Camp Neshama is summer camp for Jewish young adults, running Sept. 1-4th, 2017, in Running Springs, California, and generously sponsored by The Alevy Family. The retreat may be the best Jewish young professional weekend in America. (Full disclosure – my wife Rachel Bookstein and I started the camp 6 years ago.)
We asked some of the participants of last summer’s camp to tell is what they REALLY thought.
These are the unedited comments. The writers are from all kinds of backgrounds and each one had an amazing time. One of them also got married to a person they met last summer – can you guess which one?
I feel sad that it’s over! I’m in USA 1 year and in the first time I had an amazing time that made it so special for me. Spiritual w amazing people and helped me to be connected to my roots w keeping Shabbat and the nature , could not ask more than that. Thanks!
Azy from Encino wrote, “I enjoyed every minute of the retreat! From the food to the participants and activities!!! What a great place to make connections and new friends!”
Julian, from South Africa said, “Super happy that I have many new people in my life!”
A Jewish woman from Reseda, “Sad to leave, looking forward to the next one…It was wonderful. Beyond our expectations. My friends and I had a blast”
A 33 year old woman who grew up in LA said that, “It was a truly unique, reviving, fun, sweet and soulful experience”
A 29 year-old professional from Newport Beach told us, “I expected to experience spirituality being close to nature and share it with Jewish peers. I felt that I worked on my mind to my breath often during the program, which was easier to do since I focused in it when everyone was doing it during yoga or meditation. I feel that I kept active and attended programs I was interested in without having to wait too long for a program in the day-long agenda to do what I wanted to do.”
Miriam from LA said, “It was a wonderful experience. The setting is lovely. The retreat center is comfortable, enjoyable, interesting. I loved talking to the young people. They were so open and serious about sharing and being heard. Everything was well planned. The meals were fun and delicious. The staff was efficient and very pleasant. The religious services were meaningful. The Booksteins and the volunteers were very accessible. The talks were interesting. We were observers of the sports events, and that was fun. We want to help in any way we can to make more Shabbatons/Retreats successful.”
Shloyme, an artist and businessman from LA told us, “It’s was so Amazing, Relaxing and got me closer to nature H’Shem and to some people in my community.”
Shante from Tarzana, “One of the most amazing Shabbaton I have ever been to. There was so many different activities at all times. All the staff were really helpful and friendly. The accommodations were great as well. “
Esther, who met her husband on the retreat, told us, “I’m blown away by the positive energy I experienced. Such wonderful people.”
An anonymous participant said, “I had a blast!! Literally the time of my life!”
Judy from LA said, “Expected a relaxing, fun event. The program far surpassed my expectations. It was INCREDIBLE!
Ronen, originally from NY, now in LA, said, “It was a very fun and beautiful experience. I enjoyed all the activities, the people who were there, the atmosphere. All in all it was a really great time. Now that I am back to LA it feels a little weird, however I realize even more that I want to marry a girl who has a strong connection and understanding of Judaism.”
Saar, who came from San Jose, told us, “It was incredible meeting everyone at camp and engaging with them even though I knew only one person prior to coming. I enjoyed having a plethora of activities to chose from at every point in the day. Hope to come to future camps like this.”
A participant from Irvine, “I had the best experience of my life. spiritual, socializing, relaxing, meeting new friends and the activities were awesome, and food was delicious. I enjoy the nature around the camp.”
Julia, from LA, had a lot to say. “I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to attend your wonderful Shabbaton! I enjoyed the incredibly kind, thoughtful new friends I met, the beautiful campus, and the wide range of activities that balanced out our spirituality and athleticism 🙂 I thought it was a wise choice to not limit attendance to Singles — this added a pleasant family atmosphere in which one could get to know others in our community without the relationship label. The table decorations and Shira’s flowers made meal-times sweet, and the smartly-paced schedule gave everyone something to do at each hour of the day.”
Spaces are limited for this program, so people interested should apply ASAP!
For more information visit campneshama.org
Photos by Jonah Light