Photos: Bentzi Sasson
This past Shabbos, 90 guests from 29 communities around the country participated in the first annual JLI Shabbaton in Crown Heights, Shabbat in the Heights.
Featuring a plethora of lectures, classes, Farbrengens, luxurious Shabbos meals, a crossfire session and entertainment, the Shabbaton opened with a special visit to the Rebbe’s room for personal prayer and reflection; it concluded with a visit to the Rebbe’s residence where guests were addressed by the Rebbe’s longtime Mazkir, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, followed by a visit to the Ohel.
Rabbi Chaim Hanoka who headed a delegation from Pasadena, CA, chaired several sessions and opened the program in 770 as participants were granted entry into the Rebbe’s study. Following Mincha and candle lighting at Oholei Torah’s ballroom, Rabbi Simon Jacobson delivered a humorous, engaging talk to welcome Shabbos.
All participants joined together for an inspiring joint Friday Night Shabbos meal in Oholei Torah led by Rabbi Yitzi Magalnic or Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Greetings were heard from Shabbaton participant, attorney Nancy Miller from California and the keynote was eloquently delivered by Shabbaton Scholar-in-Residence, UK’s Rabbi Yitzchok Schochet who spoke about reshaping perspectives in a talk titled “What You See Is Not Always What You Get.”
Shabbos morning programming opened with a pre-Shacharis group study in Chassidus, led by Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI, followed by an inspiring davening led by Chazan Yossi Klein.
Shabbos lunch was hosted by Crown Heights families followed by an afternoon lecture by Rabbi Schochet and a special crossfire session anchored by Mrs. Molly Resnick. During the crossfire, participants were able to ask any question of a panel of rabbis including Rabbis Chaim Hanoka, Yitzchok Schochet and Naftali Silberberg.
After mincha, an emotional women’s Farbrengen was hosted and led by Mrs. Shaindy Jacobson, Director of JLI’s Rosh Chodesh Society. The men Farbrenged with JLI Editors Rabbis Mordy Dinerman and Naftali Silberberg at the Karp family residence.
A musical Havdalah inspired by Modzitzer niggunim was led by JLI’s Rabbi Dubi Rabinowitz followed by a festive Melave Malka at the Jewish Children’s Museum. The Keynote was delivered by the always passionate JLI Chairman, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky. After greetings from Shabbaton participant, Glen Michel the group was treated to a comedy show by Marc Weiner.
On Sunday morning, Rabbi Berel Epstein took the group on a tour of Crown Heights, which concluded in the Rebbe’s home where Rabbi Krinsky moved participants with inspiring anecdotes from his years in the Rebbe’s service. Following a lavish breakfast hosted by the Rubashkin family, the weekend culminated with a visit to the Rebbe’s Ohel.
Plans are already underway for JLI’s Shabbat in the Heights 2016.