Shabbatons Q&A

Q. What is a Shabbaton?
A. A Shabbaton is an extended Shabbat retreat weekend, from Friday through Sunday, geared towards Jewish teens in grades 9-12 (Shabbatons for grades 6-8 are available through our Junior department). We strive for our Shabbaton to be a space where Jewish teens of diverse backgrounds and observances can share a meaningful Shabbat together in an exciting and joyful way.

Q. How much does Shabbaton cost?
A. The price for a Shabbaton is subject to location. (It varies based on travel and other expenses). Your hotel room, food, transportation and activities are all part of the subsidized price.

Q. How do I get the best price for Shabbaton?
A. Apply during the early bird blitz! This promotion often runs for a few days only so apply quickly! You will not be charged anything during the application process. If you receive your acceptance letter after the promotion ended but applied during the early bird pricing, you will still receive the early bird price!

Q. What happens if I don’t know anyone at Shabbaton?
A. Our staff and advisors are always around to make sure you feel comfortable and are having the best possible experience!

Q. What are “advisors”?
A. Advisors are an amazing group of people who attend Shabbatons, overnight events and weekly socials to connect with you! Advisors are your go-to for learning discussions and awesome conversations about what being Jewish is all about!

Q. What is the standard supervision and safety at Shabbatons?
A. The safety and wellbeing of Shabbaton participants is our number one priority. NCSY staff are prepared for medical emergencies, and we work closely with personnel at retreat sites to ensure that security measures are clearly understood and consistently implemented. Additionally, participants are expected to follow all rules and safety parameters which include attendance at the set programming times, obeying curfew, and acting in a manner which ensures the personal and group safety of all trip participants. For the official NCSY Conduct, Policy, and Behavioral Standards Manual, please see

Q. I have applied for a Shabbaton, now what?
A. Please note that your attendance to the event is not guaranteed. Once you submit your application you will be automatically waitlisted. Our team will review the applications and send you a status update in a couple of weeks. We ask for your patience and understanding as we process the hundreds of applications that come our way. Once your application is approved you will receive an email asking for payment or a payment arrangement. You will not need to submit any payment until your application has been processed by our staff.

Q. What does it mean to be “waitlisted”?
A. At this time your Shabbaton registration has been submitted and we have received your request to attend. Our team will review your request and you will receive an update on the status of your application within a couple of weeks. We ask that you be patient during this process and reach out to if you have any concerns.

Q. I received an email saying that my application for Shabbaton has been approved, what do I do?
A. You will have 24 hours to submit online payment (or email for a payment plan) to claim your spot! If there has been no active communication or payment within 24 hours, your spot will be given to another teen.

Q. My friend got accepted to the Shabbaton but I am still waiting to hear back. What should I do?
A. Hang tight, we didn’t forget about you! Feel free to send us a follow up email to and let us know the situation. Please be respectful of our process and hardworking staff and know that we are doing everything we can to help.

Q. What kind of documents do I need to submit in order to attend Shabbaton?
A. Once accepted a staff member will look over your application and request the following documents:
Signed Liability waiver
Photo Release (parent and child)
Health card (photocopy)
Passport *
Travel insurance *
Activity Waiver **
Emergency contacts, food restrictions, medical information
Rooming requests
* For Shabbatons which require travel outside of the country
** For activity dependent events

Q. I already submitted a liability waiver and photo release for a previous Shabbaton, do I need to submit it again?
A. No, if the liability waiver and photo release has been submitted on the event portal, it carries over from year to year (it is the parents responsibility to request any changes when necessary)

Q. I don’t know a lot of people, and I’m not sure who to put on my rooming request. What should I do?
A. No worries, please email us at and we will do our best to accommodate you with some awesome and like-minded teens!

