When several students were asked what their favorite memory at Hillel has been, many easily replied, “THE SHABBATONS!” The Shabbaton is a grade-wide event where everyone gets to come together, keep Shabbat, and bond. They feature a variety of activities intended to strengthen the unity of the grade and provide students with an opportunity to keep Shabbat in the company of their friends. These Shabbatons take place in almost every upper school grade, providing students something to look forward to every year.
Every student has a different opinion on the best part of the Shabbaton. Maya Feuer, an 11th grade student says, “The Shabbatons were always the thing I looked forward to most. They are a time to connect with your classmates and Judaism. It is memories like these that last a lifetime. That is why I chose to be a madrich on all of the Shabbatons this year- I want to be able to continue to relive the experiences of the trip and be able to watch other younger students experience it for the first time.” Other students share similar thoughts, expressing how the Shabbaton was such a wonderful experience that they wanted to do it over again. Jonathan Abbo (11th Grade) says of his experience as a Madrich, “The best part about being a Madrich is being able to meet and connect with younger students I wouldn’t ordinarily get the opportunity to interact with. Acting as a role model for these young students is a terrific opportunity for all parties involved, as I gain essential leadership experience and the students can learn valuable life lessons while having a good time.” In general, students appreciate not only the good times and memories from the Shabbaton, but also the building of one’s connection to Judaism. For some students, this is the one day a year it is easy for them to keep Shabbat. The experience of keeping Shabbat fully surrounded by friends doing the same thing is one that isn’t forgotten.
Whether one is on the Shabbaton as a student or as a Madrich, it is a unique opportunity to build Jewish identity, as well as connect with peers. The Shabbatons at Scheck Hillel have inspired many students to keep Shabbat and pray more often, create distinct relationships with their peers, and learn from one’s surroundings to better oneself.
- January 27 – 7th Grade
- March 10 – 10th Grade