Passover Retreat at Ramah Darom
Join us for Passover 5773 at Ramah Darom!
Your all-inclusive vacation includes everything you need to celebrate a meaningful, fun and relaxing holiday with your family and friends – of all ages. Our special Passover vacation is one-of-a-kind. We offer a variety of first-class housing options. All of our accommodations are heated and weather-friendly.Our Passover guests enjoy the rare opportunity to spend time learning and exploring Jewish life, culture, texts and history with a diverse mix of distinguished scholars, leaders and thinkers. And You won’t believe it’s Passover when you taste our food! Our Communal Seders are led by engaging, scholarly rabbinical leaders. You may also choose to enjoy your own semi-private Seder with space reserved just for your group. And of course, throughout the week your family can choose from hundreds of programs, trips, activities and lectures, including everything from woodworking and fly fishing to waterfall hikes and campfires!
Please contact Arlene Efune for more information, or call (678) 996-2830. Ready to join us? Register now and take advantage of Early Bird Registration Pricing! Not sure? Take a look at last year’s Program Book and see for yourself why everyone says we offer the best Passover vacation around!
We offer a variety of first-class housing options. All of our accommodations are heated and weather-friendly.
- Hotel Rooms: We have 57 onsite hotel rooms, with private bath, table/chairs, bureau and heat/air.
- Deluxe Hotel Rooms at the Lakeside Hotel and Welcome Center: Each room has a king or 2 queen beds. These newer, oversized rooms feature upgraded amenities for our Passover guests. Both deluxe hotel buildings include relaxing, shared lobby space for your family.
- Standard Hotel Rooms at the Mountainside Hotel and Marcus Lodge: Each room has 2 queen beds or 2 full beds and standard amenities.
- Cabins: Our climate-controlled, heated cabins feature private rooms with twins in addition to dorm-style bunks. Lots of fun! Each cabin also includes a bathroom and a spacious porch for your enjoyment.
- Mountainside and Lakeside Cabins: Each building contains 2 cabins. Each cabin has up to 7 bunk beds in a common area and 2 private rooms at either end with 2 twin beds. Each can accommodate between 12 and 18 people if all beds are occupied. There is a set of bathrooms for each cabin.
- Lakeside Mini-Cabins: 3 of our buildings contain 4 mini-cabins with private bathrooms. 12 mini-cabins are available in this configuration, each with 1 private room with 2 twin beds, and 3-4 bunk beds in the common area. Each mini-cabin will accommodate up to 8-10 people if all beds are occupied.
Our Passover guests enjoy the rare opportunity to spend time learning and exploring Jewish life, culture, texts and history with a diverse mix of distinguished scholars, leaders and thinkers. We are in the process of confirming our 2013 faculty, which will include:
Rabbi Brad Artson
Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is Vice President of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He served as a congregational rabbi in Southern California for 10 years.
Rabbi Artson is the author of seven books and more than 180 published articles. A sought-after speaker, he is the 2006 recipient of the Red Yarmulke Humanitarian Award. A cum laude graduate of Harvard University, Rabbi Artson was an intern for United States Senator Alan Cranston and United States Representative John Burton. Read his extensive biography at www.bradartson.com.
Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
Rabbi Harold Kushner is Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in the Boston suburb of Natick, Mass., after serving that congregation for 24 years. He is best known as the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, an international best seller first published in 1981. The book has been translated into 14 languages and was selected by members of the Book of the Month Club as one of the 10 most influential books of recent years. One critic has called it the most important book of popular theology ever written in America.
Additionally, Rabbi Kushner has written dozens of other popular books including When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough, which was awarded the Christopher Medal for its contribution to the exaltation of the human spirit. He has also written six other New York Times best-sellers, including a meditation on the 23rd Psalm, The Lord is My Shepherd, and most recently Overcoming Life’s Disappointments. With novelist Chaim Potok, he is co-author of the new Conservative commentary on the Torah, Etz Hayim, which has been enthusiastically received by hundreds of congregations since its publication in the fall of 2001. Rabbi Kushner was recognized as one of 50 people who have made the world a better place in the last 50 years.
Rabbi Noam Marans
Rabbi Noam Marans is the Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations for the American Jewish Committee, where he leads interreligious and intergroup relations efforts, strengthening current ties and building new ones with an expanding list of faith and ethnic groups. Rabbi Marans led AJC’s constructive engagement with the directors of the controversial Oberammergau Passion Play, a dialogue that resulted in significant changes to the production that mitigated historic anti-Jewish elements. Marans traveled several times to Oberammergau, Germany, joining the Archbishop Timothy Dolan in viewing the play during his last visit. Prior to joining the AJC staff in 2001, he served for 16 years as rabbi of Temple Israel in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where he established interfaith dialogue and education programs that have become models for other communities. He joins us with his wife, Rabbi Amy Roth, who serves as Assistant Director of Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, and their children.
You won’t believe it’s Passover when you taste our food!
Our food has been described by guests as “great,” “sumptious,” “delicious,” “incredible,” … the list goes on. Our Passover Chefs serve innovative, abundant menus that appeal to all palates and diets. Guests enjoy gourmet, fresh food at every meal, including a daily omelet station.
Executive Chef Brad Semon owns The Painted Plate Catering in Greensboro, which features catering and a full-service, on-site Banquet Hall. The Painted Plate is well-known in the Triad for its stellar service and delicious array of menus.
Our kitchen staff has worked together for many years and demonstrates a high level of professionalism, innovation, service and truly great food.
Sederim & Daily Services
Our Communal Seders are led by engaging, scholarly rabbinical leaders. You may also choose to enjoy your own semi-private Seder with space reserved just for your group.
Throughout the week, Jewish scholars and leaders from coast-to-coast will be by your side to lead your personal, spiritual journey. Thought-provoking, interactive discussions & seminars will provide you with the opportunity for individual learning. A daily minyan (communal prayer), as well as Egalitarian and alternative services will be offered.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does your program include?
We are very proud of our diverse daily programming, part of which includes children’s, youth and young adult programming. Take a look at last year’s program book to get an idea for what our daily schedule includes. We off hundreds of activities for children and adults of all ages.
What is the weather like at that time of year?
Average temperatures in late April range from 30s to 50s in the early mornings and evenings to somewhere in the 60s to 80s during the day. You can check the weather forecast at your weather website of choice using our zip code 30525.
What is the difference between the standard and deluxe hotel rooms?
Our deluxe rooms are larger and newer, featuring two queens or a king (king beds are limited and requests are not guaranteed). Our standard rooms all have two double or queen beds. On Passover, deluxe hotel guests will be welcomed with fresh flowers in their rooms and upgraded amenities.
What are the cabins like?
Our cabins are climate-controlled with adjustable thermostats and ceiling fans. They have hardwood floors, storage space and screened in porches. Each family enjoys their own private living quarters and bath.
Can you supply a crib?
We offer pack and plays upon advance request for an additional fee of $50 per room.
Are there refrigerators in the rooms?
We can place a refrigerator in your room upon advance request for an additional fee of $50 per room.
Is your campus wheelchair accessible and handicap friendly?
Yes. Certain room types offer wheelchair accessibility and are better suited for those with mobility restrictions. Please specify this need upon registration for details. Our campus is hilly in spots, but we offer a campus-wide, shuttle service that is operated daily for anyone who chooses to ride.
Please describe your kashrut standards.
Our kitchen is fully koshered (made Kosher) for Passover, and all products are hechshered for Passover. A mashgiach tamidid (supervisor), a full time conservative rabbi, oversees all kitchen activities before and during Passover. We do not serve kitniyot (legumes). Generally, Kashrut at Ramah Darom is in accordance with the strict standards of the Jewish Theological Seminary, with Rabbi Joel Roth serving as our halachic (legal) authority. If you have specific questions or dietary needs, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Do you have Internet connectivity or wireless access? Is there a place for me to work during my stay?
