By: Miriam Herst
On Friday, 22 Stern College students arrived in Crown Heights for the annual Chabad Club Shabbaton.
Taking the train in, they arrived outside 770 to begin the inspiring weekend that awaited them.
The programming kicked off with an interactive tour of JEM, giving the girls a small taste of the Rebbe’s legacy and introducing them to the community they were about to spend Shabbos with.
They continued on to the Levi Yitzchak Library where they heard from Rabbi Levi Garelik about a variety of topics including basic Chassidus concepts and how to achieve a real and honest desire for Moshiach. Rabbi Garelik finished off with a question and answer session, opening the floor up to the students.
A Crown Heights family then graciously opened their home for hot chocolate and desserts and the girls went to meet their hosts and get ready for Shabbos. Friday night was full of inspiration; the students chose between attending 770 and Chevra Ahavas Yisroel, having a deep spiritual experience at both shuls. They returned to their hosts for the Friday night meal finding more inspiration and warmth there.
Shabbos day began with shul, many girls attending the shul they hadn’t gone to the night before. Lunch at their hosts was followed by an inspiring shiur given by Mrs. Bronya Shaffer at the Nunez residence. She spoke about the role of a Jewish woman in our times and the great responsibility they shoulder. Seudat Shlishit followed with a farbrengen led by Mrs. Kayla Bodnar who explored the role of a Jewish woman from a psychological perspective. They delved into Eishes Chayil, working to understand what it means to be a Jewish woman, wife, mother and active member of society.
An inspiring Seder Niggunim followed at the Nash residence where the students joined local Crown Heights girls for singing, inspiring Rebbe stories and the opportunity to make new friends. The girls all joined together for Havdallah, an inspiring end to a beautiful shabbos.
The Melave Malka on Motzai Shabbos was hosted by the Andrusier family and featured Special Art Technique by Estee Klein. The students each had the chance to paint her own canvas with instruction by Estee and were encouraged to express their own creativity. Armed with their paintings, complimentary sweatshirts and inspiration they headed back to Manhattan after a beautiful weekend in Crown Heights.
“I’ve been to Crown Heights countless times as a Lubavitcher, but it was beautiful to go as a Stern student as well,” said Eliana Hendler, co-president of Stern’s Chabad Club, “It helped me view the community through new eyes and it was inspiring to see girls’ reactions as they experienced the beauty of Crown Heights for the very first time.”
“The Chabad community never ceases to amaze me with its vibrancy, overflowing Chesed, and sheer sincerity,” said Alyssa Greenberg, Chabad Club member, “Their commitment to spreading Torah is awe-inspiring. Valuing each person as a precious jewel, they embrace all types of people, exuding warmth and kindness. For me, the Shabbaton was one of observation and participation, and consequently, of self-reflection, as I continue to strive to integrate all I have soaked up from this Shabbos into my vision and mission in the world.”
A special thank you to Chabad Club co-presidents Chaya Schreiber and Eliana Hendler, and to all the of the gracious hosts: the Silberstein, Nunez, Nash, Andrusier, Brummel, Benjaminson, Brusowankin, Lebovic, Rosenfeld and Rieber families for making the Shabbaton a success!