Adventure Rabbi: Synagogue without Walls
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Rosh Hashanah Retreat: Hike, Bike, Yoga & Pray
Rosh Hashanah Trip: Services in Boulder, CO

Hike, Bike, Yoga, Pray:
Rosh Hashanah Retreat

5769 / 2008
Winter Park Colorado,
(90 minutes from Denver)


Photos from the retreat are now available. Visit here >>


These are not your parents' High Holiday services!

  • Are the mountains your true spiritual home?
  • Do you feel most "connected" when you are outside hiking, biking or simply being?
  • Don't you wish Judaism could be like that?

Imagine celebrating Rosh Hashanah in the mountains, hiking, practicing yoga, mountain biking, and singing, with services led by the "Adventure Rabbi."

Leave your fancy clothing at home and come pray 9,000 feet closer to God!

Join us at Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park, Colorado for a Rosh Hashanah retreat as we, like our Biblical ancestors, return to the wilderness to welcome the New Year.

View More of Past Rosh Hashanah Retreat Photos >>

Register Now >>

Rosh Hashanah 2008 Details:

What: Rosh Hashanah: Services w/ hiking, biking and yoga
When: Sept 29 -30, 2008
[Detailed Schedule]
Where: Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park, Colorado (YMCA of the Rockies)
Why: Let the wilderness awaken your Judaism for Rosh Hashanah 2008

$154, includes programs and activities. Lodging / Meals additional. Teens 13-17 - $95; Kids 5-12 - $65. Kids under 5 - Free.
Early Bird Discount:
Before June 1, 2008: $125
Before July 30, 2008: Receive free ARI T-Shirt

After Sept 10
: Late Reg Fee: +$25
[Register Now ]

Work Exchange: Available for part of your tuition
[Email the Rabbi]

Arrange directly with the Center.
Use group: S30348 Password: 31058
[Click Here]

Meals: Purchase meal tickets directly with the Ranch with your lodging. $27 package for dinner, breakfast and lunch. [Read More]
Shuttle From Airport: Rental cars, shuttle vans and Town Car service all available [Click Here]
New for 2008: See the changes we made based on your comments. [Click Here]
View the

brochure coming soon)

click here to view
2007 brochure
Yom Kippur
info click here>>
Who Comes on Adventure Rabbi Trips?

Our participants are:


  • Outdoor-oriented
  • All ages. We've had participants ages 2 months to 92 years (but we tend to get lots of 20s, 30s and 40s)
  • All fitness levels, from tri-athletes, to mountaineers to occasional walkers
  • Progressive and open-minded about their Judaism
  • Looking for "authentic" and meaningful Jewish experiences
  • Representative of a range of Jewish knowledge and practice
  • From all across the United States, L.A. to Florida, to NYC (and of course from Denver and Boulder, Colorado)
  • Newcomers who do not know anyone when the arrive
  • Regulars, who have been coming to ARI events for year
  • Families with children (special programs for kids 5-8 and 9-12)
  • New this year: Special Children's Service
  • Singles and Couples

Tentative Schedule Rosh Hashanah 2008

High Holiday Rosh Hashanah Service:

Rabbi Korngold's High Holiday services are best described as warm, engaging, and inclusive. They can not be described as long, boring, droning or preachy.

Comments from past participants include: "Wow, I never even had to resort to counting the ceiling tiles!" and, "This is the first service I have been to in years where I didn't count pages."

Members from the community will be chanting from the Torah, blowing the shofar and leading readings. There are ample opportunities for anyone who wishes, to be involved in the service. Click here to volunteer to chant Torah or participate in other ways in the service>>

Weather permitting, the morning service will be held outdoors. For the evening service in the chapel, and the morning if it is indoors, we use a Power point prayer book that we made, which is filled with nature writings and photos from our trips to bring the outdoors in. We also use the Reform Movement's Gates of Repentance machzor.

Program Descriptions: (more details are within the staff bios below>>)

Full Group Contemplative Hike to Service Site:
The Jewish worship service begins with songs and Psalms, intended to help us "warm-up" before we pray. On this Adventure Rabbi retreat, we move the opening part of the service out of the synagogue. We will walk together as a community, stopping often to slow our selves down and be inspired by the majesty surrounding us. weather permitting, our service will be held in the outdoor amphitheater.

Afternoon Session:
The new year is a time to evaluate the year that has passed, make amends, set goals for the year to come and start working towards them! We offer a myriad of outdoor activities to help you do this important work. Whatever you style and your goals you are sure to find an activity that suits you!

Sign-up for program choices will be available online starting Aug 29, 2008.

Based on the averages recorded at this time of the year, we expect temperatures between 39 and 70 degrees. Please bring appropriate gear to be outside in sun, rain or snow! We'll send a recommended gear list before the retreat.

