There’s nothing like celebrating Passover with community. This spring let us do the hosting for an all-inclusive holiday on AJU's Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley. We will provide everything you need to celebrate a meaningful, fun and relaxing holiday with family and friends – new and old.
Choose one or both of our Passover weekends, where you’ll be able to participate in Jewish life, explore Jewish culture and text, and enjoy our outdoor and nature programming. Seder options will include communal options - led by engaging and experienced leaders - as well as semi-private alternatives reserved just for your group. Both weekends will include delicious kosher for Passover food, scholarly lectures, optional services, family and adult programming, and plenty of rest and relaxation.
Come spend Passover enjoying our 2,800-acre campus surrounded by community - or enjoy the quiet and solitude - all in a COVID-compliant environment.
March 26-30, 2021
Friday afternoon through Tuesday breakfast
Since the first seder is Saturday night, we’ll start the weekend together on Friday in time for Shabbat. We’ll enjoy a special Shabbat together, followed by two unique seders, and Passover days full of programming and learning. Seder options will include both communal options ,as well as semi-private accommodations. The last meal of the weekend will be breakfast on Tuesday morning.
Guests are welcome to arrive after 12:00PM on Friday (3/26), and spend the weekend with us, enjoying a range of pre-selected camp activities (run for one person or family at a time). The weekend will include all meals - including Shabbat meals and all Passover meals through Tuesday breakfast. For guests who stay until Tuesday, check-out on Tuesday (3/30) is by 10:00AM.
If you join us for the first getaway weekend (March 26-30), there will be several seder options to choose from on both nights, including large group traditional seders, a game-show style seder, and more. Second night there will also be the option for semi-private seders. All seders will be led by visiting scholars and teachers.
Our plans for seders have been adapted to ensure the health and safety of our guests through a series of COVID-19 prevention policies and procedures. These measures were developed under the guidance of our staff and are in alignment with the CDC guidelines, California’s Department of Public Health, as well as the County of Ventura. Please note that plans may need to be adjusted as dictated by public health guidelines.
April 2-5, 2021
Friday afternoon through Monday breakfast
Join us as we wrap up the holiday together. We’ll provide the lodging, delicious (and kosher for Passover) food, and the activities (including services, programming, and lectures). Come alone for the peacefulness of Brandeis - or bring your family and friends with you.
Guests are welcome to arrive after 12:00PM on Friday (4/2) and stay through Monday breakfast (4/5). Once Passover ends on Sunday night, we’ll finish the holiday together with a scrumptious pizza dinner! Check-out on Monday (4/5) is by 10:00AM.
Cottages: Our nicest Adult Conference Center accommodations. Our stand-alone cottages have several private rooms available in each cottage, each with two full size beds, desk and chairs, ample closet space, a mini-fridge, and a private shower (no bathtub). Linens are included at the beginning of your stay. All rooms have heat & air conditioning. Cottage doors lead directly outside (no central lobby). We do not provide cribs or pack-n-plays, please bring your own. A limited number of handicap accessible rooms are available. Please indicate this option on your reservation form.
Cottage Deluxe: Upgrade to one of our larger rooms in Lee Village. Most rooms have two full size beds, desk and chairs, a small sitting area, ample closet space, a mini-fridge, and a private shower (no bathtub). Linens are included at the beginning of your stay. All rooms have heat and air conditioning. Deluxe rooms have doors that lead directly outside (no central lobby). We do not provide cribs or pack-n-plays, please bring your own. A limited number of handicap accessible rooms are available. Please indicate this option on your reservation form.
Single (Family) Cabins: Our Camp Alonim cabins are ideal for families. Cabins have 1 large room with several bunkbeds, and a smaller semi-private room with single beds. Cabins have private bathrooms with walk-in showers (no bathtubs), a mini-fridge, and central heating. Linens are included at the beginning of your stay.
*Families with children who sleep in cribs will need to bring their own pack and play, if necessary. We provide bedding and towels for all of our guests. However, we do recommend that families bring their own pool towels. Also, due to contact restrictions, we encourage families to bring their own games, toys, and sports equipment.
We allow 3-4 days between guests, so we can deep clean all rooms and activity areas before guests arrive.
