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June 15, 2012

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PAGE 1213 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 15, 2012 ~e !~ Lise Stern JoiatNedia News Service Year after year, the No. 1 New Year's resolution people make is to lose weight. And, according to Time magazine,, it's also the No. 1 broken resolution. Great intentions in January fall by the wayside and, come spring, warmer weather and lighter clothes\ remind us of those forgotten winter goals. One effective way to jump start the path toward fitness is through a weight-loss getaway like the one at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. Last month, a week after Passover, the center opened its doors to a unique retreat: a one to two-week kosher weight-loss camp for grownups called"From Flab to Fab." Located on a lake in the northwest corner of Con- necticut in the Berkshires, the center has been offering Jewish-oriented programs, from senior camps to sci- ence weeks for middle school students, for more than 50 years. Executive director David Weisberg, who joined the staffat the center almost a year ago, has wanted to ex- pand the programs offered. "I began to look at what niches the center would be ideally situated to fit," he says. "l need to lose some weight myself, and I looked at whether there were any other resources for adult observant Jews looking to go tcf weight-loss camp. There were no other options throughout NorthAmerica." Several Google searches reveal this to be the case. "There are not that many adult weight-loss camps in general," Weisberg asserts. One of the few is Well- spring in California, where Isabella Freedman dietitian By Marilyn Hawkes Jewish News of Greater Phoenix When Phoenix resident" Rachel Sandier was diag- nosed with a peripheral malignant nerve sheath tumor in January 2011, she sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. Her father, Scott Sandier, immediately started look- ing for cancer clinical trials in addition to the chemotherapy treatments Rachel was receiving at the Mayo Clinic. A dinical trial is a re- search study that tests new ~ys to prevent, detect, diagnose or treat cancer and other diseases, accord- ing to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sandier scoured the internet for clinical trials using a Google search and found a lot of fragmented information.'Once you get to a website, say Duke Uni- versity or $1oan-Kettering, it takes you to its main (page) and then you~ have . to search for cancer clinical Courtesy Isabella Freedman Retreat Center The local farm, "Adamah, provides the retreat center with home grown organic food. Dan Fenyvesi has worked. Wellspring primarily has programs for teens and young adults, though it does have one for those over 25. People attend for two-week or longer sessions. Fenyvesi will be the resi- dent nutritionist in charge of the food aspect of the Kosher Weight-loss and Fitness: A Plan for Your Life retreat. His brother, Shamu Fenyvesi Sadeh, runs Adamah at the Isabella Freedman Center, an organic farm that has been in operation on the property for several years. The farm offers a fellowship program for Jewish young adults, supplies the kitchen with fresh produce, and also makes products such as pick- les and goat cheese (there's a herd of goat~) sold at area farm markets. When Dan Fenyvesi would Visit his brother, he was struck by how ideal the location would be for a Jew- ish Wellspring-like retreat. "Wellspring is a total immer- sion environment," Fenyvesi says, "That's why it's so ef- fective.Our retreat will also be total immersion. We'll be able to make a really big impact on participants' lives. Of course having everyone all be of the same faith, there for another .reason, not just for their health, that helps as well. I wanted to do this in a Jewish setting because there are no kosher weight- loss facilities, and I believe that the kosher laws open a fascinating discussion over rules around eating." With Fenyvesi lined up for the culinary component, the center turned to Ari Weller for the fitness end. As anyone wl~o has ever tried to lose weight knows, exercise is a key part of the picture. Weller is a highly regarded physical trainer in New York--and the former associate direc- tor of the Freedman Center. On his website~ he describes~ his technique, Integrative Movement, as "a complete training philosophy result- ing in total physical fitness and a mind/body awareness." Doreen Bongiolatti,-pro- gram coordinator, has been - synchronizing the vari- ous components since the project was approved last fall. "The ~tate was a big meeting in itself," she says of the Center's decision to schedule the program. "Ari Weller said this is the time