By Risa Mond, Plano Texas
Summer; a time for people to relax, unwind, and take a break from their busy work lives. No matter how easy going the summer months may be, there are some things that should never be interrupted, like learning Torah and keeping mitzvot.
CTeen utilized the summer months, and took advantage of the free time to continue spreading the warmth of Jewish pride. This summer, CTeen spearheaded CTeen Xtreme for boys and girls, the second annual Leadership Retreat, as well multiple shabbatons around the world. While all of these were very successful, it was CTeen’s appearance at the annual JCC Maccabi Games and Arts fest that left an outstanding impression.
The JCC Maccabi Games, which take place each summer, give Jewish teens the opportunity to compete in a variety of sports and art competitions. This year Maccabi took place in Dallas, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For the fourth year in a row, CTeen’s representatives had all hands on deck at every location, operating Mitzvah booths with local shluchim to give the participants as well as the volunteers, something to add a little extra light to their day.
The CTeen Mitzvah booths featured a new mitzvah project every day for players, participants, and volunteers to take part in. Projects included sweatbands for Friendship Circle students, making and letters to be sent to soldiers in the IDF, and challah baking for seniors. Additionally, women were given an exclusive Shabbat candle-decorating project, while men were encouraged to done tefilin.
“For some of these guys this is there only time they put on Tefillin throughout the whole year,” Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, CTeen’s vice chairman explained. “It’s an amazing opportunity CTeen gets to take part in, and hopefully this experience will lead to more for them.”
It was an inspiring, and uplifting week at the JCC Macabbi games for everyone involved—on and off the court.