|A weekend Shabbaton - Beijing style|
The Ganeinu International School in Beijing, hosted their 2nd annual community Shabbaton at the Village View Resort in Huairou on 4-6 June.
The Shabbaton allowed a unique and diverse group of over 25 families to come together and build a stronger community through a variety of fun and educational activities that were all childfocused.
Stacy Palestrant who led the organisation of the weekend said, “We knew that we wanted it to be focused on the kids and to be supportive of the school , hence the name Ganeinu Shabbaton. We had all sorts of different members of the community come together. You had the religious and non-religious people, you had Israelis, Americans, South Africans, French, Canadian and Mexican all coming together.”
As families checked into the resort, they were given a welcome bag with goodies and a detailed programme for the weekend. Kids enjoyed a separate programme of activities that included “Ask the Rabbi,” basketball games, story hour and group games.
On Sunday everyone came together after breakfast for the Maccabiah Games. The group was divided into the orange and green teams, the colours of Ganeinu, and for the next two hours competed against each other in a number of fun games and physical challenges. The weekend ended with both teams winning and everyone enjoying a family BBQ.
“I think it was amazi ng!” said Palestrant. “Something magical happens over the weekend. You take everyone away for a few days, you let down your defenses, you get to know each other and it creates a community, so when you come back to Beijing there is a different feeling among all of you because you’ve shared this experience.”
(Issue July/August 2010)