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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Senior Seminar 2015/5776

This past Shabbat the Yeshivah of Flatbush Senior Class of 2016 reunited with the Berkeley Hotel for their final seminar as students. Senior Seminar began with the annual Parent-Senior breakfast on Thursday and discussions surrounding the challenges of transitioning out of high school. However the real euphoria of seminar kicked in once we stepped off those Monsey Tours coach buses and entered the lobby of the Berkeley-Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Friday afternoon started with checking in, further discussions about different challenges we might face in life, lunch, and obviously, rikudim. We then had the privelage of hearing from Mr. Ike Chehebar, who shared his personal challenge with us. We were moved by his sincerity and his passion for sharing his advice with us. We then had plenty of free time to either write shabbatograms, go outside on the beachfront boardwalk (as the weather was beautiful), or socialize. We then returned to change into Shabbat clothing and for Pre-Shabbat Ruach dancing before candle lighting.
Friday night is always entertaining and spiritual with the meaningful singing during dinner and inspiring discussions during sessions with advisors and faculty. Some highlights include Ms. Ginsberg's touching story during dinner, Rabbi Levy's opera, Mr. Galpert's fluent Yiddish, Mr. Lazar's several layers, and Rabbi Beyda's wet suit (courtesy of Mr. Lazar). On Senior Seminar we also had the opportunity to be joined by three Holocaust survivors, who are part of our Witness Theater program. Over Shabbat we were able to interact with them and hear their stories. They gave us words of encouragement and strength to continue living as proud Jews. We also shared our feelings with one another at the tisch. The tisch could be summed up in only a few words: we will all be friends for a long time.

Shabbat day began with prayers followed by a light maza/Kiddush and elective sessions on various challenges we might face in the present and future. Lunch was followed by a Dvar Torah given by Mr. Engel. Overall the seniors walked away enlightened by what the Yeshivah Flatbush faculty had to offer.
Yeshivah of Flatbush Seminar Havdalah is always special, and it did not fail the students this time either. Rabbi Besser and Mr. Galpert led the enriching experience and dancing that followed afterwards. After Shabbat, there were many fun activities to take part in, including: the Mets game on display, or the hilarious senior games involving sticky faces and teachers' watermelon eating contests. It was all quite funny and amusing until the seniors settled down for one last emotional kumzitz, preceded by inspiring videos and words from Rabbi Besser. The students returned to their beds Saturday night to get a good night's sleep before their very last dance of their very last seminar during breakfast, a seminar that will never be forgotten. Thank you to everyone who help organize this amazing weekend!
~Michelle Harari, Class of 2016

Check out a slideshow of pictures from Senior Seminar 2015: