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Young Adult Jewish Grief Retreat

w. Moishe House Peer-Led Retreats and The Dinner Party

December 20th 6 PM - December 22nd 1 PM 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019
6:00 pm - 1:00 pm

**Applications for this retreat are now closed**

Urban Adamah, Moishe House, and The Dinner Party are teaming up to host a grief retreat for young adults, rooted in Jewish spirituality. Join us as we build a weekend community of 20 and 30-somethings who’ve each experienced loss–whether a sibling, parent, partner, or dear friend.

“There’s nothing so whole as a broken heart,” says the Kotzker Rebbe. While some of us are actively grieving recent losses and some of us are many years out, we all know the brokenness and wholeness of that broken heart, and want to make space to be right where we’re at with it. Come prepared to eat good food, laugh with new friends, celebrate Shabbat, farm, make art, talk, move, listen, sing, be.

This retreat is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Moishe House Peer-Led Retreat Program and is open to adults ages 21-35. 

Tickets: The retreat fee is a sliding scale $72 – $180 per person for the weekend, which includes program, housing, and all meals. Meals will be catered and vegetarian with gluten-free and vegan options.

Accommodations: Guests will sleep in rooms with 4 beds per room and shared bathrooms. Single rooms with queen beds are available for an additional fee of $50 per person. Please email Ari Eisen at ari@urbanadamah.org if you’d like to book a single room.

Accessibility: Urban Adamah’s campus is fully compliant with ADA guidelines. All program spaces and agricultural production facilities are wheelchair accessible. Most paths on the site, except those that are in growing fields, are made of decomposed granite (DG) which supports wheelchairs well except when there is heavy rain. ADA accessible rooms are available if needed. Please tell us about any accessibility concerns you might have in your application.

About the lead facilitator: Chloe Zelkha is an EdM. student in Specialized Studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studies what transformative experiences are made of. Most recently, she worked as a chaplain at UCSF Medical Center, where she journeyed alongside folks who were suffering, ill, or dying. Previously, she served as the Fellowship Director at Urban Adamah and as a youth organizer at The Food Project. Since losing her dad, she’s turned toward the question of how to stay awake to the precariousness of life without living in fear, and she thinks the trick is community. This retreat is one of her answers to that question.

Testimonials from previous retreatants: 

“I came into this experience not knowing what to expect and walked out with 39+ friends who get me in a way no one else ever has. Sure we cried, but we also laughed a lot, danced, sang and celebrated life.”

“It was impeccably facilitated from beginning to end—it was gentle, fierce, stabilizing, and enchanting all at the same time.”

“The grief retreat and farm was wonderful in every way. It allowed me to visualize a path toward healing, and gave me the strength to run towards it.”

“A beautiful, welcoming, and healing space. I can’t wait to go back.”


  • What about other types of loss?

    • Losing anyone in your life can be unspeakably hard, and the specificity of this retreat doesn’t mean to take away from that truth. (And! Loss takes many forms beyond physical loss – break ups, divorces, life-altering illnesses and accidents, incarceration, family separation, deportation, and more). However, at this moment we are focusing on serving folks who’ve experienced a few specific types of loss, so that we can do that really well.

  • Can I come if I’m not Jewish? 

    • You sure can. This retreat will be structured around Shabbat and will include Jewish music, learning, and ritual, but if that sounds good to you, we welcome you to apply.

  • Will this retreat work for my shabbat observance?

    • If you have questions about shabbat observance, please email ari@urbanadamah.org.

  • Is there a commuter option? Can I sleep offsite?

    • Every retreatant will be assigned a bed onsite. There’s a special magic that happens when folks spend the full weekend together in the same space (and, we’ll add, a special magic to sleeping on an urban farm!), so we encourage everyone to stay onsite. That said, if for some reason you prefer to sleep offsite, and can commit to being present for all other programming, it’s fine by us. There is not, however, a separate ticket price for folks doing this.

  • I can only make it for part of the retreat. Can I still come?

    • In order to create the kind of intentional community that allows retreatants to feel safe and go deep with one another, attendance at the entire retreat is required for participation. We will begin at 6:00 pm on Friday (with the option to come as early as 4:30 pm to get settled) and end at 1:00 pm on Sunday. And, if you have a conflict that you absolutely cannot change, please note that in your application.

  • Is this a therapeutic retreat, or a formal grief group?

    • Nope. This retreat is created for and by peers, and is not, in the traditional sense at least, therapeutic. We do not have the expertise to provide professional therapy or support, and, with a few exceptions, all facilitators are also participants (and all participants will play an active role in holding space for each other). This retreat should be a complement to, and not a replacement for, the places you go to see a professional.

  • What other resources do you recommend?

    • We are huge fans of The Dinner Party, an organization that is building a worldwide community of 20- and 30-somethings who have each experienced the loss of a parent, partner, child, sibling, or close friend. We highly recommend getting connected to them and joining a table, if it’s right for you!

    • The Grief & Growing Retreat is an annual Jewish grief retreat in the Bay Area for folks of all ages who have experienced all sorts of loss. It is run by the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, which is a great organization to know about in San Francisco.