Food and Meals
Weekends will include all snacks and meals. The first weekend will include festive Shabbat meals, as well as two full seders. Guests will have the option to attend Covid-complaint communal seders or arrange for a semi-private, self-led seder with family and friends.
Each set of guests will have their own private dining room in their cottage (separate from their sleeping rooms), complete with a mini-fridge and stocked with plates, cups, silverware, and cleaning supplies. There are also ample places on our grounds to picnic outside (of course, a healthy distance from our other families!). We can set all of our guests up with designated outdoor spaces as well.
Our chefs can provide for most special food needs, including all allergies, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or dairy free options, as indicated on the registration form.
Our kitchens are glatt kosher under the supervision of Kosher LA.
Scholars In-Residence (Weekend 1 Only)
We are pleased to announce three scholars in-residence will be joining us for the first Passover weekend on March 26-30. The scholars will be leading seders throughout the weekend, as well as Jewish learning opportunities covering a range of engaging topics that will be available to all attendees.
Rabbi Aaron Lerner, Executive Director of UCLA Hillel
Rabbi Aaron Lerner is the executive director of UCLA Hillel. A leading pro-Israel voice, he has successfully launched national endeavors to broaden perspectives and engage in fruitful dialogue. Known as the “rabbi who can read a spreadsheet,” Aaron’s career path started in commercial real estate finance before graduating from YCT as a Wexner Fellow. He enjoys surfing and family life with his partner, Dr. Rachel Lerner, and their three daughters.
He will be leading the following learning opportunities:
- Miracles and Plagues for Skeptics and Believers. How Do Moderns Relate to the Implausible?
- Confronting Antisemitism and Israel Bias on Campus and Beyond
- All You Need is Love? An Exploration of the Power and Limitations of the World’s Greatest Commandment
Dr. Rachel Lerner, Dean of the Graduate Center for Jewish Education at AJU
As Dean of the Graduate Center for Jewish Education, she oversees all programs, training future and current Jewish educators. She is passionate about expanding educators' abilities to include a wider population within Jewish educational settings, making classroom learning a more active experience, and making informal education deep and meaningful.
Dr. Lerner earned her Ed.D. degree from JTS, has taught Masters-level education students at both AJU and the Jewish Theological Seminary, supervised student teachers in day schools and part-time Jewish schools, and held leadership positions in Jewish overnight camp. She has worked as an administrator and teacher in Jewish day schools—at both the elementary and high school levels.
She will be leading the following learning opportunities:
- As if YOU’D Gone Out of Egypt: Preparing for the Seder
- Jewish Practices for Wellness: Mussar for the New and Veteran
David Helfand, 4th Year Rabbinical Student, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
David is currently a 4th year rabbinical student studying at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is also pursuing a Masters in Jewish Education from American Jewish University. Originally from Kansas City, he holds a degree in Jewish Studies from AJU. David joined Shomrei Torah as their rabbinic intern in the summer of 2020 and has been heavily involved with religious school and youth departments across the nation and in Israel. Additionally, he holds a Master Concentration Certificate in Israel Education from the iCenter, has completed a 400-hour unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, and has written curriculum for the Global Day of Jewish Learning.
David will be leading the following discussions:
- Pre-Pesach Guided Meditation
- Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes: Whole Body Torah
- Learning from Addicts: The Power of Self and Teshuvah
Programming and Amenities
One of the best features of our campus is the variety of programs we are able to offer our guests. Most are available for at least one family at a time - pending state guidelines. After you register, you’ll be sent a form so you can let us know if your family would like to sign up for any of the following:
- Pool (weather permitting)
- Challenge Course
- Climbing Wall
- The Swing
- Horses (up to 5 riders at a time, must be 48” tall for trail rides - any age for ring rides)
- Israeli Dancing
- Cooking Workshops
- Bubble Fun
- Play-doh and Kinetic Sand
- Outdoor Cooking
- Learning with Guest Scholars
- And More!
All activity costs are included in the cost of the weekend. We will do our best to schedule you for the activities you pre-select on your Registration Form.
At least 1 adult must accompany children to each activity.
Internet and Cell Service
Our Adult Conference Center is equipped with wifi. Cell service is reliable with certain carriers (not AT&T, unfortunately). Desks will be set up in your private dining room as work stations.
You will be given a phone number to call in case of emergency.
