This year’s spring regional was a massive success! It started with an amazing time at Dave and Busters where the students got to enjoy hanging out with their advisors while playing the amazing arcade games! After a three-hour ride to Pinehurst, NCSYers and staff finally arrived at the hotel. The pre-Shabbat ruach was infectious! Vered, the DJ, played Jewish music, and 40 kids danced up a storm to the beat of Gad Elbaz’s “Hashem melech, Hashem malach.”
beauty of Shabbat was ushered in with candle lighting led by Alicia Mandel. Kabbalat Shabbat service was led by Rabbi Josh Stein. On Shabbat day, our amazing keynote speaker YY Rubenstein, who spoke about the importance of laughter, kept the students entertained. Afterward, the kids gathered into small groups to learn with their advisors about the Jewish understanding of optimism.
The ebbing of Shabbat brought everyone together after seuda shlishit with singing and an inspirational speech by Rabbi Black, who spoke about the central place of “Shema Yisrael” in Judaism. Afterward, everyone got up on their chairs, voices raised singing “Shema Yisrael” together.
Ronnie Baras delighted the crowd with his amazing, and hilarious, hypnosis show. Even Rabbi Black gave it a try but his mind is just too powerful to fall under anyone’s spell.
On Sunday, our senior NCSY students got to say final goodbyes as their embarked on their gap year experience next year. The trip ended with students enjoying paint balling, ATV’ing and tree top trekking.
Michelle Sankar, one of our parents, had this to say:
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed participating in the NCSY Shabbaton at Pinestone this weekend. What a wonderful opportunity you gave to us parents! . . . Meeting some other parents and getting to talk and share was terrific. Most of all – and speaking as a very experienced public school teacher – I was blown away by the true giftedness of your advisors and staff. They are youthful and enthusiastic, yet have a real way of connecting authentically with each student participant on the Shabbaton. I could see that they are warm and encouraging, demonstrating such caring for the teens. It was so inspiring to see the passion for yiddishkeit and Torah in these leaders, and yet they were able to meet the teens on the level that those young people are at. Sincere thanks for a beautiful weekend, and may NCSY continue to reach, inspire and charge the neshamas of the treasure that is our Jewish youth.
Special shout out to the entire staff at NCSY Canada and Torah High who worked tirelessly to make this Shabbaton what it was: positively wonderful!
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