The National Jewish Retreat, a project of the Chabad-Lubavitch Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI), began Wednesday at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Participants from 21 states and five countries are attending the five-day conference, which boasts a jam-packed schedule of 80 sessions, workshops, lectures and discussion groups.

A select group of college students participating in the Sinai Scholars Society also turned out for the occasion.

An intense learning session, followed by a screening of a documentary on the Six Day War and a moderated discussion, kicked off the retreat.

Between sessions, attendees have been availing themselves of the resort's surroundings and activities, including hikes around Cheyenne Mountain and outdoor study groups. A concurrent kids camp is allowing parents to devote their full attention to the discussions and learning sessions.

An evening of song was dedicated to philanthropists George and Pamela Rohr, the primary benefactors of JLI.

A National Cholent Cookoff was a highlight on Friday. Lubavitch Rebbetzins faced off in the competition by cooking up the traditional Shabbat afternoon stew according to their own family traditions. Judging was to be held Shabbat afternoon.