By: Zachary Greenberg | News  | 

Floor Shabbatons Bring Wilf Campus Residents Together

Floor Shabbatons on the Wilf Campus provide an opportunity for students and resident advisers (RAs) across different backgrounds to connect and build a community. To that end, each floor in all dormitory buildings hosts at least one floor Shabbaton each year at no additional cost to residents.

The idea for floor Shabbatons came about in Spring 2017. RAs created an “experiment Shabbaton” to see whether the idea would be viable or not, and to observe which aspects worked well. The first official floor Shabbaton was hosted by the fifth floor of Rubin Hall in Oct. 2017.

The schedule of the Shabbaton is determined by each floor’s respective RAs. Generally, the floor has a meal together Friday night in either the basement of Morgenstern Hall or in the lounge of the floor itself. There are numerous icebreakers, speeches and activities that take place throughout the night. Floors sometimes have a Friday night tisch with candy, soda and zemirot. On Shabbat day, the floors will have another meal together with more activities. Often, either before or after Shabbat, there will also be another floor event. Usually between 10 and 25 residents attend each shabbaton.

Floor Shabbatons take place in all three dorms on Wilf Campus. Each floor’s residential advisors reserves a date for their Shabbaton to ensure it does not conflict with another event. There is a minimum of one Shabbaton per year for each floor, and some try to have a Shabbaton once per semester. The Office of University Housing and Residence Life offers to provide restaurant food for Shabbatons, including Chop Chop and Golan. From pizza parties, to rock-paper-scissor tournaments, to meals in the hallways, each Shabbaton has its own distinct twist.

“The unique dynamic of a floor Shabbaton allows residents to connect in a way that’s not possible in other contexts,” said Noah Hazan, the Head RA of Muss. “After my floor Shabbaton, I noticed newfound friendships, floor-wide inside jokes and more examples of YU residence life feeling more like a community.”

Many residents on campus live in their dorms for seven days a week and are often too preoccupied with school to meet each person on their floor. The goal of floor Shabbatons is for residents to connect with one another and truly feel as though they are one big family. “Floor Shabbatons provide the absolute best mechanism for residents to really get to know each other,” said Jonathan Schwab, Director of Undergraduate Housing and Residence Life. “A few minutes grabbed between classes cannot compare to the 25-hour opportunity that Shabbat provides. And it is a great way to further enhance the general Shabbat program on campus.”

Photo Caption: Morgenstern Hall
Photo Credit: The Commentator