Shabbatonim are 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 Grade:

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.  This year’s 3rd Grade Shabbaton is on December 15, 2018.

4th and 5th Grades:

4th and 5th graders spend a full Shabbat at Mount Zion, including sleeping over! 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 and is November 30-December 1, 2018.

The 5th grade Shabbaton focuses on our ancestors and is February 1-2, 2019.

6th Grade:

6th graders participate in a 6th Grade Family Retreat, held at a retreat center. 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. The 6th Grade Family Retreat is November 10-11, 2018.

7th Grade:

7th graders are offered the chance to experience Shabbat in a different way at the A Day Apart Shabbaton in early fall. 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.  The 7th Grade A Day Apart Shabbbaton is September 28-29, 2018.

In the winter, 7th graders also participate in the Sacred Choices Shabbaton. 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.

Learn more about the details of and register for the Shabbaton:

  • Sacred Choices Registration Letter 5778
  • Sacred Choices Parent or Guardian Interview – the 7th graders are asked to interview one or more of their parents/guardians.  We strongly believe that the adults in the home are a students first and primary educators, therefore this conversation must begin before the retreat and continue after with shared understandings of language and values. The interview is due January 3rd, 2018 during class.
  • Sacred Choices is January 18-20, 2019.

8th and 9th Grades:

8th and 9th graders are invited to take part in the and Teva Shabbaton. 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.  Torah and Teva is October 12-14, 2018.

10th Grade:

10th graders participating in Confirmation take part in a weekend retreat at OSRUI in the fall.  During this retreat they will bond as a class, study texts, connect with their personal Judaism, and have fun relaxing on Shabbat.  The Confirmation Retreat is September 21 -23, 2018.

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.

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. The next Sacred Choices Shabbaton will be on April 12-14, 2019.