Two years ago it snowed!

Tashlich with snowballs

View Last Year's Photos >>


Watch Rabbi Korngold's Rosh Hashanah 2007Sermon: Why We Hate Snakes. Visit here >>


View Past Rosh Hashanah Photos - visit here>>

Lodging: Snow Mountain Ranch - Winter Park YMCA of the Rockies

Lodging prices are per room per night and do not include meals. Fees are paid directly to Snow Mountain Ranch.

Indian Peaks Lodge
Most of us will stay in the Indian Peaks Lodge, which will serve as our retreat base. Each room accommodates up to 6 people with 2 queen beds and a sleeper sofa. These hotel-style rooms have full private bath, balcony or patio and a telephone. They are simple, but comfortable. $129 per room + $10 per person YMCA fee. Meals are $27/ person for dinner, breakfast and lunch.

Silver Sage Lodge
Each room accommodates up to 6 participants, in 2 bunk beds and a queen size bed. Each room has one bathroom with single shower/tub and a telephone. $99 per room + $10 per person YMCA fee. Meals are $27/ person for dinner, breakfast and lunch.

Beautiful forested camping (both tent and RV) is available a short walk from the main Indian Peaks Lodge. Showers, toilets and sinks are located in a nearby, central bathhouse. Camp fires are allowed unless a county fire ban exists. Price Ranges $20-$30.

We know quality, Jewish food is important at High Holidays and we are continually striving to figure out a way to provide it but have not yet. So, for this year, meals will be provided by Snow Mountain Ranch.

The meals are fine, nothing to write home about, but if you were with us in 2007 we promise this is much better quality and a quieter dinning experience. The service is great and the food is plentiful. The dinning room is large and filled with windows and there will be lots of coffee.

Rates are $27/ person for dinner, breakfast and lunch. Please book meals with your lodging. If you are a vegetarian or have other special needs please call the center kitchen at 970.586.3341 ext 1102, say you are with the Adventure Rabbi group and are adding you name to vegetarian head count.

Children under 6 are free. (Who said nothing is free!)

Although pork and shellfish will not be served, meals are not kosher.

Staying Elsewhere:
Some participants may opt to stay elsewhere, You are welcome to do so, although we encourage you to stay at the YMCA to get the most out of the experience. There will be a $10 day use and membership fee charged by the Snow Mountain Ranch - Winter Park YMCA of the Rockies. If you want meals but are not booked into a lodge room, you may buy them at the door, cash or credit card.

We are unable to issue refunds of any kind because our payment to the facility is made 2 months in advance of the event.

Retreat Staff and Program Descriptions:
Rosh Hashanah Service Leaders:
Rabbi Jamie Korngold

Besides for being the Adventure Rabbi, Rabbi Korngold is known for her relevant and thought-provoking sermons. Her teachings are accessible to all levels of Jewish knowledge, and are rich with stories that resonate with our daily lives. Rabbi Korngold is based in Boulder, Colorado.

More information on her recent book, God in the Wilderness, can be found at:

Adam Griff
Our music will hopefully once again be led by Adam Griff, whose enthusiasm for Jewish music is contagious. Griff's is known for his ability to build community through song. He teaches in a manner that is welcoming and accessible. Griff's voice and guitar is always a highlight of our Rosh Hashanah experience. Adam is based in Atlanta, GA.
Logistical Team:
Jennah Montag Lagomarsino
Jennah Montag is our Event Director for the weekend retreat. Jennah has participated in many Adventure Rabbi events, and was even in Rabbi Korngold's congregation in Vail many years ago. Jennah has extensive experience in event planning and coordinating. This is Jennah's third year as our event coordinator. If you have any questions, problems or compliments, please feel free to seek out Jennah. To volunteer to join Jennah's team, helping with check-in, ushering and set-up, please click here.
Scott Lagomarsino
Scott is retuning for his third year as our Assistant Event Director for the weekend retreat. In addition to a myriad of other tasks, Scott is in charge of the menu and serves as our liaison with the kitchen staff. He has many years experience in the catering and event planning industry. If you have any questions, problems or especially compliments, please feel free to seek out Scott.
Jeff Finkelstein 
If you have called or emailed the office to find out about this retreat, chances are you spoke with Jeff. Jeff coordinates the overall logistics for the retreat, including web development, fielding participants questions, supervising staff, and everything else you can possible imagine. The Rabbi says without Jeff there would be no retreat!

Jeff is also the lead mountaineering guide at Adventure Rabbi, and brings to the trail years of experience working in the Jewish camping world. He is proud to be product of the Reform Movement's youth group system. Jeff adds to his Jewish knowledge his skills as a back country guide, ski patroller and mountaineer.

