July 17, 2024
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RKYHS Students and Faculty Join Together for Meaningful Shabbaton

The entire RKYHS student body came together for an inspiring and ruach-filled school shabbaton. Upon returning from a meaningful day of school-wide chesed, the students began their programming by watching the film “On the Map.” The movie set the stage for guest speaker Tal Brody, an Israeli-American basketball legend who addressed the students as the keynote speaker on the shabbaton and spent Shabbat with the students. “On the Map” tells the story of how the 1977 Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team prevailed against all odds over CSKA Moscow, a team that refused to play against Israel, in a game that put Israel, according to Brody, “on the map.” After the movie, students set out to prepare for the weekend were going to spend together.

Shabbat began with a musical and ruach-filled davening as the whole school welcomed in Shabbat together. After dinner, with the movie still fresh in their heads, students heard an engaging speech from Tal Brody and were inspired by his life experiences and work. The night continued with grade-wide bonding as each grade participated in a game show that the students developed for their classmates.

After a meaningful Shabbat morning davening and a plentiful kiddush, students were divided up into learning sessions with faculty on a wide variety of Judaic topics ranging from: do we really have free will, are natural disasters punishments from God, how to bounce back from challenges, Torah and sports, insight into the Lubavitch movement and more. The rest of the day was spent enjoying relaxation and bonding time with friends and classmates.

At seuda shelishit, the entire school came together to sing and relish the last moments of Shabbat. They were addressed by Judaic studies faculty member Henny Bochner, who inspired students with the message of leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.

As Shabbat drew to a close, everyone joined as one for an incredibly moving Havdala. The energy and feeling in the room was palpable, as the room shook from the voices of the students singing fervently in unison. It was a true highlight to the weekend, and a powerful way to usher out Shabbat.

The entire Shabbat was elevated by the work of the student-led Jewish Life Committee. Throughout the year, the group is committed to enhancing Jewish life and spiritual pursuits at RKYHS. For shabbaton, the group printed zemirot cards, personalized Birkat hamazon cards, as well as companions to the parsha filled with Divrei Torah, interesting trivia and stories. The group also added to the ruach by helping lead the singing and zemirot.

The shabbaton concluded with a school-wide outing Saturday night to Urban Air Indoor Trampoline Park and obstacle park, where students were able to have one last opportunity for bonding and fun. After the outing, the senior class returned to the hotel for a special grade-wide kumzitz, as the students savored their last shabbaton together as RKYHS students.

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