Whether you call it Yeshiva Break, Yeshiva Week, Winter Break or just simply a winter vacation, thousands of Jewish families schlepped their vacation-starved schoolchildren, poured out of their local Jewish neighborhoods and made their way to places as far away as Israel, the Caribbean and Florida, and as near as Upstate NY and Pennsylvania.
The Pocono Mountains of Western Pennsylvania has become the new destination of young, Jewish metro-New York and New Jersey families and while it may not have the romantic history of the famed Catskills of yesteryear, it has everything today’s Jewish family could want.
The Camelback Resort and Lodge in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, is unquestionably one of the Poconos’ top destinations. It boasts a wide range of activities including: Aquatopia—the largest indoor water park in the Northeast USA, Camelback Mountain Ski Center, Camelback Tubing Center, Camelback’s arcade and fun center, and a fine selection of spacious rooms and multi-bedroom suites.
Camelback Resort put out the red carpet for “Yeshiva Break” families this year with an array of offerings and activities catering to their Orthodox Jewish clientele. The resort staff was completely briefed on all needs and requirements and were friendly, courteous and quite helpful. A separate room was set aside for davening, and the daily Shacharit, Mincha and Maariv services included many different minyan times.
Kosher food was made available from numerous vendors. The Kosher Experience Catering offered two different meal options. One could call them prior to 2 p.m. and order from their complete menu for same-evening delivery to the resort, or one could purchase various prepackaged food items at the resort’s shops that were specially prepared and freshly delivered by Kosher Experience. Camelback also offered various items in their coffee shop and concessions that had kosher supervision, and they provided a printed list of items and kashrut supervisors.
The resort was booked to capacity and the atmosphere was electrifying. The ski slopes were perfectly groomed with a deep layer of fresh powder; all lifts were operating and all levels of skiing available. The 125,000-square-foot “Aquatopia” indoor waterpark with its “Camelbeach” indoor beach and 30,000-square-foot pool sporting real waves, its “FlowRider” surfing ride, its 37 indoor-outdoor water slides, its hot tubs and its adventure river boat ride were maximum fun for the whole family. Camelback was truly the near-home place to vacation for parents, kids and the whole family.
By Tzvi Allen Fishman