By COLlive reporter
Some 150 teenagers and their Shluchim spent this past weekend in New York, the highlight being a Shabbos in Crown Heights.
Hailing from Texas, California, Toronto and more, it was the first organized Shabbaton that Chabad Houses in the U.S. organized for school-aged youth.
Credited with the effort is the new Chabad teen network called CTeens. Operating under the auspices of Merkaz L’Inyonei Chinuch, they will be properly introduced at this week’s annual International Kinus Hashluchim in New York.
The teenagers were kindly hosted by Lubavitch families in Crown Heights and joined their Shabbos meals and environment. Throughout Shabbos many were spotted cheerfully walking down Eastern Parkway accompanying coordinator Mendy Alevsky to and from the Bais Shmuel shul where they davened, then heard a lecture by the congregation’s Rabbi Yossi Jacobson.
Familiar with Jewish traditions, yet not accustomed to them, the Shabbaton’s participants gathered at the ever-engaging Jewish Children’s Museum – which they toured on Friday.
Vice Chairman of Merkaz and patron of CTeens Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky presented them with a talk about identity and Torah, while Mrs. Molly Resnik told them her story from a producer at NBC to lighting candles on Friday nights.
“Shluchim always dealt with them (teenagers), but there is nothing really organized on a global level,” says Rabbi Berel Frankel, Director of My Shliach, who is overseeing the new organization with Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky.
On Motzoei Shabbos, the teens traveled by bus to Manhattan, where they heard Havdalah near Times Square and moved on to visit the ESPN arcade zone and enjoyed an evening cruise along the Atlantic. The Yood Power Rock Trio preformed and kosher sushi was introduced.