By Elisheva Rosen
On Friday, November 14, Rutgers Chabad welcomed sixty high school students for its fall Prospective Student Shabbaton. Juniors and seniors traveled from as far as Rhode Island and as near as Highland Park, and came from a diverse variety of high schools. The Shabbaton provided an opportunity for prospective students to learn about Rutgers University and to experience Jewish life on the New Brunswick campus. The prospective students were treated to accommodations with current students at Rutgers Chabad’s residence hall. “Hosting perspective students for the Shabbaton was such a great experience,” said first-year student Michelle Schechter. “I enjoyed getting to know the future Rutgers freshmen and showing them all the great things we have here at Chabad, such as the dorms and kosher food.”
The Shabbaton had a full schedule of numerous activities, including games, fully catered meals at Chabad, and a walking tour of College Avenue Campus. The tour, led by Rutgers senior Talia Friedman was the highlight of the Shabbaton. “The overall experience was really fun! My favorite part of the Shabbaton was learning about Rutgers during the walking tour,“ said Ma’ayanot senior Tali Felner, whose thoughts were echoed by numerous other attendees. Some current Rutgers students also joined the tour, which stopped at Alexander Library, College Avenue Gym and Student Centers, in addition to the College Avenue dorms and classrooms. The tour included a lengthy question and answer session in a Scott Hall lecture room where the prospective students asked about classes and other aspects of Rutgers University. According to Bruriah senior, Shoshi Finkel, the tour was a huge success, “The tour guide was very warm and wanted to answer all of my questions about the school.”
Another highlight of the Shabbaton was the final Shabbat meal, known as se’udat shlishit, which was accompanied by a tish. “I really enjoyed the singing on Saturday night before maariv [evening prayer],” exclaimed Lisa Appelbaum, a senior at Frisch, “it gave me a feeling for a typical Shabbat at Rutgers Chabad and showed the comradery between the students.” The Shabbaton concluded with an ice cream social where prospective students mingled with current Rutgers students.
The success of this event is credited to the dedicated efforts of the event coordinators; Rivka Greenberg, administrative specialist at Rutgers Chabad, student Elisheva Rosen, and Resident Advisors, Benjamin Hutt and Elisheva Greenblatt. Rutgers Chabad is encouraged and excited by the success of the event and is planning another Shabbaton to take place during the spring semester.