Last week, Jewish girls’ basketball teams across the nation congregated at the Hebrew Academy to compete on the court and bond on Shabbat for the annual shabbaton.
The tournament began on Wednesday night, March 7, with a barbecue for all eleven teams at the Miami Beach JCC. After the barbecue, teams competed through Thursday afternoon to determine seeding. The Lady Warriors won both games by an average of 20 points, and continued their streak against the Hillel New Jersey Heat on Friday to advance to the semifinals.
The girls met at the high school for a Kabbalat Shabbat service and dinner, which featured singing and Dvar Torahs. After the meal, Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, a son of a Nazi, spoke to the crowd. Wollschlaeger held the room captive, as his story was inspiring to all.
The next morning, all davened at Beth Israel with the Miami Beach congregation. Shabbat concluded with a beautiful Havdalah, where Rabbi Ney played his guitar and Rabbi Assaraf sang with all of the teams gathered in a circle to conclude Shabbat together.
“Havdalah was really nice because it was the end of a beautiful Shabbos where everyone puts basketball at rest,” said Adira Kahn (11th). “Despite whatever is going on in the tournament, everyone comes together at Havdalah and sings their hearts out with the person next to them. Whether they lost to them, or is about to play the, it doesn’t matter. It is really amazing to watch and be a part of.”
With Shabbat over, the final four teams prepared to compete for the title. The Lady Warriors had the first game against Katz Yeshiva High School (KYHS). Although the girls gave it their all and fought hard, the KYHS Storm held on to their early lead and defeated the Lady Warriors.
“I think that we thought from the beginning that we had no chance so we were scared and it messed with our heads. I think we could have done much better,” said Kayla Sedighim (11th).
The girls played Posnack for third place, but fell short again and finished in fourth place.
“The Shabbaton this year was probably the best show in town that we’ve had so far,” said Michal Cohen (12th). “Also,This is my senior and it really was bittersweet. I remember my first shabbaton and this was my last. It’s crazy how far I’ve come as a player, as person and how the team has evolved, and It’s crazy.”
By: Samantha Ebner (10th Grade)