The Adventure Rabbi’s 13th Passover in Moab Unites Jews from Across the U.S.
BOULDER, CO, April 4, 2022 – You may not have time – or desire – to spend 40 years, let alone 40 days, wandering in the desert. But how about 40 hours?
From a Friday afternoon to mid-day Sunday in April, Jews from around the country descend on Moab, Utah to experience Passover with the Adventure Rabbi.
Adventure Rabbi Jamie Korngold explains, “I started the program in 2008 with my four-month-old infant tucked into her car seat in my tent to stay warm. I never imagined it would become so popular!”
Since then, Rabbi Jamie has planned the annual exodus to Moab with only two exceptions: one year in Israel, the other during the spring of 2020 when everything and everyone was locked down due to Covid-19.
“Covid certainly changed our program plan,” says Rabbi Jamie. “Last year we required masks and had a smaller group of about 100 people.” It was one of the best years in Rabbi Jamie’s opinion. “Everyone was so grateful to be there and to gather safely with others. I expect this year will be very similar because of Omicron and the continued strain on our social and mental health.”
This year, the Adventure Rabbi program will require proof of vaccination and is capped at 150 participants, which excites many previous attendees who have already registered for the retreat. “In 2017 there were almost 400 people! It was too large,” said one participant.
“I am always struck by how appropriate the scenery is to be talking about Passover in the desert,” says board member and longtime participant Betsy McIntosh. The massive red rock formations, breathtaking vistas, and the challenging landscape of desert biomes focuses the story of Passover in a personal way. “I love celebrating Passover outside, seeing new faces and connecting with friends and family,” and disconnecting with the rest of the world. “It’s so liberating to say you won’t be able to get in touch with me this weekend. I love the fact that you get to unplug!”
For more than a decade, participants have enjoyed tech-free conversations about freedom and gratitude as well as the traditional Passover foods prepared without electricity or running water by caterer Steve Grindley.
And they’ve experienced it in all kinds of weather: sunshine and blue sky to rains that caused spontaneous waterfalls and the desert flowers to bloom. “Being in the desert and experiencing the elements, helps bring us together as a group,” said one participant who has been coming with her family for years.
People are starved for authentic community and meaningful Jewish experiences, and this event ticks all the boxes,” Rabbi Jamie explains.
“There is no cell reception and no WiFi where we camp,” says a smiling Rabbi Jamie. “I especially love watching the teens put away their electronics and start interacting with each other. They can’t be on their phones, so they have to figure out how to engage and make their own fun. And they always do!”
From hikes to campfires, scenic views to impromptu songs, and meditation to matzoh ball soup [the food is really good], the three-day retreat brings together people of all ages connecting them to a shared history and creating shared experiences.
This year’s retreat runs Friday, April 15th through Sunday, April 17th and includes two catered dinners, daytime and evening programming, and an opportunity for past, present, and future connection. For more details and to register, click here.
About The Adventure Rabbi
Rabbi Jamie Korngold is an ordained Reform Rabbi and the founder of Adventure Judaism. She is nationally recognized for her innovative work combining religion and nature. She is the author of 11 books, including “God in the Wilderness” (Doubleday, 2008) More info or registrations>>