Thousands of students from 32 schools around the world are in Crown Heights and have joined together for the annual High School Convention, taking place in the spirit of Hakhel in Crown Heights.
by A Convention Attendee
The program began on Thursday with a Matan Torah experience of thunder and lightning transporting the girls to previous Hakhel scenes and highlighting the significance of this year, a hakhel year. The ornately decorated walls, scrumptious cupcake buffet, and lively music and sound effects were great accompaniments to the kickoff of the convention.
The theme song was sung by a talented Bais Rivkah student Emmi Polansky, which illustrated the point of the mitzvah of Hakhel and how it is the same now as it was in all the past years.
An aura of excitement and strength permeated the room. Rabbi Shraga Sherman addressed the girls with words of empowerment infusing within them the significance of being true to one’s self.
To intensify the hakhel feeling, the program continued on to 770 where the girls were privileged to sit downstairs and watch several clips of The Rebbe. Rabbi Mintz spoke to the girls and got them into yechidus mode. Each girl felt the apparent connection she had with the Rebbe and went into the rebbe’s room with the mind frame, as the emcee Mrs. Swerdlov said, of “leaving your pekel behind.”
The powerful event was followed by inspiring farbrengens at the Rubashkin home. And that was only the beginning.
On Friday the program continued. After davening together, many girls from different schools, the girls were met by awe inspiring rotations. There was a perfect blend of a learning experience encompassed in visuals, games, and workshops.
Exhibits created by the twelfth grade of the hostess school, Bais Rivkah, brought to life the experience and details of Hakhel. It took the girls back to Hakhel through the ages and enabled them to relive and experience Hakhel then and now.
The talent of each girl involved was evident in each exhibits display. The workshops delivered a clear guide on what it means to be a ‘battle buddy’ and practically inculcate being there for each other into our lives. The girls also had an opportunity for learning infused with fun in a chavrusa learning program.
Throughout the bustling day, there was a plentiful and delicious spread of a brunch available at all times. As the day progressed the girls were called in to take individual portraits for a grand photo of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka which will be created using the self-portraits of each student.
The convention is definitely off to a great start and the good news is that it will only be getting better!