By COLlive reporter
Photos by Bentzi Sasson
It was a riveting weekend for the 420 teens and shluchim from 54 communities from Las Vegas to Vienna attending the International CTeen Shabbaton in Crown Heights this past weekend.
The action-packed Shabbaton combined trips, icebreakers, discussions and speakers, inspiring the attending teens to make hachlotos tovos and get more involved in their local CTeen chapters.
Accompanied the teens over the shabbaton was Alan Veingrad, the former NFL Offensive Lineman who shared his story “From Super Bowl to Super Jew.”
Veingrad, today know by his first name Shlomo, chatted with teens at their meals, touring Times Square with them and posing on a festive boat ride circling the Hudson.
His sky-scraping Hagbah after concluding the Aseres Hadibros was the climax of the minyan led by Rabbi Mendel Duchman, an activist and motivational speaker from Los Angeles, CA.
Aside from a thrilling trip to all of NYC’s most thrilling attractions, the weekend was enhanced by a thought-provoking talk by Shimona Tzukernik and a mikva tour by Dina Rosenfeld, along with a “Stump the Rabbi” session, a chassidus shiur by Rabbi Boruch Hecht, and round-table discussions led by shluchim and shluchos.
A trip to the Ohel, 770 library, and Rebbe’s room were particularly memorable, with many other classic Crown Heights stops along the way, including the Jewish Children’s Museum, matzah bakery, and sofer stam.
CTeens from across the globe are raving about the incredible weekend. “I loved it so much! What an incredible shabbaton!!!” said CTeen Dory Abelman. “I met so many amazing people and made many new friends while exploring New York and enriching my knowledge on Judaism! 😀 Could this get any better?!”
But CTeen isn’t complacent with this success. “You must demand more programs, more classes, and more shabbatons from your rabbis and rebbetzins,” urged Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Chairman of CTeen, in his address to the teens at their Sunday afternoon banquet. Heeding to Rabbi Kotlarsky’s call, Rabbi Yanky Majesky‘s teen group from Orlando is already begging for a CTeen summer camp.
“The effect that this Shabbaton has had on our teens is beyond description,” expressed Rebbetzin Chanie Kramer, Shlucha to Merrick, NY.
“The fun-packed, toichen-packed schedule far exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Only half an hour after the banquet, one of our teens, Jordan Sternbach was with his parents at Hamafitz Stam buying his first pair of tefilin.”
Shluchim thanked Rabbis Mendy Kotlarsky and Berel Frankel of Merkos 302, where CTeen is housed, for making this event possible.
The CTeen Shabbaton organizers would like to thank the Crown Heights community for so graciously hosting the teens, as well as for the memorable Shabbos family meal experience on Shabbos afternoon.
For more information about CTeen, contact [email protected]