Uptown Shabbaton Unites Wilf and Beren Campuses
Approximately 150 students from the Wilf and Beren campuses gathered for the first uptown Shabbaton in almost 40 years this past weekend, Feb. 15-16. Despite a controversial statement from a rosh yeshiva urging male students to avoid the area this weekend, the Shabbaton was largely considered a success by the attendees and organizers.
Meals were held in the Shenk Synagogue and female students lodged at various alumnae and residents throughout Washington Heights. Notably, a Beren student — Bella Adler (SCW ‘20) — gave the post-shacharit dvar Torah at Klein@9, making her the first woman to do so since Lilly Gelman’s speech ended the practice over one year ago. The community minyan was located in the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (MTA) basement as opposed to the usual Klein Beit Midrash.
“This Shabbos was both chill and meaningful in all the ways a Shabbaton should be,” said Eli Weiss (Syms ‘19), an attendee of the Shabbaton who described the occasion as “momentous” in his Saturday dvar Torah. “I felt that there was a real sense of community and that the food was excellent.”
For many Beren students, the uptown coed Shabbaton was a welcome change from the usual coed Shabbatonim downtown. “It was refreshing to spend Shabbat with friends and make new friends in a chill environment,” said Talia Korn (SCW ‘19).
Preparations for the Shabbaton began as early as the fall. The Commentator reported in October about preliminary details regarding the Shabbaton which began to materialize thanks to efforts from Yeshiva and Stern College Student Councils. According to The Commentator archives, the last coed uptown Shabbaton took place on the Wilf Campus in May of 1980.
“This Shabbaton has been in works for years and it was amazing to see all the work — especially by the Office of Student Life and Nolan Edmonson from Yeshiva Student Union — come to fruition,” remarked Stern College for Women Student Council President Shoshana Marder. “Overall a very chill and fun communal environment was created!”
Though the Wilf Campus’ Furman Dining Hall cafeteria was open this Shabbat for those interested in a single-gender environment, only about 50 undergraduate men were in attendance.
This article has been updated since its original publication.