Labor Day 2008

Isabella Freedman





This weekend is occurring at a kosher run retreat center, which is funded in part by the federation. They have policies to ensure that events occur as scheduled and they rent the facility our nearly every day of the year. I always want to run my events leanly and tell people what  I know when I know it, so I want to be upfront about all of these new policies, which are being imposed upon me and all of us by the Retreat Center. These policies mean a few things will change for this event vs other of my events:



Money and Registration


· Deposits Needed to Register and get early rates

Registration will be completed once we get a $150 deposit ($300 for couples/families) from everyone coming  - IF YOU DO NOT HAVE REGISTRATIONS IN ON TIME, YOU WILL NOT GET THE REDUCED INITIAL RUSH AND EARLY BIRD RATES. See details on the deposits and payment page.


 The Retreat center has required me to make a large deposit to reserve the weekend. I need to do the same with everyone coming. Also, once 10 days elapse or after July 31 whichever is first, all deposits are non-refundable. Approved switches may be allowed, see details on the deposits and payment page.

· You Must Pay in Full in Advance of the Weekend

 The Retreat Center  is asking me to give a check for  most of the costs for the entire weekend while we are up there. Therefore, I need all of your monies in advance and we are instituting a policy that you can’t come on the weekend unless we have your payment in hand. All checks will need to be mailed no later than about 2 weeks before the weekend, and must be mailed by THURSDAY, AUGUST 15,  which is the final deadline to sign up for the event as well.


In order to make some of these new restrictions simpler for folks, I am for the first time allowing people to pay the entire amount of the hefty deposits and the weekend fee via credit card. You must be signed up with the paypal service to do this. All of the details for this can be found on the Rates, Deposits and Payments page.

Rides and buses

· No arranged Rides

· organized buses

· Ride list will be distributed, but Organized buses or train service will likely be required for many

There are a few ways to get to the place. Your own or your friend’s car, rides we help with, a metro north train and a $20 shuttle ride from the Retreat, or a bus we will organize at about $40—$55 per person.


Given the number of people coming, we will have a hard time arranging for rides. What we will do is around August 1, we will send out  a list of drivers. Anyone wanting a ride will be responsible to contact the drivers on their own and try and arrange a ride. Assuming gas at $4 per gallon ( who thought I would ever write that line!), rides will be $25 per person for a round trip. Anyone who does not secure a ride can try the train option.


Isabella Freedman offers limited service to their place via a shuttle from the nearest train station, the Metro North Wassaic Station. The station is about a 30 minute ride away from the Retreat Center. The fare is about $15 or so, and they charge $15 each way for a ride to and from the station, which is about a 20 minute away.  The pickup times they state are at 4:05.  For all details visit my Rides, Buses and Directions Page. But essentially, the rate for the train option will be about $45 ($30 for shuttle, $15 for train), which is comparable to the intended charges for the bus, $40 to $55 once we know how many people, etc.


We do not yet have the details for this service, but presumably we would have a bus leaving from manhattan and if there is enough interest, one leaving from Brooklyn. The fare is likely to be $40 to $55 round trip, and the bus would likely leave no later than 2 or 2:30 to ensure an easy drive up there. Stay tuned for details later in July on this.



· No ROOM check-in earlier than 1:00 PM For use of Facility, 3pm for access to rooms On Friday,

· All ROOM Checkouts from rooms no later than 9:15 am on Monday, use of facility until 3:00 pm

 The Isabella Freedman Retreat Center is rented out nearly every week and most days of the year. As such, they need time between groups to properly convert the property and make it ready for us and the next group. Therefore, you may not arrive earlier than 1:00 PM On Friday. For those coming up at 1:00, you will be able to register, get some welcome food, stash your bags in the main building and begin using the facilities. You can get access to your rooms NO EARLIER THAN 3:00 PM ON FRIDAY.

Check out is a particular issue. YOU MUST BE OUT OF YOUR ROOM, WITH ALL YOUR POSESSIONS, BY 9:00 AM. The retreat center will allow us to store our luggage in the main building and make use of the facilities until 3:00 PM.  We just need to be out of the rooms for good by 9:00 AM.

I have negotiated with the retreat Center  about these items and have no flexibility here. So please help me help you. This is truly a gem of a place, and I would like to come here once in a while, so help us all out by following the above policies.



· Some rooms with private baths, some semi-private, some dorm style

 There are 3 levels of rooms at the facility

Deluxe Lodge Rooms (large amount—30 rooms), with Private Bathrooms  - half are 2 people per room, half are  3 people per room. 4 rooms are also handicap accessible.

Standard Rooms (moderate number, 14 rooms plus 3 family suites of 2 rooms) all with sinks, in 2 small self contained cottages  with 4 rooms each cottage and 2 shared bathrooms a few feet away inside the cottage—2 people per room, each cottage will all be designated for the same sex (including 1 additional cottage with some 2 room family suites)

Basic Rooms (moderate number, 18 rooms)— 2 people per room, 2buildings with shared dorm style bathrooms, one for men, one for women. All rooms have sinks and 3 beds per room (1 a bunkbed), but I intend to limit each room to 2 people unless we are overflowing.

Most of the rooms are deluxe. Once we run out of a category of rooms, that’s it! For more details and some pictures, visit our room descriptions page.






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