Bay-Yachad Retreats are about Jewish teenagers unplugging from technology and spending time bonding together in nature. Our retreat weekends offer teenagers an opportunity to disconnect from their school lives and reconnect with Jewish values of spiritual well-being. We believe youth group retreats are a mental health protective factor, and we plan retreats that allow each participant to grow their Jewish community and Jewish practices.
Midrasha teens who attend retreats build a stronger Jewish identity through friendship and fun. Teens spend the weekend celebrating Shabbat, hanging out, hiking, playing games, getting to know each other, and enjoying Saturday night activities where the highlight is always Havdalah, dancing, and singing!
2023-24 Retreat Dates
Fall (Bay Yachad): Nov. 10-12, 2023
Winter: February 9-11, 2024
Spring: April 12-14, 2024
"Far and away the most meaningful experiences with Midrasha are the retreats. Specifically on Saturday nights during Havdalah l is when I feel most alive. We all huddle together - embracing the light of the candle and the smell of the spices to welcome the new week. Especially during Hashkiveinu, I feel more connected and in the moment than any other time. Embracing my Judaism with my closest friends in the world is an experience that can’t be summed up with words but if I had to try, I’d say that they are perfect moments."
Important Retreat Information
Cost & Coupon Codes:
Cost: $375 per retreat or $1,015 for all 3 retreats. (Scholarships, financial aid, and payment plans are available, contact your organization’s youth director and Devra Aarons to get your discount code or discuss financing options.)
$25 discount for first-time retreat attendees, use promo code "New"
CCM Parents: Did you pre-pay for the whole year of retreats when you registered your teen? If so, use code "PrePaid" for a zero balance. Please still fill out the form for each retreat so that your teen is formally RSVP'ed.
Already paid a Retreats Deposit to Contra Costa Midrasha? Select the $150 Registration Fee option at checkout.
Love retreats? Sign up for all 3 to receive a discount! (Fall - November 10-12; Winter - February 9-11; & Spring - April 12-14)
Health & Safety Forms & Code of Conduct
After completing registration, parents will be emailed a Code of Conduct and Medical Release form that must be filled out completely and emailed back to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday before retreat
One medical release form per school year is sufficient unless there are any updated health needs for your teen that require our awareness
Anyone who RSVPs after the RSVP deadline date/s will be subject to a $100 late fee in order to register. Pre-payment for the retreats is mandatory. Contra Costa Midrasha requires pre-payment for all teens attending retreats so that we can hire enough busses and staff to plan a great weekend.
Here are a few exceptions for this pre-payment and billing policy...
If you pre-registered with a $200 retreat deposit, that will be applied towards the full cost of the first retreat you attend.
Did you pre-pay in full? We still need an official RSVP for your teen. Click on that option and then on check-out page you click "invoice me" and your teen will be RSVP'ed and you won't owe anything further.
If you need a scholarship or payment plan, still RSVP here and... Please do three things... One - on the "scholarship/payment plan" question, use the space provided to help us understand your need/request. Two - when you get to the payment page, choose the "invoice me" option. Three - Send an e-mail request no later than the RSVP deadline to the CCM office at email@example.com, with your scholarship and/or payment plan request. Late scholarship requests cannot be guaranteed.
Families who do not belong to our partner synagogues are asked to pay an additional $60 fee.
If a teen cancels before the RSVP deadline then a full repayment will be made, minus a $25 administration fee. If the cancellation happens after the RSVP deadline, then half the fee will be refunded or the funds can be applied to a future retreat in the 2023-2024 year.
If a teen has symptoms or might be ill, please have them stay home and inform our Midrasha office. You will be refunded for the weekend minus a $25 administrative fee.
Please understand that if your teen decides not to attend the retreat at the last minute, you are still responsible for paying for the retreat. A partial amount can be reimbursed. During check-out, please use the "special instructions" section to let us know about any food allergies or other issues you want to bring to our attention.
A negative Covid antigen test must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9 am on Friday morning of each retreat to get on the bus or attend the retreat with the teen's name on the e-mail and should be administered within 24 hours of getting on the bus or arriving at camp. (If needed, test kits can be picked up at each host institution.)
Who can come to Bay Yachad?
Any Jewish teenager in 8-12th grade who is involved in any Jewish teen program in the Bay Area
What happens at Bay Yachad?
Bay Yachad is a weekend-long retreat in the redwood forests! Teens enjoy Shabbat in nature and Havdalah under the stars!
Our retreats are modeled after Dan Siegel’s Healthy Mind Platter
Where does Bay Yachad happen?
A beautiful site in the redwoods.
Bus transportation is included in registration. Our bus stops in Danville, Walnut Creek, Berkeley, San Francisco, and the peninsula
Where do teens sleep?
Teens sleep in bunk beds in heated cabins with in-cabin bathrooms and at least one counselor per cabin
What is the food situation?
All food served will be kosher style (no milk and meat, shellfish, or pork)
Friday night chicken dinner provided by Oakland Kosher
If requested, we can provide vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, Glatt Kosher, and/or allergy–sensitive (such as nut-free) foods