Spring has nearly sprung, and college campuses these days are becoming flowerbeds of activity. Hand in hand with such activity, Chabad Houses on Campus, in conjunction with the Chabad on Campus International Foundation, are hosting regional Shabbatons across North America as part of the Chabad on Campus Intercollegiate Series.
And, like this past fall at an international Shabbaton in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, N.Y., hundreds are expected to take part in these events.
According to Rabbi Yossy Gordon, executive vice president of Chabad on Campus, the overnight learning experiences “provide an exciting opportunity for students to enjoy an authentic Shabbat experience, as well as to feel tremendous pride in their Jewish identity along with hundreds of other Jews.”
Additional regional Shabbatons, including a Midwest Regional Shabbaton hosted by Chabad serving the University of Illinois in Champaign, are slated to take place on the heels of the following events.
Chabad at the University of Western Ontario, directed by Rabbi Mordechai and Nechamie Silberberg, hosted the first ever Canadian Regional Shabbaton, focusing on Ontario-area schools.
Welcomed by 200 Western students at this Chabad’s legendary Shabbat dinner, the 30-plus visitors participated in a host of sessions led by the attending shluchim and shluchos, capped by a rousing version of “Stump the Rabbi.”
The students returned to their campuses saying they felt refreshed and inspired, with plans to keep in touch with their new friends.
Students at the Canada event participated in a host of sessions led by the attending shluchim and shluchos, capped by a rousing version of “Stump the Rabbi.”
West Coast Shabbaton
More than 200 students from a dozen schools across California, Nevada and Arizona met at the Orange County Hilton for a weekend of camaraderie, education, and a focus on Jewish pride and identity.
On the menu, besides a wealth of food, were discussions that addressed a variety of student interests. Guest lecturers included Rabbi Simcha Weinstein; mega–MLB sports agent and philanthropist Paul Cohen; IDF veteran Izzy Ezagui (the only soldier to redeploy after losing his arm in combat); Hollywood screenwriter David Weiss; and former cult member Yocheved Herrmann Blanton.
On the menu at the West Coast Shabbaton, besides a wealth of food, were discussions that addressed a variety of student interests.
Dozens of young adults from schools across Texas celebrated their Judaism together at the Chabad House serving Texas A&M University in College Station, directed by Rabbi Yossi and Manya Lazaroff.
The program began with candle-lighting and a “Getting to Know You” ice-breaker led by Rabbi Tzvi Drizin, followed by Shabbat services. Students reported that scholar Dr. Binyamin Abrams captivated them with his knowledge of science and religion; later, they lingered in workshops and discussions until well into the evening.
Saturday night’s program, sponsored by the Israeli Consulate, featured a presentation by Neil Lazarus, who has partnered with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Jewish Agency for Israel to help students respond to anti-Israel activity on campus.