by Shimmy Mandelbaum (’16)

On the weekend of New Years, as people elsewhere around the world celebrated the beginning of a new year on the Gregorian Calendar, MTA students and faculty alike trekked to Mid- Jersey for the annual MTA Highland Park/Edison Shabbaton. The Highland Park/Edison students, who usually travel home in a small bus, enjoyed a large and new bus to accommodate the guests they would be welcoming into their homes for Shabbos. As Shabbos set in, and everybody davened at their respectful shuls, the MTA aura was felt around the small suburb, and after dinner, the first official gathering took place at the home of Jason Blatt (’16) for a memorable and spirited oneg. The oneg featured singing, divrei Torah from Rabbi Schenker, and many 8th grade guests from the community.

The next official gathering was at Shacharis the next morning which took place at RPRY, where Yehuda Snow (’19) led Pesukei d’Zimra, Assistant Director of Student Activities & Recruitment, Elie Hirt, a native of the community, led Shacharis, and Jason Blatt led Musaf- the best Shabbos Shacharis and Musaf of the year! Following tefillah, the students enjoyed an MTA sponsored Kiddush at Congregation Ohr Torah across the street, before heading back to the Blatts for lunch. Lunch operated in a similar fashion as the oneg, where all guests were seated in the Blatt home and again were treated to a scrumptious meal; this time featuring Mrs. Blatt’s famous cholent! The gathering, again consisted of singing and divrei Torah from Rabbi Schenker, as well as from Yossi Dietz (’18) and Yehuda Snow (’19), and was enjoyed by all. The Shabbaton proved to be a smashing success and a great start to the new calendar year. We would like to thank Rabbi Schenker, Shuey Jacoby, and Elie Hirt for participating on the Shabbaton and making it a lot of fun! And a special thank you to Elie for coordinating the weekend.


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