Program Descriptions and Staff Bios:

Note: All classes meet in the lobby of
Indian Peaks Lodge at 1:30
unless otherwise specified.

1. Rabbi's Afternoon Hike Program Description:
Join Rabbi Korngold, Jeff Finkelstein, Raj Seymour and other ARI staff on a beautiful hike on the Waterfall Trail. We'll meander in and out of the gorgeous golden aspen and majestic ponderosa pines, as we make our way along the creek.

Along the way we will stop for various "Adventure Rabbi" style learning stops. This will be a moderate hike, with very little elevation change, but we are at altitude. Please wear good hiking boots/ shoes, and bring water, rain gear and a snack. No size limit.

2. Mountain Music: Families with Children 0-9 years old
Jeff Kagan

Yikes! Some objects we need for Rosh Hashanah have gone missing. Come with Jeff on a a short hike to see if we can find the shofar, apples and honey and some other missing objects. Along the way we'll enjoy playful, interactive music, hear a story and maybe even create a mural about our adventures. What a fun way to learn about Rosh Hashanah! (Parents and children will enjoy this program together. We are not equipped to take children without an adult.)

Jeff Kagan
Jeff Kagan first worked with us on our Passover in Moab retreat 2008 and the kids simply loved him! He is the lead instructor at Thorne Ecological Institute in Boulder, where he teaches ecology to elementary and middle school students. He also work for Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, where he developed the very popular Meadow Music hike for kids. Ask him about his 2004 Boston Marathon finish, through hiking the Colorado Trails, the John Muir trail, and his mandolin and guitar playing. Jeff is known for his ability to engage children in creative and experiential learning about nature.

3. Discussion:Israel and anti-Semitism: Is it OK to criticize? Sometimes? Always? How far is too far :
David Gorodetzky

Is it anti-Semitic to criticize Israel? Is it different if it comes from a Jew? Or an Israeli? What if you publish your opinion, as some prominent Jewish academics have recently done? Are the words 'Israeli' and 'Jewish' synonymous, especially when you see them in an editorial? How important is Israel to the larger Jewish community? Or your own Jewish Identity? Inspired by his work with the Anti-Defamation League, David will guide our discussion on this controversial topic. He does not bring an answer to the table, but rather lots of questions to consider as we grapple with one of the unique questions of our age.

4. Connective Yoga: Catherine Greener
Catherine Greener returns to our Rosh Hashanah retreat to once again lead our afternoon Connective Yoga session. You won't want to miss Catherine's unique version of yoga, combining Judaism and yoga. Beginners welcome.

Program Description:
This hatha-based yoga session is for all ages and all levels of yoga. We will practice together and prepare for the new year, joining the breath and yoga postures to assist our retreat experiences. This session will include guided meditation, yoga postures and extended relaxation at the conclusion of the practice. Weather permitting, there may be an opportunity to integrate the outdoors into the session. Please wear comfortable clothes, and bring your own mat (not necessary if you don't own one!) Limited to 50 people.
All levels welcome.

5. Mind Adventures -- When Science Meets Religion: Intelligent Perspectives on Our World: Dr. Noah Finkelstein

Dr. Noah FinkelsteinDr. Noah Finkelstein is a Professor of Physics Education Research in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a frequent participant on Adventure Rabbi trips. Noah currently serves as the President of the Adventure Rabbi Leadership Council. Noah is known for welcoming everyone's viewpoint, so please come prepared to share your unique ideas.

Program Description:
Why would it be that so many great scientists are Jews? Despite recent efforts to polarize our society into "religious" or "scientific" camps, these forms of understanding the world- science and religion- may be viewed as strong complements of one another. In fact, they offer many overlapping views of the way the world is and how it works. We examine what it means to engage in scientific or religious inquiry, explore the challenges of a world that truly excludes science or religion, and ground the broader questions with with specific examples such as: the creation story, miracles, visions of nature, or topics of your own selection.

Mind Adventures will include an easy walk and an engaging discussion. Please dress comfortably for walking/ strolling and bring an open mind and appetite for inquiry. Limited to 25 people.

6. Thirty-mile Road Ride: Richard Rabinoff and other ARI Staff
The bike ride is limited to 15 participants. Please bring water bottle/hydration pack, spare tube(s), on-bike toolkit, pump, and wear clothing appropriate for an early-fall ride in the mountains. Bike helmets and a road bike (skinny tires) are required.

Richard Rabinoff:
Brought up in Brooklyn, Richard didn't start riding until he was in his teens. Since then he's become an avid rider putting in over 2,000 miles each season. When not on a road bike you can find Richard hiking, mt biking and traveling to National Parks for work.

