Second Half Chodesh Teves|
By Raizel S.
The jam packed summer program was
a great way to begin the second semester and allow the Australians and South
Africans to adjust and form relationships with the former Ohel Chana girls.
During summer program we had the privilege to participate in enriching sessions
with a range of experienced teachers. Each one of these teachers had something
else to offer on various interesting topics that are not included in the usual
Ohel Chana learning schedule.
We had an inspiring Farbrengen
with Rabbi Tenenbaum, in honour of Chof Daled Teves. During this Farbrengen we
were all encouraged to take on something extra in honour of the Alter Rebbes Yahrzeit,
as well as discussed the power the Rebbe has and how He notices and cares about
every individual. Following this we learnt the Maamar of Basi Legani in depth
in preparation for Yud Shevat, this is done in honour of the Freidiker Rebbes yahrzeit.
Rabbi Winner taught the Maamar with practical examples, contagious enthusiasm
and with a well-rounded amount of background information. It was a great
experience and we really understood why this Maamar is so holy and how it plays
a vital role in Chabad. In addition to this we are also participating in an
incredible Hachana program created by the amazing dorm counselors in a further
anticipation for the auspicious day.
During these two weeks, Rabbi
Shapiro gave over a magnificent JLI course full of in depth understanding in
the areas of Halacha and where it is derived from. The class gave a full
understanding of which parts of Torah are what and helped clarify where Torah
She Baal Peh comes in. In addition, we had a kosher shiur on kosher conundrums where
Rabbi Baskin gave us an understanding on how foods are checked and how much
work goes on behind the scenes ensuring that the food we eat is in fact Kosher.
We also had a fascinating class with Rabbi Haller on the ideas behind Techiyas
Hamasim focusing on the question if death is a negative aspect of the world and
what caused death to become the natural cycle of the world. Mr Joel Gerschman gave over a practical and interesting session on Effective communication which we all enjoyed.
the course of these two weeks we went on two trips including Arthur’s Seat and
Great Ocean Road. We thoroughly enjoyed making our way through the ropes
courses, enchanted mazes and sliding down the alpine slides. We also enjoyed a
full day trip to Great Ocean Road where we were able to see the beautiful
nature of Melbourne- swimming in waterfalls, hiking up to beautiful lookouts
and eating prepared delicious lunches and dinner at parks along the way.
the past 2 weeks have been an incredible experience and an amazing orientation
for all the Australians and South Africans of what is in store for these
upcoming months in OC.
Summer Camp Primary Division
By Hindy D.
Wow! Camp was so incredible! So much
chayus that just blew us away! With staff like no other and Dina Kahn as our
director, we just knew camp would be epic and unforgettable. The theme of camp
was army, where it was our chance to FIGHT FOR LIGHT. We were able to show the
campers how to spread yidishkeit, fight for what we believe in and stand strong
as soldiers in the Rebbes army. Every day was an experience with so much
happening. With theme activity every day to flying fox, rock climbing, sports,
archery, swimming, canoeing, adventure park, roller skating, water tubing, and
we can't forget about the giant swing! Every morning was started off with
breakfast game that really woke us up! And to end off our fun filled day we
were always entertained by the most amazing night activities! The learning, shiurim
and farbrengens kept us inspired for months after camp.
Each individual day of camp was focused on
another part of the army and how we can serve in it. We explained throughout
the summer how a soldier must improve themselves and work very hard to achieve
their goal. In our own lives, we as Jews and the Rebbes children, must use the
tools we were given to be the best Bas Chabads that we can be. As much as our
campers gained from the summer, us as counselors took away double. Months of
preparation were put into CGI Melbourne and it payed off in every way. We were able
to really put in all our effort and use our time to make Summer 5777 the
greatest year yet. Without a doubt this opportunity we were given to work on
camp and be involved in our amazing community, effected all of us and allowed
us to grow in a fun environment. Overall, the summer camp experience we were a
part of was unlike any other and we are sure that summer 5777 will one that
will not be forgotten.
