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HA Account of C-Teen Trip to NYC

This past week, some of the students of Hebrew Academy got the opportunity to go to New York for the 16th annual C-Teen Shabbaton of 2024/5784. Here is a personal account of the meaningful trip from freshman Adina Shagalov and sophomore Abigail Eliav.

“The Shabbaton started on Thursday, February 22, when we arrived in New York by noon. We first got lunch and then headed to Gumbo, the shopping mall. After that, we went to Soho and then to One Direction Mall. We had a competition to see who could take the best group photo, and the winner got a $25 gift card. We ended the day with a beautiful dinner/welcoming party, where we received our badges, food, and sweaters, and were able to meet all the other chapters including chapters from outside the US and from around the world. It was a beautiful night.

The next morning, on Friday, we woke up, had breakfast, and then headed on a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Following this, we headed back to our houses to get ready for Shabbat. [All of the girls] went to an all-girls concert before lighting Shabbat candles. Soon after, we had dinner which was filled with Shabbat singing and dancing. Once we finished dinner, we had a nice circle where some of us learned, after which, we roamed around New York City for a bit.

Shabbat day was a bit more relaxed. We woke up, got dressed, ate some breakfast, learned a bit, and then had lunch at our chapter head Shaykee Farkash’s parents' house. It was beautiful with inspiring speakers who spoke about how C-Teen has impacted their lives. After we left Shaykee’s house we played a game called "Fast Friends," where we sat in chairs and switched every few minutes in order to talk to everyone. After Shabbat ended, we went on the subway, our speakers blasting with Jewish music, all the way to the main event of C-Teen: the concert. Once we got to the main event of C-Teen, the concert, it started with prayers for the Israeli hostages and soldiers in Gaza. We continued with the concert, watching Gad Elbaz perform, which was exhilarating, as an enormous crowd of Jews gathered together to celebrate their Jewish pride.

The next day, Sunday, was our last day there. We enjoyed a final banquet which had breakfast, and then we headed to an auditorium where we had some inspirational speakers talk about how we shouldn’t be afraid to show our Jewish pride. We sang some songs and then we had a surprise concert again with Gad Elbaz and this time, a surprise guest singer, Nissim Black. Once we were done, we headed to the Ohel to write the Rebbe some letters expressing our emotions to him, where we then ripped up the letters and threw them in his grave for him to pray for us. Overall, it was one of the best, most enjoyable, impactful, and influential experiences for a Jewish teen.”

By: Adina Shagalov (9th) and Abigail Eliav (10th)

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