How do you run a shabbaton for 150 teens from twelve cities without a common language?
“Shabbat Across Europe”, CTeen’s second annual European shabbaton, proved that friendship run much deeper than language and mentality barriers.
Traveling in from cities as far as sixteen hours away, teens from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, England and France flocked to London for an uplifting weekend of Jewish pride and friendship, organized by Chanky Friedman.
On Friday and Sunday, London’s landmark attractions such as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussaud’s, and Hamleys were streamed with energetic t-shirt cladded teens singing songs of Jewish pride and unity.
On shabbos, Alex Clare, the guest speaker and singer who starred at the shabbaton in NY, shared his story at both the boys and girl programs.
The Motzoei Shabbos programs opened with public havdalah ceremonies at the Trafalgar’s Square overlooking the London Bridge and under Big Ben.
During the closing ceremony, each teen accepted a Mitzvah upon themselves. On Sunday morning, CTeen’s Facebook page received a picture of a Mezuzah hanging on the door of Ben Bursk’s room in Manchester. “Thanks to the CTeen auction my mezzuza is now up. Thanks so much CTeen!”
CTeen is grateful to the families of Golders Green and Hendon for hosting the teens. The unconditional Hachnosas Orchim displayed by the Weinbaum family, who hosted the boys at the Jewish Family Center, and Rabbis Overlander and Plotke from Chabad of Hendon, the central location for the girls program, made a great impact on the teens.
For the teens, the only disagreement during was who would host the third annual shabbaton next year.
Refuting all their suggestions, Amie, who kept Shabbos for the first time, burst out in song, “Leshanah Habah BiYerushalayim.”