By Chani M.
was a real busy month, with camp making a beeline for us it was really packed!
On Rosh Chodesh Rabbi P. Ash spoke about his memories of 770 and the Rebbe in the
time of the Rebbes heart attack. His vivid descriptions and fascinating stories
really gave us a taste of what it must have been like actually being in 770
during those years.
evening Mrs. Broh, our Mamor teacher, Farbrenged with us on the concept of
Bitachon and Emunah. It was really nice to have a woman for a change because we
spent a lot of time singing Niggunim and it was beautiful.
the Kinus Hashluchim going on in Crown Heights we filled in the classes with
pre camp training sessions and highlight classes. Mrs. Tenenbaum gave us a
Parshah class and no one in the classroom wanted to move when she finished. We
could’ve sat there for another hour, her knowledge is amazing and it was an
amazing class. All of our teachers came back to Aussie sharing us beautiful
stories from the Kinus. Rabbi Mendy Groner from Chabad of Glen Eira gave us an
inspiring recap of farbrengen, speeches etc. at the Kinus.
got off class one evening to see the song and dance put on by the high school.
It was an incredible performance and the girls were so excited that we came to
Tes-Yud Kislev before camp we had a homey IN Shabbos and Rabbi Wolf joined us.
We Farbrenged about being role models even if we don't feel like we reach the
standards we are giving over. We also farbrengened about what it means to be a
chossid and how we can truly be the most impactful over the summer. The
farbrengen really helped girls feel confident in the spiritual department and
giving over good values to the girls and continued weel into the early hours of
day we had a big meal with all of the staff going up to camp. There was
delicious food and we all talked about what we wanted to accomplish over the
summer. The meal was led by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Moshe and Dina Kahn
Tenenbaum gave the last Farbrengen on Yud Daled Kislev as an end to the
semester. We heard stories and dwelled on what it means to internalize. As
always it was a night of inspiration with actionalization.
is seriously a highlight of the year and a lot of credit is due to the
wonderful courses and knowledge gained. Being an overnight counselor may seem
daunting but with all the prep we really felt prepared. We had courses on
dealing with emotional physical and spiritual matters. We all got certified
with first aid and felt very ready for any emergency. The courses were full of
creative approaches and really applicable information. A new vibe washed
over us as camp approached, everyone started packing supplies and making
had a final meeting after our last class, where we were congratulated on an
amazing first half of learning and growing. We got delicious doughnuts as a pre
Chanukah treat. The girls who had never missed a class were announced and given
a choice of a Sefer that they get to keep. We had a Pre- Chanukah party before
camp at Mrs. Groner's house. She made latkes and we had a DELISH barby. It was
Etty's final program because she was our activity director only first half.
There was a super cute photo booth and then we all got a shock when we watched
a video of our parents wishing us a happy Chanukah. The room was filled with
mixed emotions of embarrassment, love, laughter and tears. We got Chanukah Gelt
from Rabbi T. and played a fun dreidel game with a spin.
after Shabbos we left to camp early in the morning. Arriving in camp we set up
and decorated the camp site. We ended the night in an uplifting farbrengen
focused on our power and on what Yud Kislev means to us as Chabad girls.
campers arrived the next day and we greeted them with excitement and energy. Yud
tes Kislev was the perfect day to start camp, being a Chabad camp yud tes
Kislev is the day we revisit our appreciation for Chassidus. Our theme was
Blast from the Past, focusing on amazing things people in our rich past have
given to us and how powerful this Era is!
