TORONTO, CANADA 11/30/13
By Dory Abelman
Four neighboring CTeen chapters in the Greater Toronto area held an amazing and inspiring joint Chanukah event. The program was such fun because we got to meet new people, each of whom had something great to share. In all, about 50 teens took part in the cooperative program, which was full of fun activities, people, and delicious food.
The program took place in a large-sized room that had high ceilings, chandeliers and decorated walls and could be used as a banquet hall. As soon as any person walked in, he or she could see that the room was full of smiling, funny and friendly people. There were bouncy castles, a cotton candy machine, popcorn machine, hotdogs, sufganiyot, potato latkas…. Okay, aside from the food there was also a great DJ who played energetic Jewish music (from popular Jewish artists), as well as some other awesome games. There was this crazy-fun bouncy-castle platform on which we could jump with our new friends, and some blow-up basketball nets, too, on a separate blow-up platform! It was awesome! These activities made it so easy to meet new people and make new friends in the community.
As much fun as we had, the Chanukah activity we had was also really inspiring (seriously, I’m being completely honest here). We participated in a group-wide havdallah, where we were all given candles and stood around in a circle filled with fog, our candles lit up from the DJ’s awesome fog machine. We each took turns lighting the candle of the person on our right, using the flame that had just been kindled on our own candle by the person on our left. We then sang some prayers and chanted some fun songs. Looking around, we were a bunch of inspired teens, talking and laughing and happy together. The rabbis asked us, “How do we abolish darkness?” They answered, “By bringing in light!” We learned that through doing the mitzvot, like kindness, we could bring “light,” happiness, into our lives and (especially) the lives of others.
Being a Chanukah event, following havdallah, we did light the Chanukah menorah (of course). Using our candles, we each lit the shamash and then the other candles after saying some Chanukah prayers all together. Then we sang more beautiful songs.
It’s amazing how some dedicated people, like our CTeen counselors, can turn a group of youth into a caring team of inspiration, hoping to positively change the world by helping people around them and learning the amazing power of Judaism. These amazing CTeen leaders are great at bringing youth together in a place where they can explore their talents and potentials, ultimately empowering them to positively change the world. As the CTeen slogan goes: “Power of YOUth!” Thank you CTeen for such a great evening! The Toronto chapters had such an amazing time!
WE LOVE CTEEN!