A TanenbaumCHAT Shabbaton serves as a great opportunity to reinforce the many ideas, knowledge and values taught in the Judaic Studies program in a fun and informal camp environment. Our Shabbaton experience is a three day retreat to Camp George in Parry Sound, ON. The main goals of our Shabbaton are to help build friendships between students, explore a traditional approach to Shabbat and explore how Judaism can be relevant.
One highlight of our program is that it features Grade 11 and 12 students, called Madrichim (counselors/leaders) who have expressed a special interest in becoming student leaders to help other students connect to the traditional side of Judaism & Shabbat. Much of the program is facilitated by the Madrichim and their initiative, creativity and energy help transform the Jewish experience at TanenbaumCHAT. Students in younger grades look up to Madrichim as both mentors and friends as the relationships developed on the Shabbatons continue back into the halls of the school.
All Madrichim go through an application and interview process conducted by the Co-Director of Student Activities, Jewish Program, along with a select committee of students and staff. The program looks for a variety of students with many different skills and backgrounds such as leading rituals/prayers, playing guitar or other instruments, as well as making creative movies and other media-related presentations. Though each and every Madrich/a has his or her own unique set of skills and no two are exactly alike, they all share a pride in their Jewish identity and a desire to continue strengthening it as part of the TanenbaumCHAT community.
Once accepted into the program all Madirchim go through training, in order to allow them to become successful Jewish leaders. All Madrichim understand that their role as a Madrich/a, beyond attending Shabbatonim, includes a commitment to:
• organizing the celebration of Jewish Holidays in the school throughout the year;
• professional development meetings on select Sundays during the school year;
• being a dugma, a personal example, through appropriate behaviour both in and outside of the classroom.
Being a Madrich/a aims to strengthen our students’ Jewish identity by engaging them in activities and discussions about relevant Jewish topics in a highly interactive and social environment. It also enables our students to interact with and build bonds with the teachers, older students and fellow peers that isn’t always possible during school hours.