Bais Yaakov hosts three-day Shabbaton event


Ellen Futterman, Editor-in-Chief

Last week, Esther Miller Bais Yaakov (all-women’s) High School in University City welcomed about 150 Orthodox high school students and chaperones from 15 other Bais Yaakov schools around the country for a three-day Shabbaton. The theme was “Walking in the Ways of God.” 

During the event, students heard from a variety of speakers, ate meals and studied together, went ice skating, created art projects and enjoyed musical and dance performances at the culminating Saturday night dinner event. Visiting students also got a chance to view a myriad of displays depicting Jewish lifecycle and historical events that their Esther Miller St. Louis counterparts had worked on for months, including an entire room dedicated to the Holocaust. 

Junior Rivka Kowalsky explained that the theme of that room, “What They Couldn’t Take Away,” paid tribute to the resilience of the millions of Jews in concentration camps and ghettos. In one display entitled, “Spiritual Freedom,” she noted that “even though (Jews) were in physical captivity, they were spiritually able” to express their Jewish freedom in a variety of ways, even if they had to do so clandestinely.

Several of the students at the Shabbaton remarked that one of the best parts was spending the night at their host family’s home and getting to make friends with young women in other cities.

“It’s so much fun to be meeting people from all over the country because I never thought I’d meet someone from Memphis, Rochester and Las Vegas and sit at the same table as them,” said Rechie Herskovitz, a senior from Dallas. “It’s also great because next year I’m going to Israel (for a gap year) and I’m meeting so many people here that maybe I will be able to spend time with next year, when I get to Israel.”