On November 11 and 12, Shabbat Parshat Vayera, the HANC High School freshmen and sophomore girls had the opportunity to spend Shabbat together in West Hempstead. The Shabbat was filled with Torah learning, ruach, bonding, good food, laughter, and much more!

The Shabbaton began with Kabbalat Shabbat at the Young Israel of West Hempstead, followed by an opening d’var Torah from Rabbi Josh Goller (’97) based on the overall theme of the Shabbaton, chesed. The beautiful d’var Torah by Rabbi Goller conveyed the importance of chesed and being kind to others despite how they treat you or others around them. Following this meaningful start to the night, students were invited to seudat Shabbat at HANC 609.

Shortly after the meal, all students and faculty, along with prospective eighth grade girls, were invited to a tisch at the home of sophomore, Talya Rosman. The tisch was a highlight of the night, filled with singing, ruach, and beautiful divrei Torah from several morot. On Shabbat day, students were to daven at the Shul of their host followed by a kidush at the home of Ruchi and Tsvi Kushner where students were able to spend time talking and spending time with each other until lunch.

Before lunch began, students participated in a session that expressed the importance of being kind to oneself and realizing what “fills up our individual cup and what empties our cup.” Following this meaningful session, students ate a delicious Shabbat lunch followed by menuchah at their host. During menuchah, students were able to spend time at their friends’ houses or walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the beautiful weather!

As Shabbat was coming to an end, students came back to 609 for seudah Shlishit, which included a guest speaker, Dr. Rachel Fryman. Dr. Fryman expressed the importance for people to respect, care, and be kind to themselves, just like they are to others. As the Shabbaton was coming to an end, students participated in an incredible musical Havdalah with dancing! Tenth grader Eden Rosenstock remarked, “The Shabbaton was so nice. I had an amazing time and loved just sitting and talking with both students and morahs. I also enjoyed when we sang z’mirot together at the tisch on Friday night!”

Overall, the West Hempstead Shabbaton for the girls was an incredibly fun and meaningful Shabbat that gave the students the opportunity to bond with their classmates and revolved around the overall theme of chesed - for others as well as ourselves!

Thank you to mechanchot Morah Leigh Henoch and Morah Jenna Zelka for organizing the awesome Shabbaton, and to Ms. Zucker and Ms. Rachel Levian (’15) for joining the program.

By Chana Owadeyah ‘25

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