June 16, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
June 16, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Yeshivat Frisch Freshman Retreat: Where Cubs Become Cougars

By Kira Kraus ‘26

Freshman Retreat is a formative right of passage into the Frisch experience, full of the ruach and fun that Frisch is known for, and one that forges memories for a lifetime. With students coming from all different schools, it is an art to form one cohesive group after only a few days away together. At this year’s retreat, the freshman, seniors, and faculty formed unimaginable bonds that will continue to be fostered over the next four years and beyond. The seniors added an energy and helped facilitate a genuine environment of warmth and spirit. On Shabbat, they animated the experience between and during the programs through singing, dancing, and spending time with the freshmen. Havdala was both meaningful and moving; everyone stood in a circle with their arms around each other, and were so deeply invested and present in the moment. No one was left out or left on the side, everybody participated. The theme of Freshman Retreat was celebrating everyone for who they are. I was amazed that although Frisch is a big school, within our grade it already feels like a small, warm community.

Our sessions with the different faculty members were amazing. We did icebreakers and learned together. It really felt like we were all one community. Each activity that the teachers prepared for us was thought out and intentional, including Beit Midrash sessions (“Veshinantam le’Cougarecha”), breakout sessions (“Butterflies and Cougarflies: Navigating the Web of High School”), and icebreakers like “speed Cougaring,” where we just got to talk with each other for two minutes and meet each other. The “Do You Know That Freshman” game show was fun and memorable. All the activities were meant to help the grade’s dynamic become one that is close and comfortable. We also had time for sports and swimming before Shabbat, a Friday night tisch, got to meet our teachers’ families, and of course enjoyed plenty of snacks. Every aspect of the entire Shabbaton was precisely thought out and executed with passion and our values, the core four. We came into Freshman Retreat not knowing even close to half the grade, but left feeling like we made friendships and bonded with the incredibly special people in the freshman class.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles