Forging a good time at Midreshet Shalhevet High School’s Shabbaton


Though a small school, Midreshet Shalhevet High School’s students filled the 195 acres of Camp Seneca Lake with the spirit of its 12th annual Shabbaton in the Pocono mountains Sept. 13 to 15, with the General Organization’s theme of the year — “A Journey Through Time.”

The intimate design of MSH aims to ensure that students are surrounded by a welcoming environment and offered individual attention in a fashion that does not forgo any academic or extracurricular opportunities, according to officials of the North Woodmere school, adding their objective is to “instill in our students the confidence to achieve their dreams and become leaders within the community at-large so they are prepared to confront the spiritual and professional challenges, as well as the opportunities, of today’s modern society.” Shabbaton works to blend classroom learning to real-world application.

On Friday, coordinator of student activities. Nechama Strauss, and MSH’s 2019-20 G.O. members — Simone Shafiro, Leah Cohen, Hila Dayan, and Kayla Feldman — organized a welcome activity that introduced the students to each other, as well as learning new thongs about old friends. The students also swam in the indoor pool, used the playhouse, sports fields and recreational areas before getting ready for Shabbat.

Prayer, singing and Torah dominated the weekend. Principal Esther Eisenman spoke with the seniors on “the next stops on our journey;” Aliza Feder chatted with freshman regarding a “journey through mitzvoth,” Rabbi Ariel Rosensweig discussed “is it fair to judge people by their future” with the sophomores; Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss debated with juniors on “Is Judaism outdated?;” and adviser Avital Weissman explained to sophomores “the journey to an apology.”

Jessie Fischbein, Rabbi Elie Feder and adviser Hindy Feder gave additional Torah lessons. Torah commentary was presented by freshman Shany Steinberg, junior Emily Weintraub and alumna Leah Feder, class of 2018.

On Saturday night, Moshe Seewald led the girls in prayer, and after a brief time to transform themselves into a reproduction of their favorite decade for the themed post-Shabbat meal,  DJ Gary Wallin spun the tunes that got everyone dancing.

The one thing the girls could not agree on was the best part of Shabbaton, but it appeared that the budding camaraderie will remain long after the weekend has ended.