- We have several hiking trails on our property. Hikes must be led by one of our trained staff members.
- We do not provide bike rentals, but you are more than welcome to bring your own bikes. Please bike on our paved roads only, and never go biking alone. You are also welcome to bring skateboards, roller blades, and scooters. All of the above activities require helmets at all times.
- Dogs are permitted, for a small additional fee.
- Optional evening activities will include a night hike and a campfire - with matzah s’mores.
Shabbat & Holidays
As of now, we are planning on organizing both traditional (mechitza) and egalitarian prayer services. Both options are dependent on guest registration and participation. We will be closely monitoring state guidelines regarding gatherings. Services may need to take place outside or with other accommodations due to health concerns regarding large group singing and gathering. Guests are welcome to privately borrow prayer books from the library at any time.
We will have a safe indoor space to light candles, for those who wish, and Havdalah supplies for each family as well (we will provide all necessary Havdalah supplies for those who are interested).
As a pluralistic institution and facility, we allow for the expression of Judaism according to the customs of each family, and welcome everyone to enjoy the celebration of Shabbat and holidays as they see fit.
Health & Safety
Deciding whether to leave your house during a pandemic can certainly be a difficult decision. Our weekend getaways are meant to provide our visitors with an opportunity to truly get away, safely, while leaving the cooking, cleaning, and programming, to us!
Except for seders, most meals will be served to-go, with private dining rooms provided for each family. Rooms will be thoroughly cleaned and left unused and untouched for at least 3-4 days between use.
Additionally, in order to ensure everyone’s comfort level, our weekends will require the following:
- Physical distancing must be maintained with other families and employees on site.
- Face coverings must be used at all times outside of personal lodgings. Face coverings are not needed during your personal meal times.
- Most activities will be scheduled and operated for individual families. Some may be operated for 2-3 families at a time, but only if officially scheduled as a multi-family activity or if permitted by state guidelines.
- Common areas and frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized multiple times each day.
- All AJU staff members go through mandated daily health check-ins.
- Guest health check-ins will be conducted upon arrival, and all guests will be required to sign a commitment to that effect.
- All meals (except seders) will be provided to-go, in order to ensure contactless service.
COVID-19 Related Precautions
Currently, most activities will be scheduled by family. In order to maintain social distancing precautions, we limit the number of guests allowed on campus at any given time.
Our staff has been trained on best practices regarding COVID-19 safety procedures, and undergo daily health checks. Guests and staff will also wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.
Our campus follows all Ventura County and state guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing activity spaces and supplies. Our staff members also follow all food handling-related safety precautions and procedures in order to ensure a safe experience for our visitors.
Families are required to bring their own face coverings to use when interacting with other families, with BBC staff and during activities where staff are present.
In the event of a potential or confirmed COVID exposure at our camp facility, we will follow all guidelines and directions of our authoritative agencies. This may include the closure of our campus on a temporary basis. Should your weekend reservation be affected in the event of a closure, we will issue a full refund.
If you need to cancel your reservation, please be in touch with us at (805)-915-0736.
You are welcome to bring pets with you, but please note the following:
- We charge an additional $75 cleaning fee.
- Your dog must be on a leash when it is not in your room.
- Please be sure to pick up defecation and discard it one of our outdoor trash cans.
- Please no animals in our dining halls.
- You must provide food and water for your pet.
- Please also remember that we are located in the Santa Susana Mountains. As such, there are many animals who wander our property – please keep an eye on your pet at all times.
Payments & Cancellation Policy
- Registration fees will not be prorated.
- All cancellations must be submitted in writing.
- Cancellations prior to February 18, 2021: Full refund, minus $250 administrative fee.
- Cancellations between February 19-March 9, 2021: Full refund, minus $500 fee per adult.
- Cancellations after March 9, 2021: No refunds.
If AJU cancels the program for any reason we will refund your money in full. If you get sick & provide a doctor confirmation we will issue a full refund.
All pricing information can be found on our online reservation system. Please click on one of the RESERVE NOW buttons to be taken to the reservation system. For any questions, please email nbeckeraju.edu.
Are you excited? We are!
Do you have friends that will be excited? Let them know about this opportunity! Bring them with you!
Do you have questions? Email Navah at nbeckeraju.edu for more information.