Junior Yachad Shabbaton

Parshat Tazria, over 130 people came from throughout New York to participate in Yachad’s Spring Regional Junior Shabbaton. The Shabbaton was composed of middle school students from 6 New York Yeshiva middle schools together with individuals with disabilities. Many students had never been on a Shabbaton or even heard of Yachad & this Shabbaton was an opportunity to introduce these students to Yachad, with the goal of them wanting to be more involved in the future.

Participants enjoyed a beautiful davening, which was led by both Yachad members as well as 8th grade students and advisors. A member’s mother said the following after the Shabbaton: “I just wanted to thank the individual who acted as gabbai for davening. My son went over to him and asked if he could daven mincha for the amud and was told yes. My son felt like a million bucks. (My husband has been spending hours working with him on his davening as this is something he wants to do so badly.) Thank you for giving him this opportunity. He had an amazing time over Shabbos and said everyone was really nice”. Truly inspiring!

Both members and students alike enjoyed the ruach and excitement that is always present during circle time. Shabbos continued with Improv sessions led by Blackbox Studios, and educational sessions led by Director of School Engagement, Eytan Aryeh, which focused on the importance of leadership and friendship. Through these sessions, members and students gained an understanding of what it means to be a friend and how to work collaboratively with one another. Shabbos concluded with a beautiful musical Havdalah, where participants sang and danced well past the end of Shabbos. It was surely one of the highlights of the Shabbaton.

Many students expressed how much they enjoyed the Shabbaton and how they cannot wait to be more involved with Yachad in the future.