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Russian Shabbaton 2016

This past President's Day Weekend, Chamah International partnered with LYO for the seventh consecutive year to host the Annual National Russian Shabbaton.


Shabbaton slideshow here: Click here to view slideshow


Russian-speaking Jews came together to celebrate one of the largest gatherings in the Tri-State area. They came from forty communities across the United States and Canada, and some even from abroad—young and old, families with small children, professionals, community leaders, students, singles, and teens.

The project was run by Chamah International in conjunction with Rabbi Kasriel Kastel and Rabbi Chaim Meir Lieberman.

An arousing Tefilas Shacharis was led by world-renowned Chazan Rabbi Berel Zaltzman. Rabbi Baruch Babayov of The Bucharien Jewish Community Center of Queens led separate tefilos in the Sepharadic nussach. His community is well represented each year and are a vital part of the Shabbaton.

Throughout the Shabbat there were stimulating lectures on a broad range of topics given by some of the greatest scholars, doctors, and rabbis of the Jewish world. At times there were seven lectures running simultaneously, making the decision of which one to choose a difficult one.

At the Melave Malka the keynote address was delivered by Assemblyman Dov Hikind. He movingly described the valiant fight to free Russian Jewry. At the conclusion to the Melava Malka there was a video screening of The Return: Nektalovs Don't Give Up. The Shabbaton guests had the opportunity to meet Film Director Ariel Rubinov, and the hero of this moving story, Rafael Nektalov. The audience witnessed his captivating journey—traumatized by his past, lost in the present—and how a selfless gift of a kidney changed the lives of two men.

What a warm, inspiring weekend it truly was, from the moment the candles were lit Erev Shabbos by hundreds of mothers and daughters, thru theawe inspiring, uplifting Havdalah ceremony, when all the guests gathered in the cavernous lobby of the hotel—right up to the farewell lunch and closing ceremony Sunday afternoon.