The Annual Chabad on Campus International Shabbaton (Shabbat convention), a conference on Jewish education and leadership, brought over 1,000 Jewish students to New York in an event aimed at strengthening Jewish identity.
The event, held October 25-27 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, attracted students from around the world to participate in a range of events, including tours around the city, film screenings and lectures.
The students stayed with host families over the Shabbat. For many it was the first time to be immersed in a full observance of the day of rest according to Jewish law.
The Shabbat program was held at the Oholei Torah center and allowed students to choose from a number of topics, interactive discussions and Chassidic gatherings.
Over 130 students took part in a special "Taste of Yeshiva Experience" designed for those hoping to attend a yeshiva program in the near future.
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, chairman of Chabad on Campus International Foundation, spoke at the Shabbat lunch to the over 1,000 attendants, saying "you are living proof that there is a Jewish future."
The culmination of the weekend came Sunday morning with a visit to the tomb of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Rabbi Eitan Webb, director of the Scharf Family Chabad House at Princeton University, said "the Shabbaton brings together students from across the full range of Jewish observance and affords everyone an opportunity to learn and grow from each other.”
Following the experience, the students will return to their local Chabad on Campus center "that much stronger and committed as individuals and as Jews," according to Rabbi Yossy Gordon, executive vice president of Chabad on Campus International Foundation.
Meanwhile a week later on Sunday nearly 4,000 rabbis gathered at Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters in New York to participate in the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries ("Shluchim").
Chabad has played a very active role as a base of Jewish life for Jews in all corners of the globe.