school camp is smaller and has this heimesh, special vibe. The second the girls
got off the bus we became role models, mommy’s, friends and caregivers. The
experience of working with high school girls is one of a kind. Every day we
gave shuir, ran activities, made sure the girls were happy in every area. The
food was super good and we got free canteen! There's nothing better than going
to sleep and knowing that all the kids under your care went to bed with a smile
on their face. Being in camp, and being thrown into these intense role model
positions helped us realize how much we know, and how much we have. We spent
nights talking and farbrengening with the girls, laughing and singing with
Chanukah came around a week into to camp we all thought it would be super
weird. Chanukah in camp was so cool and so warm. We really felt like a little
family up in high school camp and sang the Chanukah songs with passion and
vigor. Every night of Chanukah we danced around the Menorah and had special
Chanukah activities. We had a latke MasterChef, a Chanukah staff play and much
much more. Every second of camp was packed beyond words! As fun as it was
it was also inspiring and uplifting. To see girls with such a quench for
Judaism is miraculous and seriously fascinating. We went on fun trips and felt
taken care of and appreciated. The director was always there for us and we
ended every day with meetings and support. Every day we got little thing and a
cute note with a little gift as a thank you. In truth it was a solid two weeks,
with strong feelings of pride and strength in Judaism and maturity. Everyone
says it's the highlight of seminary and it seriously is. High school camp
didn't just change campers but it changed every counselor there. Although
short, it was a bitter farewell.
camp we had time off and most girls went to Sydney. We stayed at wonderful
families and got to see the views and the beauty Sydney has to offer. Hashem
truly created an incredible world. Coming back to Seminary was such a great
feeling. It felt a like coming home. We had a Farbrengen the night we got back
with Rabbi Eli Feldman from Sydney. We talked about the Rebbe and how Hey Teves
really is a significant part of the growth of Lubavitch, how it really was a
fight for the movement we are so happily a part of. The Rebbe fought for the
books not to have them but for us to learn them. So we do!
By Chani M.
Hanging Rock this Rosh Chodesh was the perfect start to the busy
month of Cheshvan. We took a bus early in the morning, we came to Hanging rock
prepared with our sneakers and our walking sticks we trudged up the mountain
only to discover that the path involved some serious climbing on massive rocks.
The views where breath taking and everyone enjoyed climbing up the rocks
profusely. It was a real moment just sitting on top of the rocks and looking at
Hashem’s beautiful handiwork.
We went to the Beth Rivkah graduation to support our future OC
members. It was exciting to watch them graduate and we are all looking forward to
them joining us in January.
Classes this month where exceptional! We ended off our 5 week
session with Mrs. Lisker. We enjoyed her sessions very much and ended off on
the importance of being strong in our feminine Chassidishe values and this will
help our futures, she also stressed the importance of having good direction for
big and small decisions. We then picked up on Bayis Yehudi classes with Mrs
Blesofsky. We started learning about the actions of a Chabad Jewish woman.
While some of our teachers were at the Kinus Hashluchim we
had some very interesting substitutes. We had a 2 session class with Rabbi Jedwab on Inyonim in Chumash. He expounded on
the topic of Yosef and Potifars wife. Both sessions gave us a great insight on
how to learn torah. Rabbi Lang also gave 2 sessions on a Chanukah Maamer that
we profusely enjoyed. The Mammaer was eye opening and full of incredible
insights on Chanukah. Rabbi DL Shmerling gave a 3 session course on creativity.
His classes where both interactive and packed with useful tips for us to use.
We split up into groups and had a gained real tools to use on how to get
creative juices flowing.
Rabbi Winner gave an enthusiastic Farbrengen, He took a real
interest in each girl and spoke about the power we each have in ourselves to
make the decision to learn and really internalize. He suggested all write
inspirational journals to help us remember the things that inspire us. He spoke
about the great Mashpia Rabbi Zweibel Z”L and we got a real insight on the
intelligence he had. Everyone gained and enjoyed the Farbrengen.
Mrs. Ben Shabbat Farbrenged with us and as always we enjoy having
woman Farbrengen because singing niggunim is always nice. She told us about her
life story, which is truly an eventful tale. Full of twists, Mrs. Ben Shabbats
story is a reminder that Hashem runs everything, that the Rebbe is involved in
every step of our life and wants us to reach out and connect. We always enjoy
speaking to Mrs. Shabbat whether it be her house for a Shabbos meal or by a
Farbrengen, she is a real source of inspiration.
