Amid much anticipation and excitement, on October 12, 2018 – the 3rd of Cheshvan, the Neve Chabad community boarded the bus en route to our annual Shabbaton.

This year’s Shabbaton took place in the nearby Negev gem, Kibbutz Kramim. This picturesque location was peaceful, beautiful, and provided our community with the perfect atmosphere of growth and companionship which was felt for the 24+ hours we spent there. Spending a weekend in the company of nearly 90 fellow pioneers, talking, laughing, and connecting, was so important and beneficial to us as a small but quickly growing garin (Seed Group).

 

Pre-Shabbat craft with Malky!

 

Writing a community letter to send the gravesite of the Chabad Rebbe before Shabbat.

 

Writing a community letter to send the gravesite of the Chabad Rebbe before Shabbat.

Shabbat began with the women in the dining hall for candle-lighting while the men gathered for evening prayers. After the services, a traditional Friday night festive meal was served in the dining hall. Neve Chabad families utilized this time to sit and talk with friends both new and old, something we often don’t have the luxury of doing during the workweek. After dinner, the kids were put to bed and looked after by babysitters, so that the adults could participate in some quality community-building time. The men and women held separate “farbrengens,” or uplifting, spiritual gatherings, each led by community members.

Despite the late night, Shabbat morning dawned bright and early as the kids rushed to the dining hall for a special Shabbat breakfast, then participated in a children’s Tefillah circle led by a Neve Chabad mom while the men gathered for a lively Shacharit service. Shabbat Kiddush and lunch took place in the dining hall with the famous Neve Chabad atmosphere of comraderie, good energy, and words of Torah.

After lunch, we split into groups for some team building activities, which were both delightfully fun and revealing. With some free time midday, we set out to explore the kibbutz farm and hike the beautiful grounds. We then sat down for an inspiring Seuda Shlishit where we sang and talked until Shabbat was over.

We left the Shabbaton and boarded the bus back to reality with a renewed energy and sense of community spirit. It was an inspirational and influential weekend which we carry with us, and within our community, for the entire year long. Thank you Nefesh B’Nefesh and OR Movement for enabling Neve Chabad to participate in this wonderful experience.

(You know it’s been a great Shabbbos when the all the boys fall asleep on the bus ride home!)