CTeen Gone Virtual!

2 years ago The Connections Staff 0

Katie Freedman// CTeen Manchester, UK

During this pandemic, meeting up with friends and family has become a great challenge and it has affected all of our lives. 

However, CTeen and it’s amazing chapters around the world have managed to keep in contact with their teens which has made our chapters stronger than ever. I am a leader from the UK Manchester chapter and we have kept active and connected through these difficult times by hosting our own virtual events. I can safely say, for most chapters, although we are currently in these horrific circumstances, it is incredible how we all have stuck together and created a (virtual) space for all the teens to still feel connected and involved in this amazing programme.

Of course it hasn’t been easy staying at home without much to do, most of us are pretty bored of painting and baking by now! So my chapter has been hosting zoom events every month or so to keep us all connected and I have to say, it has been so refreshing to have something to do once in a while that can keep me busy for a few hours! Whether it is making challah for Shabbat, or just a little catch-up over zoom. 

After speaking to Nathan Ginsburg, from the CTeen Gaithersburg chapter, he told me that his chapter had managed to create a kick-off event where they all sat outside, socially distanced and had a BBQ, with the food pre-packaged on separate plates. They also played a few ‘get to know you’ games as so many teens joined their chapter!

See, even during COVID-19, CTeen has been inviting and welcoming new members into chapters and keeping the spirit alive! In my chapter, we have gained so many more teens because of the amazing energy and this has definitely made CTeen stronger as a whole. Nathan’s chapter also had a zoom event during the summer where they did Jewish learning and games! Even though we are holding events over zoom, chapters have been able teach and inform their teens about Judaism and hold events where they study Torah!

My chapter held a lot of zoom events during lockdown and over the summer. We made honey cookies for our most recent zoom event as it took place the week before Rosh Hashanah! It was such a fun experience as we all baked together and we got to know more about the teens who we weren’t especially close with. During all our events I feel like I have grown closer to my friends and made unbreakable bonds with my new friends because of CTeen. We also had a UK zoom event with multiple chapters from around England with the extra special guest, Rabbi Motti Flikshtein who shared his incredible journey with us. We all definitely took something from it whether it was spiritual or personal. The use of zoom really has changed our lockdown-lives as we have all come together to help and guide each other.

I strongly think that yes, this pandemic has been a shock to the world and has negatively affected everyone’s lives, however it has definitely made us all stop for a moment and realise how close we have become with others and how strong our bonds have gotten even if it has all been over the internet.

We really are all in this together and with the help and support from friends, we will get through it.