

I’m not currently involved with Moishe House – can I still come to a learning retreat?

YES! Attending a retreat is one of the best ways to become involved with Moishe House! Even if you’ve never heard of us before, you are considered a “community member,” which means you are eligible for a $100 travel stipend to attend a retreat! Once you’ve attended, you’re then eligible to become an MHWOW host.

How much does it cost?

Moishe House learning retreats are generously sponsored by the Maimonides Fund, which means that you are responsible only for your own travel costs to and from the retreat. We can help with those costs, though! Community members are eligible for $100 toward their main mode of transport (plane, train, automobile), while MH Residents/Alumni/MHWOW hosts (4 program minimum) get $250. Wow, guys. Just…wow.

What if I don’t know anyone?

Even better. Learning retreats are the perfect place to make friends.

I just applied! When will I hear if I’ve been accepted or not?

You can expect to hear about your status approximately 3 months before the retreat itself. So if you applied for our December Hosting Bootcamp retreat in New York, you’ll hear about whether you can attend around September/October. If you apply for that same retreat in November, you should hear back within a week. We have applications open all the time, but curating the perfect group of Moishes is much easier once we have a big pool of applications!

I might have something else that I’m thinking about doing that weekend… when do I have to decide?

Once you’ve submitted your application, we’ll review it and send you an acceptance email with details about how and when to RSVP. That email will give you a deadline, which is typically about two weeks after you’ve been accepted, and two months before the retreat itself. Consider this a way to ease into the idea of commitment. (Us millennials are great at commitment.)

I was put on the waitlist…now what?

Our retreats are very popular, and we love that! But sometimes that means that there isn’t room for everyone who wants to join. Our priorities in accepting retreat participants have to do with a few factors: location (we love locals), current involvement (we love our residents and MHWOW hosts), opportunity (we also love first-timers), and timing (the early bird gets the worm!) If you’re on the waitlist, we’ve prioritized your attendance according to these factors and we’ll let you know as folks drop out and you move up that list! Don’t book a flight until you’ve been accepted, since we can’t guarantee any waitlisted folks a spot until someone else has dropped out.

I keep kosher/Shabbat… will I be accommodated?

Yes. We celebrate and welcome participants from all backgrounds, and will do our best to make sure you are comfortable and can spend a meaningful, observant Shabbat with us. We do our best to work with the top retreat centers all around the country, some that have kashrut supervision and some that do not (if a facility is not kosher, only vegetarian food is served)  If you practice strict kashrut observance, we are happy to talk with you about bringing your own pre-packaged kosher meals or groceries (for which we will reimburse $100) We would love to know about your religious practice so we can help you navigate lights and key cards if necessary at some of our retreat facilities.  All activities and learning sessions will be “Shabbat friendly” (no electronics, etc.), but some elements of the weekend may require some flexibility. Feeling uncertain? Have a chat with Meghan or Rabbi Brad to make sure the retreat you’re interested in will be a good fit!

I know nothing/next to nothing about Judaism…will I be accommodated?

Yes. Whether you were raised in a kibbutz by two Rabbi parents or if you found out you are Jewish yesterday, you are welcome to learn with us on a retreat. The facilitators and educators on every retreat gear their sessions to both the beginner and advanced participant, with plenty of explanations, and we love questions!

Can I bring my dog/kid/Mom/bad attitude?

No way, Jose.

Where will we sleep?

Everyone will stay at the retreat center, camp, campsite, or hotel where all of the programming will take place. Rooming layouts vary, but participants will typically share a room with one or two others (men and women separate, unless roommates specifically request otherwise).

What/where will we eat?

All meals on the retreat will be vegetarian, unless we are at a kosher center, in which case we may be served kosher meat. Folks with allergies (gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, nut allergies, etc.) will be accommodated. All meals will be eaten together at the retreat center.

How do I get there?

You are responsible for booking your flights/train tickets/etc. once you’ve RSVPed. Moishe House will reimburse a portion of your travel costs ($100 or $250, see question # 2) after you’ve attended the retreat and filled out our post-retreat survey. We will let you know in the RSVP form which airport to fly into and what times to arrive/depart. We’ll also provide a free shuttle to and from the airport, so no need to worry about how to get from the airport to the retreat center and back.

Got a question that we didn’t cover?

Email the Jewish Learning Retreats Team.

We can’t wait to see you on a learning retreat soon!