Shabbaton Digital Memory Jar

3 years ago Adina Ichilov 0

For 4 days out of the year, Jewish teens from 24 different countries come together for an epic weekend in New York! 10 years ago there were only 39 attendees, however, now there are over 2700 teens, Shluchim, and chaperones! In just a short amount of time, CTeen had expanded into 510 cities. Each year, not only do the chapters and members grow, but so does the number of local and ICLB leaders. 

My name is Adina Ichilov and I am an ICLB leader from San Antonio Texas. When I think about my favorite memory, my mind goes blank because my past two Shabbaton experiences have been amazing. I guess you could say that I love Shabbat during the Shabbaton since I am able to disconnect from the “real” world and appreciate what is around me: my friends, New York, and Judaism. I also enjoy reuniting with my friends from previous years along with making new ones (so feel free to say hi). Something I appreciate is walking through the streets and shouting “Where are you from.” These four words put a smile on your future friend’s faces since you would shout them nowhere else.

Elie Glaser is a leader from Leeds, UK who’s favorite memory from the CTeen Shabbaton is meeting some of her closest friends and feeling so inspired by the ruach at the closing banquet. “The insane energy and buzz made me feel so connected to Judaism that I’ve never forgotten that feeling!”

Shayna Solkowitz is an ICLB leader from Woodcliff Lake, NJ. She says “it’s hard to choose just one part of the Shabbaton as my favorite. There’s nothing quite like walking down Kingston ave, screaming across the street “Hey! Where are you from?!” Or singing “I’m a Jew- a proud one too!” walking down the streets of Times Square with hundreds of Jewish teens. There’s nothing tougher than deciding which workshops to go to, with so many amazing speakers, the decision seems impossible. CTeen International Shabbaton is an experience that seems like it could only be a dream, yet we’re lucky enough to experience it. I can’t wait to see all my friends from all over the world, and meet so many new ones. See y’all soon- and don’t forget to say hi :)”

Jonah Bernstein is a leader from Mission Viejo, CA. This will be his fourth year on the International Shabbaton and claims that every year, it has gotten better with each new experience. His favorite memory would have to be from this most recent Shabbaton. “We were all getting ready for Times Square after Shabbat and on our way to the subway station. All the chapters were there, excited and singing the anthem as loud as we could. As we got onto the subway, we were filled in until there was no more room and I ended up being on the other side of the car than the rest of my chapter. I was in between a group from Jamaica and another one. As we started singing the CTeen song, I realized some of the words the other chapter was saying, it wasn’t English, “Je suis un juif…” It was french. And I am taking French at my high school, so I started to speak to them in their language and it was really interesting and great to hear on the trip. Then, the Jamaicans join in and have a bunch of fun along with the regular New Yorkers. We made the regulars feel like a part of CTeen. One of them even said that they felt they were Jewish now. It was such a great experience!”

Shai Fichtelberg is an ICLB leader from Sonoma County, CA. She is ecstatic to say that she loves every aspect of the Shabbaton.  “From meeting new people to learning what it means to be a proud Jew, so picking a favorite memory is a challenge. I think one of my many favorite memories has to be singing in the streets with hundreds of other Jewish teens. It is truly an experience that if given the opportunity, take it. The Jewish Pride, the smiles, the laughs, and the memories that come with that is truly amazing. I can not wait to be back there. Shabbaton 5780 is going to be filled with love, pride, laughs, smiles, friendships, and so much more, I truly can not wait BH it is so soon!”

Whether this is your fourth year like Jonah, your third like me, or your first year, I want you to make at least one memory that will stay with you forever 🙂 This year’s Shabbaton is going to be a blast, so get ready!