When the Bruriah 10th graders heard sophomore shabbaton, in Bergenfield, was coming up, they had no idea they were in for the experience of a lifetime. The adventure began with a pre-shabbaton speed dating program, where each girl and her partner were asked a silly question in order to expand their friendship. Then the girls enjoyed an eye-opening shiur on how to support a good friendship, by Bruriah’s own Mrs. Kaisman. After a quick sushi break, the girls got down to business, creating skits, songs and centerpieces for shabbaton, as well as a scavenger hunt for Friday afternoon. After a busy Friday with lunch on Queen Anne Rd., students headed back for pre-Shabbat pictures. Shabbat was welcomed in with a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat at Congregation Beth Abraham followed by dinner and lots of singing. Next came a specially created program exploring the shabbaton’s theme of “Impressions” that prompted the girls to look at impressions from a different point of view. The rest of the evening was spent showing off what the students had prepared the week prior: the stunning performance of “Lecha Dodi” by the choir, and the skit that made the whole room erupt in laughter. The night concluded with powerful words of Torah by Doron Greenspan, and one last Bruriah style kumzitz.
After Shabbat morning davening, led by Rav Moshe Tzvi Weinberg, the sophomores heard from a panel of their teachers, as well as former Bruriah teacher, Rebbetzen Peshi Neuberger. Each teacher shared a meaningful experience when someone made an impression on her—for good or for bad. Then the panel was flipped to the 10th graders, and one by one, girls shared some of their powerful experiences. Each story created a meaningful link between the teachers and the students, adding to the relationships formed in school. During the program, you could feel the intense atmosphere around the room as the stories were being shared.
Lunch was served with a side of more zemirot and fun songs that added to the energy of Shabbat. At seudah shelishit, Rabbi Oratz shared one final dvar Torah about the personality that one chooses to display. A beautiful Havdala was followed by everyone immediately starting to prepare for a melava malka extravaganza! The night began with the incredible David Blatt, an illusionist who blew the minds of everyone at the event with his quick hands and amazing memory! The melava malka ended with a bang, with a glow in the dark silent DJ dance party and a super yummy waffle bar. The shabbaton instilled in every girl, the importance of words and actions, and how they can deeply affect others, in a positive or negative light. The sophomores will forever remember the valuable lessons they learned and the bonds that were created will stay strong all through this year and beyond.
By Leora Goldstein, Class of 2022