Rabbi Blesofsky Farbrenged Sunday night, Chof Cheshvan. He was
leaving to the Kinus the following day. We Farbrenged about the concept of
Chassidim going to see their Rebbe and what it means to be Mekusher. It was an
awesome Farbrengen. Rabbi Blesofsky was as always super great, with stories and
jokes to keep us alert and interested.
We had wonderful guest speakers this month. Mrs. S Althaus from
Sydney taught about Hiskashrus with the Rebbe. She is super passionate and she
gave over helpful tips for us to increase and build our connection with the
Rebbe. She gave hints from the word Hiskashrus that can help us remember the
best way to connect to our Rebbe. She said stories that where mind blowing and
really showed the power of being connected.
Rabbi D. Rahmani is the founder of Back To Basics Sichos. Everyone
was looking forward to having a session with the rabbi who created the
magnificent books that we learn from during Chavrusa. We got a history of how
the idea came about and how it turned from a program made just for Yeshiva
school to sending it out to schools all over the world. Eventually they
realized the power of the idea and the pamphlets turned into a book. Rabbi Rahmani
showed us how to use the books to their fullest potential. Since his class
Chavrusa has really been a time where girls have been using the book to learn
real skills to learn Sichos on their own.
Mr. David Werdiger gave a class on public speaking. He was a great
role model and showed us how tone, words, eye contact, presence, and body
language are all key roles in public speaking. He prepared us for any public
venture we might find ourselves in throughout our lives.
The theme of this month In Shabbos my essence. The whole dining
hall was set up as a boat with blue walls and fish, totally transformed into a
Teivah for Parshas Noach. We played a
super fun games and enjoyed Dvar Torahs prepared by our seminary mates. Rabbi Jacks
spoke about the Parsha and how Noachs story really relates to us. Emunah
and Bitachn are both things that we can truly have in our day to day life.
Rabbi Jacks spoke very practically and we enjoyed him late into Shabbos night.
Shabbaton at Flinders was awesome! We stayed in beautiful cabins.
It was super special because there was 35 beds in the room so Achdus was truly
felt the whole Shabbos. The camp site had wild kangaroos and the lookout was an
image of mountains that seemed endless. On Friday we went swimming and jumped
on a super fun trampoline. We got ready for Shabbos and enjoyed delicious
catered food. The Devreis family joined us as well as Rabbi Tenenbaum and his
family. We played games all Shabbos and enjoyed the warm weather. Rabbi Y
Devreis Farbrenged till very late Friday night, he was full of energy and
inspiration. He talked about how everything we do has an effect whether we see
it or not. Being that he worked in Mayanot for many years he told us mind
blowing stories from his experiences and he was super entertaining!
Rabbi Tenenbaum gave a Chassidus shiur early Shabbos morning about
chitzonios and penimios. It was a great start to Shabbos day. Mrs. Devries
Farbrenged Shabbos day. She told us about her unbelievable life story and the
events that led her up to where she is now. She was extremely pleasant to
Farbrengen with and girls sat with her all Shabbos day and enjoyed speaking to
her about everything under the sun.
Mrs. Tenenbaum gave a shiur on Midrash Shabbos afternoon. We learnt
about all the different types of Midrash and about how the goal for us is to
look at them and take lessons from them. She gave a great Shuir and we gladly
listened to her wisdom. We ended Shabbos with uplifting Seder Nigunim and
stories of the Rabbaim.
Motzei Shabbos we had a game of pass the parcel and following that
a grand Hachlata auction. It was a great way to internalize all the things we
Farbrenged about all Shabbos. It was a fabulous night packed with fun and
Sunday morning we enjoyed a breakfast buffet with fresh doughnuts
and fruit as well as many other foods. It was an uplifting, inspiring weekend
and we thank both families for adding so much to the experience.
The teen challah baker was a real highlight this month. We all got
t-shirts and set out to help the event happen! There was hundreds of teens in
the town hall all excited to make challah for Shabbos. There was an incredible
sense of unity and the dancing topped off the event, making it a truly
CGI Summer Camp is coming up and all month we’ve been having
intense training sessions. Each one being packed with information that is
incredibly helpful. We started off our sessions with an 8 hour CPR course.
