Putting aside their schools’ rivalries in order to celebrate a Jewish weekend together, hundreds of college students from across Texas and Oklahoma descended on Texas A&M University for the second-annual Grand Texas Intercollegiate Shabbaton hosted by the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Student Center.

The Feb. 19-21 program included workshops on Jewish mysticism and relationships, body art and Jewish law, and textual-based study of the Talmud; a Saturday night drum circle; kosher banquets; and Shabbat services.

Days before the event, University of Texas sophomore Amanda Stein, who recruited fellow students to attend, said: “More than anything, I hope to meet new people, make new friends, and create new wonderful experiences.”

As with a host of regional Jewish weekends across North America, the Texas Shabbaton was co-sponsored by the Chabad on Campus International Foundation.


Jewish students at the Grand Texas Intercollegiate Shabbaton at Texas A&M University don black prayer boxes known as tefillin at the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Student Center.


Women attendees lit candles Friday evening to usher in the holy day of Shabbat.


Rows of dinner tables sported the flags of all the attending schools. All told, Jewish students from Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, the University of Oklahoma, the University of North Texas, Rice University, the University of Houston, Blinn College, Stephen F. Austin University and Texas State University at S. Marcos attended.


Attendees find themselves on a group picture taken at this year’s Shabbaton.


A Saturday night drum circle after the close of Shabbat featured a bonfire.


An “American Gladiator”-style chance for students from opposing schools to play out their rivalries proved popular.


Attendees flash their schools’ hand signals during a group photo.