The Lion's Tale

Shabbaton without Shabbat

Senior+gather+around+the+campfire+to+roast+marshmallows%2C+as+part+of+the+barbecue+social+that+took+place+Sunday+night.+The+seniors+headed+inside+afterwards+for+a+student-led+%22Minute+to+Win+It%22+activity.
Senior gather around the campfire to roast marshmallows, as part of the barbecue social that took place Sunday night. The seniors headed inside afterwards for a student-led

Senior gather around the campfire to roast marshmallows, as part of the barbecue social that took place Sunday night. The seniors headed inside afterwards for a student-led "Minute to Win It" activity.

photo courtesy of Romi Nachman

photo courtesy of Romi Nachman

Senior gather around the campfire to roast marshmallows, as part of the barbecue social that took place Sunday night. The seniors headed inside afterwards for a student-led "Minute to Win It" activity.

Ethan Chanin, Reporter

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Seniors embarked on a retreat on Sept. 17 through Sept. 18 at Capital Camps and Retreat Center in Waynesboro, Pa. After dealing with a busy schedule and dodging an ACT testing day, the administration decided to schedule the Shabbaton on a Sunday, instead of having it over Shabbat, like past years.

“One of the benefits and one of the purposes [of the Shabbaton] is to create an experience of a Shabbat environment with the whole grade,” Hoffman said. “That obviously was going to change when we picked a new date.”

The Senior Retreat consisted of many activities and sessions curated by students and staff. The seniors led Siyum workshops, where they applied biblical verses to timeless themes and modern works. They also partook in a barbecue and a “Minute to Win it” style nighttime activity.

Senior Anna Missner wished that she and her grade got the chance to enjoy the complete Shabbat experience, like previous Shabbatons, but still understood that the administration did their best to plan the trip to accommodate seniors’ schedules.

“The main part of the JDS shabbaton is dressing up for Shabbat and spending Shabbat together… and we were all looking forward to doing our last Havdalah,” Missner said.

For Learning Specialist Brett Kugler, however, the lack of Shabbat restrictions enhanced their experience, as seniors incorporated educational videos in their Siyum sessions. In addition, Kugler said that the schedule was more flexible, as Shabbat activities were being replaced with other engaging sessions.

“It was definitely a different atmosphere, but different does not necessarily mean worse…and the students definitely had time to bond regardless of if it was on Shabbat or not,” Kugler said.

Despite some of the traditions lost on the senior retreat, many students were able to enjoy the retreat just as much as past Shabbatons. Senior Jonas Drogin looked positively at the Senior Retreat, noting that they were still able to enjoy many Jewish traditions as a community.

“It really felt like it was a real Shabbaton—just on a Sunday,” Drogin said.

photo courtesy of Romi Nachman

Seniors Erica Cohen and Ariana Bennaim ride an elephant scooter at Backyard Inflatables in Frederick, Md. Following their time at Capital Camps Retreat Center, seniors headed to this moon bounce warehouse.

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