Though long, it was full of knowledge and it was a great day of life skill
learning. We had a session of emergency plans, emotional health, spiritual
health and physical health. We feel prepared for any obstacles that may be
thrown at us over camp. We has sessions on how to lift up a camper to be a
leader, how to deal and prevent bullying. We role played and spent time
listening to real life stories and situations, all the session help us feel
like we can truly give each child a most memorable camp experience. Thank you
to all the incredible people from different organizations, showing us how it is
so possible for us to make a change.
The Jewish Task force against family violence came and gave an eye
opening performance about family abuse. It was incredibly heart wrenching and
shook many to the core. We were very eager to talk about the red flags when
dating and the way to help someone close to you, if ever needed Chas Vesholom.
We also had a course on how to identify a child might be in a not
such positive situation. A great woman came and did a workshop on disclosure,
bullying and creating growing, happy, safe environments for children in camp.
We had constant CONNECT sessions with Etty in the dorm following
night classes . Each one started off with inspiring information on a relevant
topic and ended off with a Rebbe video. It’s always nice to end off a long day
with a treat and extra learning. Thank you Etty! We ended off the month with a
Rosh Chodesh Kislev Hachana program and everyone is excited to complete the
entire booklet in the weeks
By Lyba P.
Here we are at the end of another month at Ohel Chana! This
month of Tishrei has been unlike any experienced by our group in the past.
Chodesh Tishrei is unique in the fact that it is begun with the holiest of
atmospheres; that of the Yom Tov, Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah, a usually
special day in its own right, was only made that much more beautiful by the
superb davening services of the multitude of Shuls available, the amount of
programs we were able to be involved with in various Chabad Houses, and the
inspiring afternoons meeting with high school girls to walk to neighbourhood
nursing homes on mivtzoim. On Thursday, we were treated to a Farbrengen with
Leah Groner, who shattered any illusions we might have had about the term
“Bittul” and through a sicha of the Rebbe helped us see what exactly this
highest of Avodos really means for us.
Then, at the end of the already packed week, we were invited
to Dina and Moshe Kahn’s home for a special Friday night Vov Tishrei Dinner where
they not only made us feel welcome, but really helped us understand our roles
better in the community, and filled us with excitement for the rest of the year
with them. As the meal progressed, we Farbrenged with them on the power we have
as role models and on not only the impact we can have, but all there is to be
gained. Then Shabbos Day was another much awaited In-Shabbos with Aishes Chayil
as the theme, in honour of Vov Tishrei, and the whole of Beth Rivkah’s Year 12
as our Shabbos guests. It was a meal that was unforgettable in nature. The
outpouring of spiritual inspiration didn’t end there, for we were not only
involved in a high school wide program highlighting the importance of Vov
Tishrei and Rebbetzin Chana, but we were treated to Mrs. Paltiel, a cousin with
a personal connection to the Rebbetzin, coming to speak to us about her
relationship and Rebbetzin Chana as both a figure in the history of Chabad and
an amazing woman, using her own personal letters and pictures from the
Rebbetzin to illustrate her point. The sight of so many never before seen
treasures really left a mark on us. I doubt the date of Vov Tishrei has ever
been as significant to any girl in the seminary, especially with the
culmination of our Vov Tishrei Hachana in honour of the Rebbetzin’s Yahrzeit, a
truly and meaningful and memorable to personally celebrate the date, and how
appropriate, as it is Ohel Chana after all.
This led us straight into Yom Kippur, a day automatically
elevated beyond any other, but the experience of it in the dorm with all of
your classmates and friends around you, encouraging each other and supporting
each other, attending shul from all hours of the day, was an experience that
truly connected helped you connect to the importance and significance of the
day. Later that week we had another inspirational Farbrengen with our dorm
counsellors, Perel and Rochel Leah, and
our program director, Etty, in honour of Yud Gimmel Tishrei, the Yahrzeit of
the Rebbe Maharash, where we discussed practically the topic of Lehatchila
Ariber, To jump over our obstacles. Next Shabbos found us all invited to the
Ben-Shabbat household, where we were astounded by their amazing life’s journey
to Melbourne, Australia, all the way from the heart of secular Texas. Theirs is
a story of faith, of understanding, and of trust in the Rebbe and in Hashem. It
touched us all.
Finally came the Chag of Succos, where the rain did nothing
to dampen the spirit of the community of Melbourne throwing open their doors to
hold girls, some for multiple meals! Their warmth and kindness helped us truly
feel the atmosphere of Succos, and though our families were missed, I doubt any
would have traded the experience for anything. The first day of Chol Hamoed was
marked with a community wide afternoon at Luna Park, where with Chabad Youth we
ran the booths, played games, did Mivtza Lulav and still had time to go over
the park ourselves afterwards. To see the whole of the community, so many
people whom we have come to know over the past two and a half months, coming
together to celebrate the simcha of Yomtov was really something special. The
second day of Chol Hamoed was the day of our specially organised paintball
trip! Every girl in the seminary was outfitted with protective gear, a gun and
hundreds of paintballs and unleashed on the terrain. Though returning battered
and bruised, we quickly ran to our Simchas Beis Hashueva programs: Silent Disco
for Beth Rivka Primary and a Fabulous Foam Extravaganza for High School. The
pure simcha radiating off both seminary girls and the girls of the community
was palpable, and the dancing went on well into the night.
On Shabbos of Chol Hamoed, every year of Bnos, Sukkah hopped
around the community, once again enjoying the hospitality of the community and
getting the chance to experience as many different types of Succos as possible.
On Motzei Shabbos, we were instructed on the art of sushi making and enjoying
our own creativity has never tasted so good J
Then after the instruction we all moved to the Tenenbaum’s for delicious
dessert and an amazing speaker in the form of Mrs. Althaus from Sydney who told
us various stories ranging from those about amazing Hashgacha Protis to the
importance and beauty of the mitzvah of Shaitel.
The second days of Yom Tov had us preparing our own meals
and the achdus of the dorm was a lovely thing to witness. On Simchas Torah we
went on Tahalucha to various Shuls, some up to an hour away, with our Bnos
girls, to run their children’s programs and to generally add in the simcha of
the occasion. Then we all returned to the Kahn’s home for a beautifully
prepared Yom Tov meal together before all going to Shul to witness the event of
a pure joy of the Torah itself expressed so clearly until at one point, it
spilled over to have the whole of the shul dancing with the Torahs in the
street, in a beautiful display of Hakafos. The next day had us holding a high
school wide Simchas Torah Symposium where a girl from every year, an Ohel Chana
student, and a shlucha who all came together to speak of their love and appreciation
of Torah and to offer their ideas and tips for us all on our own personal
avodahs. Their sincerity was touching in itself.
After Yomtov we enjoyed a meaningful Farbrengen pre Shabbos Beraishis
with Mrs Miri Lipskier, where discussed boundaries both between each other and
for ourselves. It was an enlightening evening with the give and take of the
room expressing everyone’s involvement and appreciation of the topic. We ended
month of inspiration with Shabbos Beraishis and as they say, how one acts on
Shabbos Beraishis determines how a person acts the rest of the year. I think as
the culmination of the whole of Tishrei, Shabbos Beraishis allowed us to linger
on our thoughts of personal introspection and growth and connection before
finally admitting that “Yaakov Halach Ledarko” and as wonderful as Tishrei was,
with every event both inspiring and moving us, and every Tefillah furthering
our feelings for Hashem into the realm of the practicality, with the end of it
all, it is time to take those feelings and really move them into the realm of
practical action. Although the New Year began a month ago, in many ways, it is
only now the year will truly begin, but with as beautiful of a “forward” as the
Tishrei we just experienced was, I can have nothing but the highest of hopes
for the rest. On our way we do go, but only up from here on in!