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Jan 20, 2011 12:10 PM

(another) pesach program question...

what are the modern orthodox programs within 5 hours drive of NYC? a place that has gebrochts, allows mixed swimming etc?

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  1. Marissa,

    Your very best bet is to just pick up a copy of the Jewish press and see what is advertised there.

    My gut instinct is that most programs are non-gebrochts. As for the mixed swimming, I think it all depends on whether the prgram books the entire hotel or not... if not, then the hotel will just have it open hours and then probably block off an hour here or there for separate swimming.

    When we went to Gateways for RH, the Hotel was open for regular business as well, and Gateways attracts a mixed crowd, so I definitely saw some teenagers who I has previously seen "in shul" coming back from what I can only guess is the swimming pool.

    As a side note, we really liked Gateways.

    1. Matza Fun Tours at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch,NJ is about 1.5 hrs from NYC. They have both separate and mixed swimming in the indoor pool/whirlpool. The adjacent spa is a full service spa. It is very pretty. It has a jacuzzi that is so hot and wonderful. It also has both dry and wet saunas that remind me of Grossingers' . The food is both non gebrochts and gebrochts. They do gebrochts such as matza pizza as part of the chol hamoed lunch buffet outside in the hallway of the dining room. The food is excellent . Nothing is missed. The chef,Marty of Mauzone , is inventive and interesting. The food choices range from lamb to duck to veal ,to steak. One of my favorite soups is a Latin Sancocho that was delicious . The crowd is mixed from modern to yeshivish, friendly and accepting. A great place.

      1. Folks, just a brief request that we keep the focus of this thread on the food portion of the program rather than more general information on things like swimming rules, etc. That's a little far afield for our food-related site and those discussions tend to get surprisingly unfriendly.

        1. My family has gone to Matza Fun Tours in Long Branch, NJ for 5 years. A lot of modern orthodox attend. The food is excellent and plentiful. Non-gebrochts are served at table, but when there is buffet at breakfast and lunch you can get your fill of fried matzah and matza pizza. They do have open swim most of the day and certain hours set aside for separate swim as well.

          1. We went to OCEAN PLACE for three years, beginning in 2007. We thought it was great, but saw the food quality and quantity go down each year. The waiters and bus people also seemed as if they pulled them in off the street five minutes before they began working. We decided with our friends not to return to MATZAFUN at Ocean Place anymore. We were soured by the treatment of LEISURE TIME TOURS and their uncaring staff, though we saw them having fun and eating everything in sight on their own. They did not want anything to do with their customers once they arrived at the resort for Pesach.
            Vallevin - We were with GATEWAYS in CT at the end of December. We thought their speakers were fantastic and are planning to go for Pesach to Stamford with them....but still looking at reviews just in case. Do you have any information on their Pesach programs, or their Caterer for Pesach? They had an in-house caterer at the end of December, not the one they normally use, though the food was very good.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kosherfan

              We have gone for to Ocean Place with Matza Fun for years . We have always been impressed with the quantity of food. We thought that the food was delicious last year. I am happy to see in the advertisements that chef Marty is back this year. I heard that he was not there last year. I loved his soups. His duck and veal were mouth watering. I look forward to them from year to year. His inventiveness and ability to make pesachdik foods taste like chometz is extraordinary. My son loves his quinoa"fried rice". His chinese buffet ,replete with veal ribs, lo mein , stir fried dishes and Chinese soups are a Chol Hamoed highlight. I see from the ads that Mauzone is involved this year . Their reputation for top notch presentation is legendary. I look forward to seeing the interesting dining room and tea room buffets that they create. I have we have warm weather; Pesach is late in April. A few years ago, it was eighty degrees on Yom Tov. They did kiddush on the veranda overlooking the ocean. It was a pleasure- a highlight of Yom Tov.

              1. re: momrn

                Glad you still were very satisfied with the food quality and availability at Ocean Place last year. We know of 3 families as well as ours who will not be returning after 5 years due to the declining overall quality of the caterer. We realize money is tight but rather than increase the price slightly, Matza Fun has kept the price constant and is losing customers AND other potential ones through references. It's too bad because initially we were really impressed. As noted earlier, the wait staff seemed to have absolutely no training and was best at conversing with themselves or hiding rather than being on the floor to help out the paying Pesach vacationers. Jerry Abramson needs to do a better job training the staff before he ends up cooking Pesach at Ocean Place for just he and his Mishpacha !!

                1. re: kosherfan

                  Did anyone go to Ocean Place this year Passover 2011? I would like to see reviews from this year to find out whether it improved or went down from 2010.