My Leadership Retreat Experience 5777-2017

5 years ago ssalles 0

Recently,  I had the opportunity to attend the CTeen Leadership Retreat. I didn’t realize how much this weekend would impact my life. I was excited to attend, but also really nervous. When I arrived in Crown Heights to go on the bus, I met  other leaders I  knew by name from group chats; it was so cool to meet them in person It was at that moment the excitement kicked in.


During the retreat we went to many amazing workshops led by staff and leaders. All of the games and workshops had deeper meanings,but you had to look beyond the game or workshop to find them. One workshop I loved was, If You See Something, Say Something, which was moderated by Rabbi Yarden Blumstein It opened my eyes to how being kinder and helping someone could save a person’s life. A game I liked was frenzy because while we all worked in different groups to get the same thing, if we work together towards the same goal, it would be more successful. Another speaker was Rabbi YY Jacobson that showed us ,with funny and serious examples,how we can’t follow the crowd. Rather we should be leaders, and inspire others to become leaders by example as well.  

Shabbos was so much fun and inspirational. Once we lit candles and davened, we went to dinner. I got to speak and really bond with some leaders at dinner. In between courses we danced and sang songs; it felt so special to dance with amazing young women. After the meal, I had a chance to talk and interact with the other leaders.  which showed how important and impacting kindness and respect could be.


On Shabbat morning, the leaders had a chance to get to know the CTeen staff.   It was really nice to connect with them and get to know them. My favorite Shabbos workshop was getting to hear Rabbi Kotlarsky talk about his experience and perspective on leadership. It showed how one small change can change Judaism and the future.


Unfortunately Shabbos couldn’t last forever so we did havdalah, and there was nothing like it. All the women wrapped their arms around each other and sang a song. Once it was over we danced and hugged,as did the men on their sides. A few hours later we went to Have a Hoot and had a blast.


The Retreat came to an end on Sunday with a grand banquet and a chance to say our final goodbyes. I left feeling sad, but also grateful for the experience I gained throughout the retreat.