“Conquer the Divide.”
At the Bais Rivka High School Shabbaton, these words were transformed from slogan to reality.
Shabbos Parshas Vayechi 5779 will forever stand out in the memories and hearts of every single Bais Rivka student, teacher, and chaperone who was at the Bais Rivka High School Shabbaton!
Held in the Raleigh Hotel, girls were treated to an unbelievable weekend packed with excitement and growth at every moment.
The theme of the weekend was based on the Rebbe Rashab’s Heichaltzu. The Maamer explores the root problem of all division and Sinas Chinam- our own egos. Together, Bais Rivka learned about how we need to step aside a bit, and make room for others in our hearts. Through singing, speakers, and Farbrengens we realized how we’re all different-and that’s what makes us so incredible! As a line from the theme song explained it, “Difference is the key to our unity!”
On the Shabbaton, the girls took part in interactive workshops, intense discussions, entertaining panels and more, all developing these practical ideas. To further understand our theme, and to get answers to any questions we might have had, we had the incredible honor of hearing from world renowned speakers, brought in from all over: Rabbi Dov Greenberg from California, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Herman of Pittsburgh, Rabbi Paltiel of Port Washington, Rabbi Wolf from Crown Heights, Mrs. Yehudis Bluming- Shlucha in North Carolina, Mrs. Dina Gorkin-renowned educator in Crown Heights, and Mrs. Mushka Zaltzman from Monsey, in addition to all of our teachers and chaperones who joined us.
Shabbaton started and ended with the most outstanding programs, each one leaving the girls breathless.
As every year, the 12 grade began the fun one day early, on Thursday. The fun in Bounce, the inspiration from Rabbi YY Jacobson, the beautiful Kumzitz, and the joint efforts to set up the hotel all created a unique blend of memories that will foerever hold a place in our hearts.
On Friday morning we were all awake and ready to welcome the rest of the school! Students were greeted at the door with incredible energy and excitement, diving straight into the action.
After Mincha, students who baked beforehand showcased their edible goods in a grand event called A Taste of BR.
We then welcomed Shabbos in, lighting over 600 candles in one room.
There were eye opening workshops and farbrengens that lasted for hours.
Girls were assigned seating for the Friday night meal, in the spirit of “Conquering the Divide,” and many new friendships and fun moments were created, with discussions lasting through the night. Shabbos continued with a question and answer panel, Shiurim, and time for girls to really get to know their schoolmates in a new light.
But it didn’t even end there- when Motzei Shabbos came around, it was a whirlwind of fun, from face paint by the incredibly talented Hanoka family, to a smashing live game show, to an educational yet entertaining science show. We then had a beautiful concert by Hindy Markowitz, who astounded us and moved us to tears with her song describing her positivity and courage through all of her challenges. We then had an awesome talent show, where we were treated to song presentations, drawings, dance, humor, and poetry from our talented schoolmates. This was followed by spirited dancing with live music by Rochel Danow and an energizing, heartfelt kumzitz which lasted for hours.
The Shabbaton ended with an inspirational wrap-up program on Sunday, after which we went to the Ohel as a school on our way back to Crown Heights.
Although the Shabbaton may be over, its effect is now real and tangible in the halls of Bais Rivka High School- the awareness brought up, the camaraderie shared, the sweet memories, the inspiration gained-has been life changing.
The students, teachers, and parents of Bais Rivka High School extend their most heartfelt thank you to every incredible individual who made this Shabbaton happen. For all of these people, Shabbaton was something they lived, breathed, and spent an immeasurable amount of kochos and hours on.
Rabbi Benjy Stock
Mrs. Sara Blau
Shabbaton Heads: Rivka Gittel Newman And Tonna Pewzner
12th Grade Shabbaton Heads:
Chaya Mushka Baumgarten
Chaya Sara Heber
And of course all of our dedicated Shluchos and Bais Rivka students, twelfth grade in specific, without whom the Shabbaton would never have happened!
An additional thank you must be mentioned to the parents who generously donated and so kindly enabled many girls to join us on Shabbaton.