CTeeners from around the world recently united at the 6th annual International TGIS Shabbaton. 161 chapters participated in this year’s TGIS—Thank G-d It’s Shabbat— which took place Chof Cheshvan, Parshas Chayei Sarah. Five of the TGIS events took part in large, region wide Shabbatons in the Tri State, Southern California, Colorado, The Northwest, the Midwest and in Manchester, UK.
“The time and effort that went into planning TGIS paid off with our biggest regional program to date,” shared Zalman Abend, CTeen’s Regional Coordinator. “The seeds for some of these Shabbatons were planted two years ago; it’s amazing to see them come to fruition. We’re looking forward to an even bigger turn out for our spring regional in April.”
In addition to Shabbatons and Friday night dinners, CTeen of Florida hosted a Unity Concert on Sunday, November 12, featuring Jewish rap sensation Nosson Zand. Grand havdalah ceremonies also took placed in locations such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlantic City Shabbatons.
A “30 minutes for unity” campaign was also organized,with chapters pledging to learn 30 minutes each collectively, filling the entirety of TGIS with Torah learning.
“The Rebbe always stressed the power of the youth,” says Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice-Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch. “Events like these tap into that power, and channel it toward making real, life-altering, change.”
“TGIS is amazing; I lost my voice from singing at the Shabbat table, obviously,” shared Danielle York, CTeen leader from S. Monica, California. “My friends and I made a decision to start saying tehillim together every day for a few weeks.”
The sentiment of taking on new mitzvot was felt throughout every event, as teens took it upon themselves to add a little more light. Hannah Kaplun and Maddy Gold, leaders from Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, took it upon themselves to recite shema before bed each night. “We text each other before bed to make sure that the we’re both doing it,” Kaplun shared.
“TGIS was the best way to prepare for what comes next,” shared Sara Weiss, of Skokie, Illinois.“Next stop, NYC Shabbaton!”