By: Sora Gordon
This past Shabbos was the one that students at Stern College for Women eagerly anticipate each year- the Chabad Club Shabbaton in Crown Heights, or “Chabbaton”.
The girls met up at the Stern building filled with nervous excitement as they prepared to make their way to Crown Heights together. Every girl’s hands were full- one carried a welcome bag of delicious treats, the other held an exclusive Stern Lamplighters Chabad Club T-shirt.
Upon arriving in Crown Heights, they were treated to a tour of the Central Chabad Lubavitch Library exhibition that included Hebrew texts and manuscripts dated hundreds of years ago and originated from Spain and other parts of Europe. This was followed by a tour of 770 led by Rabbi Halberstam which included the room where the Rebbe used to distribute dollars to long lines of people from all backgrounds and ethnicities. They also got to see the communication room where Rabbi Halberstam personally engineered the instruments used to record and broadcast the Rebbe’s talks to the world.
After that the girls got to see some more of what Crown Heights has to offer by experiencing the Kingston Avenue pre-Shabbos rush and eating delicious food at the various restaurants.
Once Shabbos came in, the girls davened Kabbalat Shabbos at 770 or Chevra Ahavas Yisroel, both experiences that were greatly enjoyed by all. They then enjoyed a Shabbos meal at Rabbi Simon and Mrs. Shaindy Jacobson’s house- a meal that truly nourished their souls and their bodies. After stimulating discussions that lasted far into the night, the girls rose early the next day eager to daven and enjoy a wonderful meal at the incredible and hospitable Schurders’– a couple who are among the heads of Chabad on Campus representatives for Israel programs for university students.
After going on Shabbos walks that allowed the girls to see more of Crown Heights, they met back at the Silberstein home for a delicious Seudah Shlishit and to hear a talk given by Rabbi Levi Garelik on the origin of Chassidus and how it is manifested in everyday life. They then got to hear from Rabbi Chaim Schochet, the director of the Jonas M. and Sadie Rennert Ivy League Torah Study Program- a Jewish Studies Fellowship Program for university students. Through intriguing stories, he imparted to the girls the prevalence and power of Divine Providence and the importance of never wasting an opportunity to speak up for the ways of the Torah and for the Jewish people.
Once Shabbos ended, the girls went back to their generous hosts to pack up and leave to Midtown, where they returned uplifted and ready to inspire others with what they had gained from their Crown Heights experience.