Shabbatonim are at the core of youth engagement at Mount Zion.
They are a time for our youth to connect with each other and build community. Each Shabbaton is unique in its focus, but all are fun, engaging ways to celebrate Shabbat and explore Judaism.
3rd graders spend a Shabbat together, beginning with Saturday morning services, and ending with Havdalah using Havdalah sets they make themselves! They also spend the day bonding and having fun with their classmates through organized activities and Shabbat playtime. Families also connect through family and parent/guardian programs.
4th and 5th Grades:
4th and 5th graders spend a full Shabbat at Mount Zion, including sleeping over (TBD during the pandemic)! Over the course of a Shabbat, spent at Mount Zion, students learn, play, and make lasting friendships. Families also connect through family and parent/guardian programs.
The 4th grade Shabbaton highlights our spiritual connection with Judaism.
The 5th grade Shabbaton focuses on our ancestors.
6th graders participate in a 6th Grade Family Retreat, held at a retreat center (TBD during the pandemic). The weekend is an opportunity for 6th graders and their families to learn more about the B’nei Mitzvah process and to study their specific Torah portion in preparation for Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
7th graders are offered the chance to experience Shabbat in a different way at the A Day Apart Shabbaton in early fall (TBD during the pandemic). Students will spend a Shabbat getting to know their classmates and learning about the importance of taking a day apart from the rest of their week’s activities.
In the winter, 7th graders also participate in the Sacred Choices Shabbaton (Postponed due to the pandemic). The content of this Shabbaton includes comprehensive Jewish sex education all framed within Reform Jewish values, and it is a fun and bonding retreat for all. For many, this Shabbaton is a major highlight of their Chai School experience.
8th and 9th Grades:
8th and 9th graders are invited to take part in the and Teva Shabbaton (TBD during the pandemic). This Shabbaton is a spiritual wilderness adventure at a camp or environmental learning center. Teens learn about Judaism and the environment, hike, climb, sleep in cabins, and challenge themselves on a high ropes course.
10th graders participating in Confirmation take part in a weekend retreat at OSRUI in the fall (Postponed due to the pandemic). During this retreat they will bond as a class, study texts, connect with their personal Judaism, and have fun relaxing on Shabbat.
11th and 12th Grades:
11th graders have a chance to travel to and through New York with your Confirmands and Rabbi Spilker on the Post-Confirmation New York Trip. They take in a play, recite Kaddish at Ground Zero, walk through the Lower East Side, cross Delancy Street, and more (Postponed due to the pandemic).
11th and 12th graders also participate in the Sacred Choices Gimmel Shabbaton. The content of this weekend includes a refresher on the basics of comprehensive Jewish sex education, as well as a chance to delve deeper into Sacred Choices affecting their lives now. This Shabbaton takes place every other year (Will be modified during the 2020-21 school year due to the pandemic).