Midwest NCSY’s 4G (“For Girls”) chapter held a second Shabbaton this past weekend, a first for the four-year old program. Led by Directors Avigayil Strulowitz and Shuli Tsadok, NCSY 4G aims to provide inspirational educational and social programming for frum high school girls.
While 4G runs monthly Shabbos programs such as an oneg or shalosh seudos in addition to its major annual hotel shabbaton in the winter time, this year was the first year that the chapter held two Shabbatons. There was so much demand from the participants for a second entire Shabbos spent with the 4G girls and college-aged advisors singing, dancing, and being inspired, that the directors just had to plan one.
Midwest NCSY created the 4G program after noticing a need in the community – observant teenage girls who were looking for a framework of chizuk outside of school. NCSY is an organization known worldwide for its premiere inspirational programming for Jewish teens, however, many girls who would greatly benefit from the warmth and approach of NCSY do not participate in these programs because of their co-ed nature. NCSY recognized this challenge and started the 4G program in the Fall of 2014 to meet the needs of our community.
“Spring 4ward with 4G!” was the theme of the Shabbaton, held at Adas Yeshurun in West Rogers Park on April 20th-21st. Rabbi Menachem Nissel, rebbi and teacher in many seminaries in Eretz Yisrael, flew in from Israel to be the guest speaker for the weekend. He inspired the 80 girls and 20 advisors with his talks, especially his Friday-night class on how the “Shema” tefillah is a declaration of our commitment to Hashem and Judaism. His dynamic and engaging style and personality allowed the girls to think freely and intelligently, and he made himself available to the girls the entire Shabbos to answer any questions that they had about Judaism.
Other highlights of the Spring Shabbaton included Divrei Torah from the girls themselves, learning sessions with the advisors, shiurim from Midwest NCSY’s regional director Rabbi Donny Schwartz and NorthShore NCSY director Rabbi Yaakov Cohen, and a moving “ebbing” and havdalah experience led by Rabbi Nissel. By the time Shabbos ended, each girl felt strengthened in her Yiddishkeit, knowing that she belongs to a community of growth-oriented and passionate girls.
4G NCSY is committed to being on the forefront of inspiring the teens of our community. These girls are not just our teens today – they’re also our future community leaders. NCSY is proud to be a part of inspiring our Jewish future!