Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This upcoming weekend, Ruach will be sponsoring a Tri-Co Shabbaton on the theme of the environment. “A Shabbaton is an entire weekend of activities,” explained Ruach Treasurer Daniela Manopla ’08, “that tries to bring people together who may not have known each other previously to participate in fun, interactive events, and basically, to chill out and get to know one another.” The Swarthmore Shabbaton will start on Friday at 5:30 PM and end on Saturday evening, meaning that both the beginning and the end coincide with Shabbat.
The Shabbaton will have an environmental theme, said Manopla, “which is extremely important because it highlights a major aspect of Judaism that is often overlooked – the committment we all have as citizens of this earth to the beauty of our surroundings.”
Although all events are open to everyone regardless of religion, Rob Golder ’07, who organized the event, noted that “most people will probably feel more comfortable coming to the meals, discussions, the thing with Nati, and the bonfire… some people may not feel comfortable at the services if they are not already somewhat familar with Jewish practice.” Nati Passow, the director of the Jewish Farm School in Philadelphia, will be leading a workshop titled “An encounter with the natural world” where participants will be able to “Meet a Tree” in a hands-on experience.
The schedule of the event is as follows:
5:30 Kabbalat Shabbat/Ma’ariv Services
6:15 D’var Torah and discussion
Saturday, April 22:
10:30 Shacharit (morning) services
11:45 Torah reading and discussion
1:30 “An encounter with the natural world” led by Nati Passow
6:30 Minchah (afternoon) services
8:15 Ma’ariv (evening) services
8:30 Havdalah Bonfire
People can pick and choose which activities they go to, but the Nati Passow workshop and the bonfire are expected to be the highlights of the event. Manopla stressed that “This is open to anyone with an interest in the environment who would like to participate in something worthwhile that doesn’t involve studying for exams just yet.”