My Shabbaton 5778 Experience

7 months ago ssalles 0

February 22, 2018(Thursday)
Dear CTeeners, Shabbaton 5778 was incredible and inspiring. My journey started at 4:40am, when I headed to the airport! At check in, I ran into CTeen of South Florida, who were on our flight. As time went on the rest of our chapter and chaperones arrived with a kid from Key West Florida joining us! After we landed in JFK and got our luggage the fun began. I got the opportunity to go skiing, but unfortunately realized quickly it wasn’t for me. It was cool to try it out and hang with the other teens. After the drive back we headed to the boat ride. There I met many of my CTeen friends I’ve been texting for months and even up to a year, who I’ve been eagerly waiting to meet. The teens were from Panama, Bucks County, West Suffolk, Stony Brook, Great Neck, New Jersey, Delaware, and many others! Talking, hanging, and eating with the people I have never seen for months or ever was amazing. This is the first of many moments I felt at home. The boat ride was too short, I could have spent hours talking and hanging, but the day moved on. If skiing and a boat ride wasn’t enough the south Florida chapter went to Times Square! I walked around with two people from my chapter and it was so cool doing this with my friends! We quickly registered where i reunited with some staff I have met at the leadership retreat. After a long, exciting day, we went to our host’s house where we slept, excitingly awaiting our next day.

February 23, 2018(Friday Day)
Dear CTeeners, Friday was so much fun with a lot of walking included! I woke up, got ready, and the girls in my chapter walked over to Ohelei Torah for a yummy breakfast. Here I met Danielle York, Rebecca Myers and reunited with some friends from Suffern, NY. After all of my chapter arrived and ate breakfast we walked to the Subway to head to our track. Some kids never took the subway before and were amazed! We decided to do our own thing and went to Canal Street. While in Chinatown, we gave a lunch to a homeless man; that’s CTeen, always giving! Chinatown was so cool and like Crown Heights, was like entering into another world. We then walked the Brooklyn bridge which was a long walk, but had an incredible view. As we walked we felt proud and happy to represent CTeen in the big apple. During this time I also cheered a lot, again the first of many times. As we got into Brooklyn we saw a movie set for the film Motherless Brooklyn. We didn’t see any celebrities, but seeing a movie set was cool.. In Crown Heights we went to Nori Bar for Sushi which was so yummy. While waiting a saw a few friends from Conejo who I met and talked to for a bit. I kept thinking about when I would I meet my soul sister, Elie Glaser from Leeds, UK. Just then, after staring for a second I realized it was her I gave her the biggest hug and exchanged the gifts we got for each other. It’s so cool how someone I met a few months ago easily became my soul sister. After saying goodbye to everyone, the girls of my chapter, walked back to get flowers to the host family and got ready for an inspiring shabbos.

February 23-24, 2018(Shabbos)
Dear CTeeners, what an incredible, inspiring, and life changing shabbos! Once we got ready we headed to Bais Rivka for a pre shabbos concert and candle lighting. We were late to the concert, but the singing was amazing and dancing with my friends was so cool. Then it was time to light shabbat candles. I light candles at home, but being with thousands of other girls made the mitzvah even more special and magical. After more signing and dancing we headed to the Razag since my chapter was in the orange group. We heard Bracha Leibowitz’s story on love, which changed my outlook on the subject.. We then went to the dining room and an amazing shabbat dinner, filled with singing, dancing, and meeting new friends. We sang songs and played fun games that filled us with inspiration and laughs. We met a nice chaperone and nice girls from our area. I also reunited with 3 girls from camp, including a counselor I haven’t seen in over 3 years! After dinner and a yummy dessert, I found a friend from Panama and we benched together which made eating so meaningful. We then walked up to hear Rochel Filkenstein workshop on how we are not objects, but people. This truly changed my outlook, as we need to view people subjectively not objectively.
Saturday morning I woke up and went to the leaders breakfast, to meet all the leaders I have heard about was so cool. I walked to OT where we did a discussion with a rabbi about Shoimer Negia. To hear about it from a rabbi was interesting. We then went to hear my rabbi, with two other rabbis, do a cross fire panel. There were some amazing, and deep questions. The rabbis were definitely stumped. We then walked to lunch, which was absolutely delicious! We then walked back to OT where we all hung out and hang with other teens. We then went back to the house to get ready and rest for the epic night ahead!

February 24, 2018 (Motzei Shabbos)
Dear CTeeners, what an inspiring night that changed my life! We went on the subway that was filled with other chapters. Everyone was cheering, singing, and most importantly embracing their Jewish pride! We continued to sing all night walking to the subway. At last we arrived to the moment everyone’s been waiting for: Times Square Takeover! The Cteen Torah was finished, which is exciting in itself that CTeen now has its own Torah. David Mazouz from the TV show Gotham talked about he ‘Transcends the Tide.”There was of course the Havdalah ceremony which was incredible that thousands of others got to watch this as well. Moments later Nissim Black performed with Gad Elbaz. Nissim was fantastic and I love how his songs are inspiring. Times Square flew by, but the night wasn’t over yet. We then went off to the Razag Ballroom to the Mega Event. There were fun games, a dance party, delicious food, and fun vendors. The amount of energy and fun was absolutely incredible and unlike anything I’ve seen in my small town in Florida.

February 25, 2018(Sunday)
Dear CTeeners, today was a bittersweet day. After getting up and packing we headed over to Chocolate for breakfast; I had hot cocoa and a chocolate croissant, definitely fitting for the weather. For the last time this weekend I got to hang out and mingle with my friends. Just writing about it makes me cry because I miss them and this weekend. The speakers were so inspiring and mind blowing; teens are changing the world! We had a surprise Nissim Black concert, with more dancing later on. To top it all off they launched a new music video! Congratulations to Claire Segal, Ryan Dacosta, and CTeen of Great Neck for winning the CTeen Choice awards. CTeen definitely sending this epic weekend with a bang! After saying goodbyes we were off to the ohel. I’ve gone to the ohel before but this time I made it more meaningful. Writing my letter to the Rebbe and ripping it up was a very spiritual experience. I said goodbye to those I saw again and went off to the airport. AT that moment I knew this incredible weekend was over. The shabbaton may be over but not its spirit. Continue to embrace your Jewish pride and keep the energy of shabbaton alive. G-d Willing we will be reunited with the coming of Moshiach.

Love, Sarah