“Poshest Passover” Article Deliberately Sensationalizing Pesach Getaways?

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It might have made for great copy, but don’t believe everything you read.

An article that ran in the New York Post on Erev Pesach described “the poshest

Passover in the world,” detailing a 2015 Pesach program at the St. Regis Monarch

Beach in Laguna Beach, California.  Written by Doree Lewak, the Post article lists

prices starting at $11,000 per person and costly add-ons that were available to guests

last year through the program including $3,800 per person recording sessions with

singer/actress Ariana Grande, a $2,200 meet and greet with socialites Kylie and Kendall

Jenner and a kosher lunch with the Kardashians.  The only problem?  According to Joey

Allaham, owner of the Prime Experience which operates the program, the article was

filled with inaccuracies and virtually ignored the more important spiritual component of

the program.

“Our main focus is providing our guests with the most amazing foods and an incredible

lineup of scholars,” Allaham, owner of the Prime restaurant group in New York told the

Five Towns Jewish Times.  “That is our highest priority.”

While guests might have chosen to spend their Chol Hamoed last year recording music

with Grande, meeting with the Jenners or having lunch with the Kardashians, none of

these activities were part of the Prime Experience program said Allaham.

“Implications by the Post that prices start at $11,000 are incredibly misleading,” noted

Allaham.  “That price is for a few exclusive oceanfront rooms, with other

accommodations at the St. Regis, a five star hotel, starting at $5,600, just under half

that amount.”

The option to create a customized “Amazing Race” at $3,500 per person that The Post

says is offered as part of Prime’s 2015 program is another fabrication according to

Allaham, who makes  no apologies for his five-star program, one of three that he is

running this year.

“We go out of our way to make sure we provide our guests with the best of everything

which includes the best possible Passover spirit,” said Allaham. “Our location was

specifically chosen because of its wonderful climate, making it conducive to dressing

formally for dinner, in honor of the chag.  Nothing is more important to us than

celebrating the holiday in a manner that is dignified and spiritual.”

While the program’s day camp does include appearances by football personalities Odell

Beckham and Mark Sanchez, the schedule includes daily daf yomi and divrei Torah

from noted rabbonim including Rabbi Daniel Mechanic, Rabbi Eli Mansour, Rabbi Lord

Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Rabbi Natan Slifkin and

Rabbi Abraham Cooper.   Scheduled speakers run the gamut, including Malcolm

Hoenlein, presidential candidate Ted Cruz  and shadchan Altchie Pelcovitz, discussing

a wide range of topics including kiruv, Israel, ISIS, effective parenting, Catholic-Jewish

relations, and the 2016 presidential race.  Entertainment includes a concert by Israeli

singing sensation Ohad Moskowitz and an oneg and  tish with Chazan Yanky Lemmer.

An estimated 125,000 Jews elect to take advantage of Pesach as the perfect vacation

opportunity each year.

“Anyone knows Passover cleaning and Seder preparation are a handful,” said

entrepreneur Ronn Torossian. “So, too is entertaining kids while off from school for ten

days, so it was an easy decision this year to come on a trip like the one I am now on in

Miami.”

“For many observant Jews, the attraction of leaving home is two-fold: getting away from

the drudgery of Pesach cleaning, as well as traveling to a fun, friendly place where food,

intellectual stimulation and even physical activity are plentiful and appealing,” added

Raphi Bloom, founder and CEO of totallyjewishtravel.com.   “The week of Passover is

the now the busiest time of year for Jews to emulate our ancestors and pack up for a

trip.”

Torossian is currently spending his Pesach at the Presidential Passover program at

Turnberry Isle Miami, another high end Pesach vacation at a highly rated property.

“Nothing says freedom like sitting in the sun at a luxury resort, surrounded by family and

great food and fun things to do on Passover,” said Torossian.

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