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The 2023 Freshman Retreat

The weekend of December 20th, the Freshman grade went on a Shabbaton trip, organized by Morah Twito. The ninth-graders traveled to the Agam Resort in Cooper City, Florida. 

Morah Twito provided many fun activities throughout the weekend. Students started the retreat with a fun bowling stop. While bowling, the teachers surprised students with snacks. Once everyone got to the resort, Morah Twito set up a team-building activity where each group had to work together to finish their puzzles, including a jigsaw puzzle, but nobody knew that one piece from each puzzle was mixed into a different one. The idea of the puzzle activity allowed the students to branch out while finding their missing pieces. 

Students then split up into groups and helped the teachers prepare for the upcoming Shabbat. They cooked a variety of foods, from cholent with Rabbi Manne to Rice Krispie Treats with Rabbi Kleinman. The students also helped beautify the Shabbat with Morah Laurene by decorating Challah covers and creating Shabbatograms.

After group photos and phone calls home to their families, the Freshmen all joined for Kabbalat Shabbat davening, hosted in the Agam Resort, followed by a delicious meal. After the meal, students played a fun activity where they had to learn and memorize information about their teachers. The winners received prizes from Morah Twito. Students then had free time to bond with their friends by playing many board games such as Codenames and Shesh Besh. 

At 9 am on Shabbat morning, students were woken up for davening followed by a fun Kiddush and lunch. The students and teachers sang Zemirot and listened to some beautiful Dvar Torahs from their classmates Abie Zohar, Emilia Wagner, Jack Ciment, and Melina Rosencovich, as well as Mrs. Kanner who inspired the full class with her speech. The students then had a few hours of free-time to spend with their friends and teachers. 

About an hour before Shabbat ended, everyone gathered in the lobby where students asked their teachers any questions they were curious about. 

The retreat was filled with joy and fun. Liel Kadosh (9th) shared, “I thought the retreat was amazing. I had a great experience with my friends and teachers.” 

Over the Shabbaton the students were able to meet, interact, and bond with each other and their teachers’ families. Rabbi Manne, Morah Twito, Rabbi Kleinman, Rabbi Levian, and Morah Tal brought their children who became one with the ninth-grade class through Shabbat. Two senior girls, Shoshana Wigoda and Noa Sasi also joined the Shabbaton to help make the event a joyful experience full of ruach. 

This Shabbaton left the students with memories that will stay with them through their high school experience, while at the same time looking forward to future fun trips!

By: Abie Zohar (9th) & Emma Attias (9th)

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