Complementary wireless and/or ethernet access is available in all of our hotel rooms and throughout most of our public spaces on campus. We understand many of our guests must stay connected with the outside world during their stay. Our breathtaking mountain terrain poses some challenges, but we offer a Business Center equipped with computers, printers and a copier. If you require a space to work, our staff will be happy to help you locate what you need without distracting other guests.
Will my cell phone receive reception?
Cell service is spotty in the mountains. You will find access in certain parts of campus, but it is not reliable. We will provide emergency numbers for you to use if anyone needs to reach you, and landlines are available in all rooms.
How far is the airport and do you offer transportation?
We recommend guests fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport so they can take advantage of our motorcoach service. You should allow 2 1/2 hours travel time between Ramah Darom and the Atlanta airport. Also be aware that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta requires baggage to be checked in 45 minutes before your scheduled departure time, and recommends arrival at the airport 90 minutes before departure. We will offer guests an opportunity to purchase airport transfers closer to the event. You also might choose to rent a car or limo service on you own. Parking is available onsite near your assigned accommodation. Do not count on taxi service.
Can we bring our pet?
We love pets, and we truly believe you when you tell us your pet is gentle, clean, well-trained and wonderful with people. Unfortunately, we do not allow any pets on campus except those already residing there. No exceptions.
What is the dress code?
Dress however you’re comfortable! Generally, we’re casual during the day and most evenings. On Yom Tov (holiday days) and Shabbat, many guests choose to dress a little more formally as they would for synagogue, but there are no requirements. We recommend comfortable shoes and layers.
What should I pack?
Registrants will receive a complete list of suggested items, but generally we recommend layers, a hairdryer as needed, comfortable shoes, hats and sun gear, jackets and an umbrella. Basic amenities like shampoo and soap are provided.
Do you offer housekeeping and/or laundry service?
We provide light housekeeping service daily, including fresh towels and linens as needed. Laundry service will be available to our full-vacation guests halfway through the holiday for a small fee. Tumble dryers are available in the cabins.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Guests are welcome to purchase trip insurance on their own. Visit www.amskier.com and click on “trip insurance” for rates and plans.
Ramah Darom Passover Retreat in the News (Please link to news.pdf)
In our participant survey, 100 percent of respondents:
- Enjoyed their Passover vacation at Ramah Darom
- Would recommend Passover at Ramah Darom to a friend or family member
- Want to return!
Here’s what our participants say about Passover at Ramah Darom:
After reading an ad for the Camp Ramah Passover Retreat, I convinced my husband to take me and our five children. It was exactly what we needed…to unplug from our busy lives in Atlanta and relax in the beautiful mountains. It was so nice not to have to drive anywhere and to be able to enjoy the holiday with family and friends from morning until night. The food was delicious and I loved the communal dining.
I would recommend Tumbling Waters at Ramah Darom without a moment’s hesitation. As a matter of fact, I have been doing just that to everyone I know ever since I arrived home. I hope to return again.
–Hannah Blau, Atlanta
The setting, the hevreh, the davening, the relaxing atmosphere, the classes and activities, the food, the administration, the kitchen and other camp staff . . . it is all wonderful. We recommend this relaxing, inspiring and enjoyable experience for all ages. Bring some friends or family or find new friends there.
–New Jersey Family
Excellent mix of topics and excellent faculty. I am already recommending the Passover Retreat to others. I’ve made copies of the program and gave it to my friends.
–Rabbi Bernard Spielman, Boynton Beach, Florida
It was an exceptionally well planned and well thought out program. The accommodations were top notch. All of the staff were caring and helpful.
The kitchen staff was very helpful in meeting special food needs.
–New Jersey family
I love being with so many interesting, Jewish people. I love being in a place where it is easy to be a Conservative Jew.
Everything was 10+.
–Phyllis and Dr. Sid Cohen, Beachwood, Ohio