Monday, June 05, 2023

The Sibshops Sibatone, a weekend retreat exclusively for teen girls who have a sibling with a disability, took place this year in Lakewood.  All of the teen girls, plus a group of incredible and dedicated facilitators, stayed together in the Bnos Chaim Seminary dorm for a Shabbos of fun, inspiration, camaraderie and relaxation.

There was plenty of delicious food, spirited singing, lively laughter, thoughtful discussion, and cakes and snacks generously sponsored by Pomegranate Supermarket. One of the highlights of the weekends was the “Get to Know Your Facilitators” panel.  The panelists shared with the girls their earliest memories of working with individuals with special needs, what they have gained personally from their work, and what they have learned from the families they service.  The panel was enlightening, and inspiring, and even brought some of the girls to tears because they were so moved.

The guest speaker was Mrs. Yehudis Wolf, assistant principal of Bnos Bais Yaakov High School in Lakewood.  Mrs. Wolf said that the central beam in the mishkan was made from Aishel Avrohom, the tree under which Avrohom performed all his chesed, a symbol that chesed is what holds up the world. The message was that anything and everything that we do to help our special sibs is literally holding up the world, as the world stands on chessed.  Also, any chessed we do acts as a boomerang and brings chessed and goodness right back to us.

Positive feedback came pouring in immediately after Shabbos. “Thank you so much for a beautiful Shabbos!” said one excited mother. She continued “ my daughter really came home on a high!”

Another parent said about the weekend “I just wanted to say a big Thank you! My daughter had a phenomenal time at Sibatone!  It really recharged her.  She was smiling and giggling, not to mention talking about her experience all night. Your creativity, enthusiasm, delicious food and care for detail did not go unnoticed!  Thank you again!”

Learn more at http://www.ohelfamily.org.

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