trials within the website," Sandier says. As the fnonths went on, and he was sometimes spending several hours a day searching for clinical trials, he became very frustrated. "I said to myself. there's got to be an easier way. Why aren't all these websites in one place?" At theend of June 2011, Sandier got an email from a doctor at NIH who was interested in Rachel's case. But by the time Sandier spoke to the researcher, Rachel's cancer was too far advanced. The research had started seven or eight months before, about the time Rachel was diagnosed, Sandier says. "I don't know if it would have solved or fixed any- thing, but I would liked to have had the option and I think Rachel wofild have Iiked to have the option," he says. Rachel died in July 2011, just seven months after her diagnosis, She was 22 years old. After Rachel's death, Sandier approached a few friends to help him put to- gether a one-stop website of available clinical trials. The site,, which launched in January 2012. has a list of more than 50 leading caficer-research facilities and their clinical trials. "It takes a lot of informa- tion and puts in one place that's easy to read, easy to click on and makes the person's job who is doing the research easier," he says. "It doesn't reinvent the wheel, it just makes the wheel easier to use." Sandier is looking into adding a forum where cancer patients can com- municate with each other. "I'd like to make Rachel's Registry a hub of commu- nication amongst cancer patients and their families," he says. So far, Sandier has re- ceived three emails from people thanking him for the website. "If I help one person, (the website) did its job." Marilyn Hawkes is a staff writer at Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. of year to do it. People make their New Year's resolution to lose weight, but it's not till the summer comes that they start to think about losing the layers." Chef Richard Neff (who started his career cooking for Vietnamese refugees) has beenworking more and more with local produce, including that from Adamah. The facil- ity is supervised kosher--and nondenominational. Weis- berg notes that several groups with strict affiliations have used the center. "There's probably no single place that has such participa- tion from the Jewish com- munity," he says. "Orthodox, Chabad, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Jewish multiracial, Jewish LGBT--an incredibly broad cross section of the Jewish community pa~'tici- pates in Isabella Freedman programs during the course of the year." ,The religious component of the weight-loss program is still evolving. Shabbat services will be held on Friday nights and Saturday mornings in the center's airy onsite synagogue. "Jew-- ~ish elements will be woven throughout," says Weisberg. "Some classes will be taught by members of the staff. We want to give a better under- standing of the covenant we have when it comes to taking care of our own bodies." Fenyvesi~who is a registered dietician, has personal experi- Courtesy Isabella Freedman Retreat Center The Isabella Freedman Retreat Center has launched a new program that will focus on adult kosher weight loss and fitness. ence with gaining and losing weight. In grad school, while he was studying nutrition, he says, "I ended up, ironically, gaining a ton of weight. I was in the library studying all the time, the stress of working, student loans. I struggled for a couple years getting rid of that 30 to 40 pounds, and realize how hard it is." One week, or even two, won't lead to instant, or dramatic weight-loss, but l~enyvesi hopes to offer at- tendees a toolkit they can bring home with them. "This is not a lose-weight-fast program; it's not a detox or fasting or juices/colonics. It's all very practical and science-based," he says. "People will lose some weight over the week, yes--five to 10 pounds perhaps. But it's not so important what they lose that week; what's important is that they learn tools to take home and continue with weight-loss. A key factor is adjusting the taste buds, and one week is enough to start significant modification of tastes and expectations around meals." And what better way to do it than in a bucolic setting with fresh-cooked, nutri- tious recipes, plus outdoor activities like hiking and biking, while contemplat- ing the connections of food, body and Judaism? As Amy Hannes, director of marketing, says, "It's a wonderful opportunity for people to combine a practi- cal approach to nutrition with a spiritual approach to nourishment." For more information, visit Grand Opening/ ExFlusive dealer for Life Fitness Home Gyms Ellipticals. Bikes Fitness Accessories Southeastern Fitness Equipment 4636 Millenia Plaza Way Orlando, FL 32839 (Located in Mi/lenia Plaza)