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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Senior Seminar 2016

Senior Seminar 2016 started on Thursday morning when the parents of the seniors joined us for Parent-Senior Breakfast. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast with our parents and introduced the program. Next, the seniors and their parents headed to different classrooms to have a discussion with other seniors and parents. We discussed communication and our parents' involvement in our lives. We learned that in the future we are all headed in different directions, but it is important to keep our connection with our parents. Later in the day, we had the privilege to hear from Ike Chehebar speak. Mr. Chehebar made a bad decision, which led to the loss of two innocent lives. Mr. Chehebar regrets the decision he made every single moment of his life. The main lesson we learned is not to be arrogant. The moment you think you are the center of the world, you make bad decisions which will adversely affect others.

On Friday, we headed to the Berkeley Hotel in Asbury, New Jersey for our final seminar as a grade. Cheri Srour, came all the way from Brooklyn just to speak to us. Cheri was an ordinary girl just like us, who's life suddenly changed. Cheri was in tremendous pain and suffered for a long time, and now she is in a wheelchair. The main takeaway was to focus on what we have, and not dwell and what we don't have. In life, there are challenges and the only way to overcome them is think positive and keep moving forward. After hearing Cheri Srour's story we headed to lunch where we met our alumni college advisors. We then had some free time to get ready for Shabbat.
We started off the Shabbat with a feeling of unity and pride from the Pre-Shabbat Ruach led by Rabbi Besser. During Kabbalat Shabbat, Rabbi Kramer gave a Dvar Torah giving us some insight into Abraham's test in this week's parasha. We had a sessions with our college advisors, and then enjoyed a delicious dinner. In our Friday night circle, Mrs. Wielgus spoke about a challenge that she had to overcome. We learned that in life, challenges are thrown at us, but we have to choose wisely how to approach them. Our Friday night session was about spirituality and our relationship with Hashem. We were also honored that Rabbi Wielgus shared his wisdom with us on Friday night. At tisch, many of our peers opened up and shared their stories, making us feel connected as a grade.

On Shabbat morning, we started off the day with a beautiful Shacharit and Dvar Torah by Mr. Engel, which was about having faith in the toughest of times, like Avraham in Akedat Yitzchak. Our sessions dealt with different types of challenges including stereotypes, modesty, integrity, and responsibility, honesty, survival, and happiness. After free time to hang out with friends, faculty, advisors, and witness theater guests, we had Seuda Shilishit and a Kumzitz. Mr. Galpert then spoke about taking advantage of our strengths and not to let anything stop us because we can achieve great heights. After Mincha and Arvit, we said goodbye to the Shabbat with some singing and a special havdalah
Our Motzei Shabbat rikudim began with some lovely dance moves from our witness theater guests. We also had class wars, where we played name that tune, musical chairs, tushie volleyball, and Flatbush trivia. We ended off the night with some inspirational videos and one last emotional kumzitz as a grade. In order to cherish and enjoy the very last moments of our senior seminar, we stayed downstairs together until we were forced ourselves to go to sleep. On Sunday morning we prayed shacharit, ate breakfast, and watched a slideshow, summing up the beautiful weekend we spent together. We will keep the memories we have made and lessons we have learned on senior seminar for a lifetime. Thank you to Rabbi Besser, Mr. Galpert and everyone who worked to make this weekend so special!
~Marcelle Setton, Class of 2017

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