Modern Orthodox Invited to Experience Adventure in Oregon

Modern Orthodox young professionals ages 26-42 are invited to Oregon June 26-July 1 for Portland’s third MoDox Outdoor Adventure Shabbaton. The first Shabbaton in 2011 drew 56 participants, with 74 young adults turning out in 2012. Portland’s third MoDox Outdoor Adventure Shabbaton already has attracted registrants from Israel, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Florida and Oregon, and it’s still early in the registration process.

“This is amazing to see people that live all over, from this specific modern Orthodox demographic, all coming together to share in a trip that focuses on an area of common interest – outdoor adventure,” says organizer Jodi Berris. “I like how the itinerary covers the outdoors with daily hikes, options to ski in the summer on Mt. Hood’s glacier or mountain bike. We also have a variety of speakers across Judaic and secular subjects. It’s like a variety trip with a theme. Sort of like a birthright Israel trip, but in Portland.”

This year’s Shabbaton includes a tour of Nike World Headquarters, where Jodi works; skiing; Alpine slide; mountain biking; brewery and brandy distillery tours and tastings; hikes; soccer tournament; visits to the Oregon coast and Columbia River Gorge; Portland nightlife; and, of course, a Shabbat program and kosher meals. Jodi came up with the idea for the Shabbaton after a MoDox ski trip in Italy. She organizes the events with support from Cafe at the J, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Portland Kollel, Kesser Israel, Chabad of Oregon and Mittleman Jewish Community Center.

The low registration fee of $99 until June 5, $199 until June 15, and $299 thereafter (if space is available) includes meals, most activities and home hospitality. Jodi says that many people who have come before ask to come back a second time, but she considers it primarily an introduction to Portland for first-timers. “Given the demand of people wanting to come versus the limited supply of host families in the Orthodox community to accommodate everybody, it will get harder to accommodate those that want to come back for a round 2 or 3,” she says.

“I’m doing this the third time because people continue to express interest in coming here and those that have come have had great experiences,” she says. “Some just walk away having had fun with the activities. Others have made new friends, gone out on dates from it, or conquered a fear presented by an outdoor type of physical challenge. Since the focus is on the adventure, the social just falls into place naturally. People who live one block away from each other in New York and see each other at Shul weekly but never really talk, become social out here.”

“Although I am highly sleep deprived prior to and during the event, I still take moments to sit back and smile as I watch people engaging and enjoying the activities I have exposed them to in such a beautiful environment that I call my home,” Jodi grins, adding Portland “probably wasn’t even on their radar to visit until this Shabbaton began.”

For registration and a detailed itinerary, visit For more information, contact Jodi at or 248-760-0743.

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