This past Shabbos, Ezra Academy joined the Brooklyn Jewish Xperience (BJX) for a Shabbaton in Midwood, Brooklyn. Rabbis Yitzchok and Moshe Fingerer, co-founders of BJX, opened up their shul, programming, and hearts to the seniors of Ezra Academy. This was extremely meaningful to the seniors, as their grade Shabbaton, a staple in the Ezra experience, hasn’t taken place for the past two years. Making sure they had this opportunity (at least) one more time was very important to all.

Following school on Friday, the students arrived at their hosts’ homes, community members who work with BJX in their efforts. Everyone met at the BJX shul for heartfelt and energetic davening. After all of the staff and students were graciously hosted by Rabbi Dr. Avi and Fraidy Waldman for the s’udah, Rabbi Moshe Fingerer and family joined and shared beautiful divrei Torah as well as inspiring stories. After the s’udah, an oneg was hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Feiger. The oneg was filled with singing and nosh, as well as words of chizuk from Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer and Mr. Feiger. Walking back to the hosts was a pleasure, as the warmth of the evening’s events overpowered the evening chill.

The following morning, davening again took place at BJX, which true to its style and nature was filled with energy and meaning. Rabbi Yitzchok shared some divrei Torah, and a hot kiddush was enjoyed, as well. The students were then broken up into groups and enjoyed being hosted by community members for the afternoon s’udah. This is a great opportunity for the students to get to meet people from different backgrounds and experiences who live lives of Torah and yir’as Shamayim, while the hosts get to meet the students and hear about their journey to follow the same path.

Everyone met back at BJX an hour before Minchah to relax and hang out in their game room. This was followed by Minchah and then to the last host of Shabbos, Mr. and Mrs. Zevy and Devorah Friedman. A beautiful spread was provided for s’udah sh’lishis and a parting message from Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer. When Shabbos was over, Maariv was davened and then a musical Havdalah was led by Ariel Adar. This went straight into singing and dancing, which was the perfect culmination to an amazing Shabbos.

From start to finish, Shabbos was amazing. A special thank you to Rabbis Yitzchok and Moshe Fingerer and the entire BJX community. As one of our students said, “They opened their hearts to us, and treated us like a family, even though that was their first time meeting us.”