BROOKLYN – There are times as a Shliach, where after spending many hours putting all your energy and strength into building your community, you may feel like you are using Lego bricks instead of actual bricks. However, there are those moments where someone calls, texts or emails you a truckload of real bricks and at that moment you realize that the little Lego bricks indeed add up. After an inspiring weekend in NY at the CTeen Shabbaton, many Shluchim experienced precisely that, with glowing reviews and feedback from their teens. Here is just a few.

Zack – Hi Rabbi, I had a fantastic time at the 11th CTeen international Shabbaton! Shabbat dinner was a great experience meeting new people and hanging out with old friends. I also really enjoyed being in Time Square with thousands of teens just like myself, and walking down the streets of Time Square screaming “I am a Jew, and I’m proud.” These are only a few of my favorite parts! –

Arielle – I left CTeen International Shabbaton knowing that I MATTER and that all of those around me matter. We should embrace and share our Judaism with pride!

Ira – My favorite and most memorable part about this Shabbaton was seeing so many Jewish people from around the world come together as one. It was indeed a beautiful sight. I loved meeting so many new people and getting to know them, I enjoyed visiting the Ohel and saying a prayer and asking for a blessing right next to the Rebbe and his father in law. It was an experience I will never forget and can not wait for next year!

Ethan – It was great spending time with a group that made me feel so welcome! My favorite part of the Shabbaton is going to the Ohel and writing the letter and the talk about science and Torah. I feel like my understanding of my religion and culture has grown so much, and I feel more attached to Judaism than I’ve ever felt in my life.

Michelle – I enjoyed the Shabbaton weekend. Some of the best parts of the trip were being so close with everyone and learning so many new things about Judaism, I was shocked and filled with joy when so many young Jewish teens celebrated Jewish pride in Times Square. It is an experience I will never forget. Seeing so many other Jewish teens be so involved in the Jewish community is truly inspiring, and I hope to grow with this community.

Elizabeth – This CTeen international Shabbaton was terrific. It was an experience that opened my eyes more and helped me get a better understanding of my religion. A fantastic part of this event was going to the Rebbe’s grave and being able to see the place where the man who started Chabad rests. However, my favorite part was, something that wasn’t on the schedule; it was sitting with the members of my chapter and hearing their different experiences, beliefs, and views on Judaism. As a Jewish teen, this trip helped me reconnect with my religion and get closer to God. It also left me with a want to learn more.

Rachel – The Shabbaton was an incredibly enriching weekend filled with immense pride, joy, and excitement. I was amazed at the unified connection everyone shared and experienced from Times Square parting to 770 services. A major theme I took from the Shabbaton was unity because everyone’s connected through Judaism despite living all over the world. The weekend, especially Shabbat, reminded people of their roots and energized their Jewish battery to help them continue living their life as a proud Jew.

Jessica – The Shabbaton is the most fabulous weekend of the year. It is a time like no other where I can be in a city I love with people I love. It is time I can explore my heritage while meeting thousands of other teens like me. It is a time where I can thank Hashem for all that he has done for me. Moreover, most of all, the Shabbaton gives me the resources to show me that I matter!

Aaron – Yesss, to be honest, this was the best weekend of my life, and the amount you guys have done for us the love and passion you put in is beautiful I can’t express how thankful I am for this. I know my Cteen career is coming to an end and it ended with a bang we broke CTeen, 😂😂 thank you so much and let’s continue this amazingness through the next year and Shabbatons.

David – I enjoyed New York. I made so many friends and made plans with some people in Cali. I can’t thank you guys more for letting me experience how it genuinely feel to be a part of something bigger than myself. Till next time 😄😄😄

Reut – Thank you for this fantastic experience! I’m still in shock that it happened! I had so so much fun, and I learned a lot and connected more with Hashem! Word can not thank you for what you have done! ❤✡🕎😻🙏🏻

Sam – The Shabbaton was quite frankly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. To be able to experience that feeling of being among my people and not being the odd one out is something I haven’t gotten to experience on that level in just about ten years. The Times Square Take Over, and the afterparty were two of my favorite things, and then the Friday night services at 770 were like nothing I have ever experienced. The connections I made there have given me more Jewish friends that I can talk to, and it made me feel proud to be Jewish.

Hi Motti and Rochel, 
I am overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude for the kindness and love you showed my son this weekend. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I never even had the pleasure of meeting you until I dropped him off. The photos and videos were a blessing and incredible insight into a side of him I don’t often see. The pure joy in his smile and watching him let loose and celebrate his heritage was an unbelievable gift. I watched the live feed from Time Square and saw all those beautiful teens dancing, singing and celebrating their shared culture. I was in tears. It was so moving. I loved the message for the closing ceremonies of IMATTER. What a powerful and essential message. The Rabbi with ALS especially touched me. What a perspective on life and what a fantastic lesson to reiterate. We all have a purpose in life. These small moments were just a tiny glimpse into an extraordinary experience in his life. It’s interesting that he loved the more intimate moments more. The smaller groups were his favorites. I can’t even imagine how it could be better than what I saw. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for taking such great care of our kids and being such warm, supportive and loving friends, especially to a virtual stranger. You will hold a special place in our hearts. Wishing you love and Mazel with your precious new baby. Most gratefully, Elisa

Matt – I believe the most inspiring moment of the Shabbaton was Times Square because expressing my Judaism with thousands of other Jewish teenagers in front of hundreds of strangers in Times Square taught me how to be proud of my heritage and who I am.