The Student News Site of Heschel School




Student Government and JSL Team Work Hard Planning the Shabbaton

Students wait all year in anticipation of a favorite Heschel experience: the Shabbaton! However, many are unaware of how much work goes into planning such a complex event. In particular, the Jewish Student Life (JSL) team and the Programming Council put in a tremendous amount of work to make the weekend possible. 

In an interview with Julia Bernstein, member of the JSL team, she described the planning process. She mentioned obvious parts of planning, such as the schedule and programming, as well as overlooked aspects such as arranging buses, hotel reservations, and catering. 

She expressed gratitude to student government members, particularly the Programming Council for framing the entire weekend, and the Spirit Council in charge of a crowd favorite activity, Panoply. Additionally, she acknowledged generous offers from other faculty members to help out. Bernstein said the time frame was challenging, because it was only a few weeks after break. Nonetheless, hard working students and faculty made the weekend possible.  

Lindsay Biebelberg, another member of the JSL team, talked about the process of assigning students to groups based on Google forms. She said she first created the groups with the least sign ups to assure they get filled, and worked backwards from there. She also noted her focus on gender and grade variety. 

Programming VP Eden Bar-Chama (now our newly elected student president) spoke in an interview about her role planning for the Shabbaton. She and the Programming Council began planning a few weeks before winter break. They took into consideration the previous year’s Shabbaton and “pivoted” from there. They discussed what went well and what could be improved. As a full council, they came up with a theme, and then they broke off into smaller groups. One group planned the theme sessions, another assigned table seating, and another was in charge of free time activities. Bar-Chama is grateful for her council’s work in smaller groups, as well as collaborating as a full council.  In Bar-Chama’s final remarks she said, “I hope everyone enjoyed the Shabbaton and found it meaningful and left with a deeper understanding as to why Israel is important. And of course they had fun!”

The hard work put into planning the Shabbaton is not overlooked by the Heschel community, and we all await Shabbaton 2025!


Leave a Comment
Donate to Helios

Your donation will support the student journalists of Heschel School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Helios

Comments (0)

All Helios Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *