Special Events & Activities

Student reports about our recent extra curricular activities and programs.

Please select year: 5777 | 5776 | 5775
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.

 

Over 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.

Overall, 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.




Chodesh Kislev
By Chani M.


Kislev 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.

That 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.

 

With 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.

 

We 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 support them. 

 

Shabbos 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 the morning

Shabbos 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

 

Rabbi 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.

 

Camp 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 posters.

 

We 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.

 

Right 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.

The 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!

 

High 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 them.

When 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.

 

After 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!




Chodesh Cheshvan
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 growth.

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 memorable night. 

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 to come.




Chodesh Tishrei
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!




  
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