Young Professionals Enjoy Crown Heights Shabbaton
Their resumes are jammed packed with professional experience, but now they have a new spiritual experience to add to their credentials – a Shabbos in Crown Heights. Last weekend, more than 100 participants flocked to Crown Heights for a Shabbaton geared towards young Jewish professionals, spearheaded by Tzach Lubavitch Youth Organization (LYO).
Participants from Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and many more urban areas all over North America raved about the entertainment, with first-class specialty food and drink, a unique networking event, an art exhibition by pop artist Rabbi Yitzchok Moully, and a powerful performance by singer Moshe Hecht. But it was the heimishe hospitality, toichen, and spirituality that moved them most.
"They knew that were we not coming for a weekend to party in NYC, but rather a spiritual journey of discovery," says Rabbi Yisroel Bernath of Montreal, who brought three van loads of young Jewish professionals to the event.
Farbrengens with Rabbi Mendel and Chaya Lerman and Rabbi Simon and Shaindy Jacobson lasted ‘til the morning hours, and learning sessions with Molly Resnik and ex-IDF Special Ops Dr. Gill Heart spurred ongoing conversations throughout the Shabbaton. Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, gave a motivating speech to the participants that roused them to reach their fullest potential in Yiddishkeit. Participants also had the opportunity to visit the Ohel, as well as the Rebbe’s office, where many prayers were offered and tears shed.
"You really see people's neshamos come out when they feel comfortable with each other and with themselves,” says Shabbaton guest Sabrina Bensimhon, branch manager of Montreal’s Laurentian Bank of Canada. “The Shabbaton is a safe place to be.”
A young Jewish professional himself, Shabbaton coordinator Rabbi Aaron Lazer Goodman from Australia, who is also in kollel at the Rabbinical College of America, used his own personal experience and understanding of young Jewish professionals to appeal to this demographic.
Pleased with the result, LYO program director Rabbi Kasriel Kastel looks forward to future such events. "I'd like to thank the LYO staff, as well as the assistance of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch's Suite 302 for helping to make such a successful event and provide our guests with an unforgettable experience.”