Program Description:

A 30+ road ride starting and finishing at the Y. Expect some traffic, hills and possibly some elk grazing in town! Bring your bike, helmet, water and clothing appropriate for a range of weather conditions. In case of rain or snow, this ride will be canceled but you will be welcome to switch to Yoga, Mind Adventures, or the Rabbi's hike, or join another program session that has not filled.

Mountain Biking: Mark Schwartz and Alison Rabinoff

This intermediate/ advanced bike ride is limited to 15 participants. You must have experience riding single track and riding at altitude.

Please bring water bottle/hydration pack, spare tube(s), on-bike toolkit, pump, and wear clothing appropriate for an early-fall ride in the mountains. Bike helmets and a mountain bike (knobby tires) are required. Bright colored clothing is recommended since the area we'll be riding in could be shared by wildlife and hunters.

Ride TBD

In case of rain or snow, we will hike instead of ride or you will be welcome to switch to yoga, Mind Adventures, or the Rabbi's hike, or join another program session that has not filled.

Mark Schwartz:
Mark has been an avid mountain biker since he got his first off-road bike in 1990. Through all the wispy trails, rocky terrain, and mishaps to both himself and his bicycle, he thoroughly enjoys having the companionship and exhilaration of biking w/ friends (old & new). Mark has been in Boulder for 5 years now, and has been involved w/ the Adventure Rabbi program since his arrival. He is grateful for the opportunity to once again co-lead the mountain-biking trip at the retreat this year.

Alison Rabinoff
This will be Alison's fifth year guiding for the Adventure Rabbi Rosh Hashanah retreat. Alison has vast experience as an outdoor leader and we are proud that she is a member of the Adventure Rabbi team. Alison also serves on our Leadership Council, helping to guide the vision of the organization. Alison is happily married and serves as our resident yenta, helping single people navigate the Jewish community.

8. Meditation for the Jewish New Year:
Letting Go, Starting Over, Returning to Ourselves

Come spend a quiet, contemplative session discussing of one of the most important themes of the New Year: Hazar b'teshuva, or return. After a brief discussion about how our ancestors understood the meaning of these words, and a quick peek at some traditional texts, we'll engage in a guided meditation incorporating the themes of renewal and return. No prior knowledge or meditation experience required.

Jordie Gerson is a 5th year Rabbinical Student at HUC-JIR in New York City, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, and a former Boulderite. Before starting HDS and Rabbi School, Jordie spent two years living in a log cabin in Eldora, teaching rock-climbing to at-risk girls and leading Jewish and secular backpacking and environmental education trips. Now, she lives in New York City and works as the Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side and as a freelance writer for publications like the Harvard Divinity Bulletin and Jordie is a proud graduate of the first Adventure Rabbi training course for HUC students in the Summer of 2006 and is thrilled to be spending Rosh Hashanah 5769 with Adventure Rabbi!

9. Free Time:
Or, consider doing none of the above and take some time to just sit quietly and read a book, go for a trail run, photograph the elk, take a nap or catch up with friend.

Options for Transportation from the Airport:

Rental Cars: All the national chains of rental cars are available from Denver Airport.

Shuttle Service / Car Service: Home James: Phone:(800) 359-7503
Shuttles from $47 and private cars from $230 - DIA to the YMCA:

What we learned from last year:

1. You wanted good authentic Jewish food served in a quiet dinning room. Despite our best efforts, we can't find a caterer who can handle our size group at affordable prices. The dinning room at the Ranch will be much quieter and the food, although still not Jewish, is much better than last years.

2. You loved that in 2006 we had a big lobby to all congregate in. We did too and this year we have brought it back!

3. You wanted the retreat to be extended. This year we are inviting people who want to lead programs on the weekend to come up and start an informal pre-retreat retreat.

4. You wanted to pay by the room, not per person. This YMCA will let us do that.

5. You wanted to return to registering for programs before the event, like we did in 2005. This year you can register online starting August 29, 2008.

6. You liked everyone to be together for one outdoor program. This year we will once again all hike together to the first service.

7. You wanted nicer rooms. We found them!

8. You wanted a more rustic camp feel. This camp meets has a lot less asphalt.

9. You wanted a program choice for kids and parents together. This year, kids are welcome to come on any program with their parents, as long as it is something they can handle physically. And, we are looking for an instructor who will be willing to offering a program or project specifically for families. Any staff suggestions?? Email me>>

Do you have other suggestions? Let me know>>

Join us and discover why Rabbi Abraham Ben Maimonides taught: In order to serve God, one needs access to the enjoyment of the beauties of nature, such as the contemplation of flower-decorated meadows, majestic mountains and flowing rivers. For all these are essential to the spiritual development of even the holiest of people.


Register Now >>

click here to view last year's brochure


Arrange lodging directly with the Center>>
Use group: S30348 Password: 31058
[Click Here]

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