On Motzei Shabbos, Parshat Chayei Sarah, nearly forty teenage girls huddled together at the popular Crown Heights spot – the Besht, for an inspirational, educational and music-filled night. The event was organized by Chaya Volkov and Breindy Gottlieb, leaders of the JNights teen Program.
The night started off with a sushi buffet and delicious refreshments, including a chocolate fountain and other scrumptious treats. The program was jump started by a well known, captivating, and inspiring speaker, Mrs. Borowitz. She provided the insights into family foundation and spiritual differences between men and women. Mrs Borowitz’s disposition and warm vibe gave the girls the comfort to ask questions and share their feelings.
The event transitioned into a presentation by professional make-up artist, Vera Tovshteyn of Vera Tov Makeup. Vera shared her application tips, conducted a makeup demo, and, most importantly, she helped make the girls feel beautiful and confident.
The night concluded by a beautiful musical performance led by the well known, talented singer, Esther Freeman. The effect of Esther’s heart and soul that she invested in her performance became evident when the girls were completely attuned and eyes transfixed.
Aside for the songs that are better known, like “To Love Another” (Ve’ahavta) and “Come My Bride” (A song based on the Chassidic discourse “Baasi Legani”), Esther sang a song called “Love Yourself For You,” which was such a great hit that the girls asked her to sing it again. The song’s meaning can apply to everyone from any walk of life. The central message of the song is to “love yourself for you” – who you are, not the way other people view you. It is about not being too hard on yourself, but to remember, “It’s not how far you are, but how far you’ve come. At the same time though you think you’re ahead, you’ve only just begun.”
The girls left the concert on a complete high. To quote some responses, one girl said: “I have never heard such good music before,” and another: “I love Esther’s style of music and it motivates me to do the right thing.”
This program was created in loving memory of Shayna Bracha Bas Chaim Borowitz, OBM; may she have an aliyas neshama. Her kind soul, dedication to others and warmth is the main inspiration for the JNights program. The vision of JNights is to continue to maintain an outlet where teens can flourish and thrive. Through listening to engaging speakers, musical performances, and participating in various special workshops, demos, and art projects we will nourish the girls to feel confident in expressing themselves. This is a place for teenage girls to grow in ruchnius while having fun B’gashmius.
JNights would like thank Rabbi Y. Werde for allowing them to use the space at the Besht, and Chava Sneiderman for always providing helpful advice and generous financial support.