Q. I am locked out of my account / forgot my password, what should I do?
A. Please email for assistance.

Q. Help! What do I pack for Shabbaton?
A. The general packing list is provided below. More details will follow when you receive your Shabbaton information package before your event.
Health Card (or copy)
Passport (if crossing the Canadian border for Shabbaton)
Shabbat clothing for Friday night and Saturday (slacks and button-up shirt for boys, long skirt and appropriate top for girls)
Casual wear for Saturday night/Sunday
A Kippah for boys (and tefillin) – we have extra if you need
Phone charger
Warm clothing for outdoor activities in Fall and Winter (such as jacket, gloves, hat and scarf)
($20-$30 cash extra for souvenirs or snacks)
Swimwear (if a waterpark or pool is on the Shabbaton agenda)
Extra pillow/blanket (depending on Shabbaton location)
Please note: NCSY will not assume responsibility for any lost or stolen items. It is recommended that valuable items not be brought on the trip, as with the dynamics of the group and the schedule, valuables and money can be misplaced.

Q. Do I need spending money for Shabbaton?
A. No, however many teens prefer to bring $20-$30 for spending on souvenirs or snacks.

Q. Is transportation provided?
A. Yes, transportation is provided to the Shabbaton (however teens are required to arrange transportation to and from the bus). The exact locations for meeting our buses are emailed out the week before the Shabbaton weekend. For this reason it is important to have complete parent contact information from all teens attending. For security reasons, we don’t share details about travel publicly to protect the safety of our participants and staff. If you have specific questions about travel, please email us at

Q. What are the sleeping arrangements at a Shabbaton?
A. The Shabbaton accommodations are at luxurious hotels and resorts. Teens will be asked to fill out their rooming requests on the event portal. Each room sleeps approximately 3 people. Once accepted into the event, parents and teens will receive an email with the deadline for rooming requests. After this deadline we cannot accommodate any rooming switches. Should there be any major concerns at the Shabbaton, we will do our best to accommodate teens with the necessary on-site switches.
Please note: boys and girls are separated onto different floors of the hotel and are not allowed to be on the same floor after curfew. Teens who break curfew may be asked to go home early (at their own expense) or will not be accepted for future shabbatons.

Q. Can you accommodate my specific dietary restrictions at Shabbaton?
A. Yes, please make sure the event portal with your details is up to date with your information. Should you have any concerns (or are having difficulty updating your information online) please feel free to email for assistance. If your dietary needs are not communicated (either on the portal or through email/phone call) we cannot guarantee that the food will be to your needs..

Q. Who can I talk to about my medical needs?
A. It is extremely important that we are aware of your medical needs in order to best help you in case of emergency. Please do not hesitate to reach out and discuss this with us before the event. You can email to schedule a time to talk.

Q. Who can my parents reach out to if they have any concerns while I am at a Shabbaton?
A. Your point of contact will be provided to you in your information letter that you will receive approx. 1 week before Shabbaton. Please note, the designated phone will be off on Shabbat, a hotel number will be provided.

Q. What does a “Regional” Shabbaton mean?
A. The term “Regional” relates to the Canadian Region of NCSY. Regional Shabbatons are extremely popular because there will be Jewish teens from across the country attending. It is recommended that you apply to regional events early.

Q. I really want to go on a Shabbaton, but I have something else scheduled for that weekend, will there be another opportunity for me?
A. The Highschool division has three scheduled regional Shabbatons (Fall, Winter and Spring). The Junior division has two scheduled Shabbatons.
All of them fill up super quick, it is best to think ahead and apply when registration opens!

Q. I have applied to Shabbaton, but I may not be able to attend. What is the cancellation policy?
A. For a full refund, you must email at least 2 weeks before the Shabbaton.

Q. Is there a Shabbaton schedule I can view so I can plan around it?
A. Yes, please subscribe to our events newsletter here for up to date information.

Q. What is the cancellation policy?

A. We understand that plans can change unexpectedly, and we strive to accommodate our participants as best as we can. To ensure clarity and fairness, we have established the following cancellation policy:

1. Cancellation Deadline:
   – For a full refund, cancellations must be made at least 2 weeks before the scheduled Shabbaton. Please notify us by emailing within this timeframe.
2. Partial Credit Option:
   – Should you need to cancel within 1 week of the Shabbaton, we offer a 50% credit towards a future Shabbaton. This provides flexibility for unforeseen circumstances that may arise closer to the event.
3. Medical / Emergency Situations
   – Cancellations within the week of the Shabbaton due to medical or emergency situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We understand that extenuating circumstances can occur, and we are committed to finding equitable solutions whenever possible.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our cancellation policy. Please feel free to reach out to for any inquiries or assistance regarding cancellations.