Tuesday, August 16, 2022

(Courtesy of Project Inspire) Once again, Project Inspire has pulled off two spectacular, three-day action packed retreats, this time in the Hamptons. With separate programs for both men and women—June 6-8 and 8-10, respectively—this upscale adventure provided nourishment for body, spirit and soul in a serene and growth-oriented environment.

The men’s retreat, which began on Sunday, June 8, started with a bang, quite literally, with an Airsoft Combat Simulation adventure, a perfect ice-breaking, adrenaline pumping activity! After lunch, the group enjoyed a scenic hike at Pine Barrens Preserve, followed by a tour and tasting at both the iconic Montauk Distillery and Sagaponack Farm Distillery. The “carnivores dream” BBQ concluded with a powerful presentation by Rabbi Ari Bensoussan, entitled “God nearly killed me and why I love him for it!”

A darts competition completed the action-packed afternoon, after which the exhausted party departed to their hotels for much needed rest and relaxation. Monday’s activities included an early morning learning session, followed by an educational prayer service, power breakfast and course on Jewish philosophy. Presentations by Mitch Barnett, Josh Brody and Rabbi Bensoussan completed the well-rounded morning. After lunch there was a choice of three exhilarating activities, including two intense and scenic bike tours or a fishing adventure. Carvings and dinner were followed by a concert with the one-and-only Joey Newcomb.

The final day began with an early morning jog and learning sessions, continued by make-your-own tzitzit activity. Lunch was followed by a ropes course adventure and capped off by the grand finale: a brewery banquet.

Although participants were kept busy from early morning until late at night, there was plenty of time for bonding and camaraderie, as the guys formed a cohesive group whose connections will continue to flourish throughout the year.

On Tuesday, as the men’s retreat was drawing to a close, the women’s program had only begun. Axe throwing and a gala BBQ dinner were followed by a presentation from the famous Slovie Jungreis Wolff, daughter and successor of the late Rebetzin Esther Jungreis. Champagne and chocolates at the hotel rounded out the evening.

Wednesday began early with yoga on the lawn, a prayer and meditation session and a challah baking experience, along with several powerful workshops on topics such as overcoming your anxieties and fears. The afternoon’s choice of adventure included a scenic bike ride, a museum and mansion tour or an adventurous water excursion. The after-dinner concert by Shaindel Antelis had the audience pumped, while cakes and cocktails at the hotel completed the day’s adventure.

Thursday’s closing experiences included one-on-one learning and candlestick making sessions, followed by the ropes course adventure. Emotional goodbyes were exchanged at the sushi and poke banquet, where the participants exchanged contact information and solidified friendships that will carry them through the months ahead.

In the words of the participants, “The trip was truly a gift!” It was an “unforgettable” and “inspirational learning experience” and a “motivating and encouraging event.” The ultimate goal of retreats like this is, as one of the women said, “I will take what I learned and put it to good use. I will ignite many with the wisdom shared!”

The three day men’s and women’s adventures are only a small part of Project Inspire’s breathtaking scope of activities, which nourish both body and soul, providing sparks of inspiration and life-giving nourishment during these challenging times.

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