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The Return of the Shabbaton

As the sun set last Friday, Hebrew Academy high school students and faculty gathered in Miami Beach for the first Hebrew Academy Shabbaton in years. After numerous hours of planning, students were able to enjoy a variety of activities in different locations.

The Shabbaton began Friday evening, when students made their way to the auditorium for Kabbalat Shabbat. After Tefillah, students enjoyed a buffet-style dinner while sitting with students from all grades.

Shani Mouyal (12th) shared, “It was a good way to get to know and talk to people from other grades whom I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise.”

Concluding the evening was a Shabbat Oneg in the auditorium, filled with joyful singing and enhanced by an array of desserts. Afterwards, students returned to their host homes for the night.

Shabbat morning began with Shacharit at the Miami Beach JCC, followed by a small Kiddush, and students were then divided into Chavruta groups to learn a Torah portion relating to the Parsha or Rosh Hashanah.

Rabbi Manne stated that he “loved the learning experience,” and that it was “an awesome interactive learning opportunity for the students.”

Soon after, students made their way to the Schottenstein home for an exquisite lunch and then enjoyed a couple hours of free time to relax with friends.

“The Shabbaton was all about connecting with everyone in the school, and the free time gave us a way to spend more time with our closest friends,” said Elior Weinberger (9th).

Later that evening, Mincha and Maariv took place back in the auditorium, along with Seudat Slishit, and Havdalah concluded Shabbat. Once Shabbat ended, a Kumzitz was held in the gym, capturing the Motzei Shabbat spirit. Finally, those who remained for the communal, integrative Asheknazi-Sephardi Selichot service were treated with pizza and ice cream.

“I truly enjoyed the Kumzitz,” said Shana Strohli (9th). “It was very spiritual and inspirational, and I felt like I was part of a community rather than just a school.”

The students are extremely appreciative of those who contributed to the Shabbaton’s success– the Student Council, Student Life Coordinator Morah Twito, the staff, the maintenance crew, the hosts, and the sponsors. The 2022 High School Shabbaton was a great way to start the year on the right foot, encouraging the students to anticipate coming events.

By: Tova Bossewitch

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