The 2,000 young participants of the ninth annual CTeen Shabbaton packed Times Square on Saturday night for a Havdalah ceremony and celebration that had teens and their Chabad-Lubavitch chaperones in high spirits as they heard from speakers and listened to the inspiring sounds of musical performer Eli Marcus.
CTeen chapters from Moscow, Monaco and Brazil attended the Shabbaton for the first time, joining other groups from around the world, including 75 Israelis, to make this the largest international representation to date.
“You could feel the energy in the air,” said Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302, looking around at thousands of students exhibiting Jewish pride, identity and happiness.
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302 (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Rabbi Mendel Perlstein, CTeen program director (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)
Videos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—were shown on Times Square Jumbotrons. (Photo: Bentzi Sasson)