Last year was our first experience at Shabbaton. We suppose we did not know what to expect. It seemed like there were 2 specific reasons we were committing. It was an opportunity to be away with our family for the weekend “unconnected” to the world, and it was an opportunity to build a sense of community with other members/families that we did not know at TBA. Never did we realize how many positive things would occur that weekend.
- We met so many great people. When we go to TBA now, it is so nice to address all our new friends who we continue to build good friendships with.
- TBA, since going to Shabbaton, has felt so much more like a community.
- Football with the Rabbi, apple picking and all the other fun activities enabled our family to bond without all the interruptions we are faced with on a regular weekend. It was like going away to camp with our family and a bunch of other people. So peaceful and so serene.
- Age doesn’t matter. We met people of different generations and it did not matter. Everyone was so willing to get to know each other and contribute to a rewarding, positive experience.
- There was lots and lots and lots of food. Who does not like good company, good food and good times? The mixing of tables enabled us to meet people we ordinarily would not speak with.
- The ice breakers, Storahtelling and all activities were well planned out, engaging and fun.
- One of the most rewarding experiences for us was the bonfire, s’mores, and singing we did around the fire after services led by our children. We look forward to repeating that experience as it was very special. Looking around the fire and seeing everyone singing, laughing and enjoying was memorable. Then an ice cream social topped it off.
- It was at Shabbaton that I also learned more about the Purim Shpiel and made the decision to be a part of the 2012 show (and what a fun show that was!)
We are sure there are plenty of reasons that keep members of our Temple on the fence about what Shabbaton is and why they should go. After all, weekends are jammed pack with soccer, play dates, parties, family commitments, etc…But it is 100% worth going!
Shabbaton was the start of better habits, values and community. It affected both my personal and religious beliefs. For one weekend, it is a chance to find an inner smile which lasted for a long time. You walk away feeling good and having a better relationship with your family and so many people you would never have had the opportunity to get to know.
Scott and Stacy Berliner