For David Z. an innovative teen from CTeen’s Pacific Palisades chapter run by shliach Rabbi Eli Baitelman, Apple technology and CTeen are his greatest passions.
It was on a noisy bus ride back from a festive boat ride down the Hudson during last year’s shabbaton that the idea to combine his favorite pastimes was born: CTeen plus tech equals CTeen App.
The idea spread across the bus quickly and was soon embraced by teens, rabbis, and CTeen HQ. Discussions began to determine features the app would showcase.
After consulting with CTeen fans on Facebook, the teen leadership board, and shluchim, the app began to evolve.
“Teens, stand at the front lines and are the first to embrace technological advancements,” CTeen project manager Rabbi Mendel Perlstein, tells us. “Creating an interface where teens can connect with their Jewish friends and faith, wherever they go, will keep Yiddishkeit at their fingertips throughout the year.”
The app, which features an exclusive chat room, live news feed, photos, videos, and Jewish content, will go public February 8 on Apple iOS and Google Android at registration for the International CTeen Shabbaton.
“Boruch Hashem, there has been an overwhelming response with momentum building amongst teens and shluchim alike,” shabbaton director Rabbi Shimon Rivkin proudly relates. “We’re expecting delegations from places as far as England, Austria, and France.”
CTeen is very grateful to the gracious Crown Heights families who have offered to host teens. With 600 people signed up from more than 100 communites, the Shabbaton organizers are receiving calls from many shluchim who are still looking for residents to host teens for sleeping Friday night and motzei Shabbos (and in some cases Thursday night) and/or for Shabbos lunch.
“It is fair to say that perhaps more than all the exciting activities and thrills that the Shabbaton has to offer, just witnessing a healthy, loving family around a Shabbos table can mark an unbelievable lasting impact on a teenager,” says Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos Linyonei Chinuch, CTeen’s umbrella organization. “One of our teens from last year was so moved by our community that she has turned her life around and is currently studying in a seminary in Tsfas!”
If you have any space and are interested in hosting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.