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Monday, March 6, 2017

Sophomore Seminar 2017/5777

Sophomore Seminar was a truly amazing experience. The days leading up were too much to handle. Counting every minute until the life changing experience would come by. Friday morning all the students came to school with a happy face. We prayed, ate breakfast, and loaded the buses. Once we got to the Berkeley Hotel, all of our senior advisors greeted us with smiles. We put our suitcases in our rooms and then we went downstairs to watch some inspiring videos with the one and only Rabbi Besser. Once we were done watching the videos we went downstairs for our first session where we discussed how to prevent bullying with some of our favorite teachers. After the session we came up to the dining hall where we had a nice lunch. After lunch, we danced a little and after dancing, we had some free time to ourselves.
Right before Shabbat, we all took showers and came down a half hour before Shabbat for a little Pre-Shabbat Ruach where we all sang and danced. Once Shabbat started we prayed a beautiful Mincha and Arbit. Right after Arbit our very own Rabbi Blumenthal gave us an amazing speech. After the speech we went inside to have Friday night dinner. Dinner was very good and once we finished, we went downstairs again to another incredible session with our teachers. This session focused on relationships. After the session we came back upstairs where our senior advisors performed skits for us. The skits were very funny and everybody had a good time. Next, we had dessert and the Tisch. The Tisch was the most inspiring part of seminar. Students talked about some of their life changing experiences and it moved our hearts showing us a new side of their life and how to react if we have the same problem as them. The Tisch went on until 12:45am and once everyone shared what they had to say, we went to sleep.
Shabbat day began with Tefillah, elective sessions, and a great message from Mr. Hofstetter. When it was time for Mincha, we all gathered into the Shul to pray. Prayers were beautiful again and following it, we went to have Seudat Shelishit. During Seudat Shelishit we ate and sang. We also heard inspiring words from our head advisors: Sari Cattan and Ralph Chattah. After the eating and singing, we all went back to finish off the Shabbat with Arbit. Following Arbit we sang songs and Mr. Galpert ended Shabbat by singing Havdallah. We went to change and then we had class wars! 
Each class participated in four games consisting of: name that tune, who tweeted it, musical chairs, and tushee volleyball. We all had a lot of fun during these games. After the games we had some more singing and we sat down to see inspiring videos. Finally at 12:30am when we finished watching the videos, we sang a little more during a moving kumzitz and then went to sleep. 
We woke up the next morning, sad, because we didn't want it to be over. We prayed Shacharit and had breakfast. We sang more songs and saw one final video made by Victor Dweck. It was the video of our seminar. In all the pictures everybody was smiling and it looked like they were having a lot of fun. At last, seminar came to an end. We loaded the buses to go home knowing we would always remember this weekend. This all couldn't have been possible without Rabbi Besser. He put his heart and soul into it and it payed off. Looking forward to Junior Seminar next year! ~Marc Franco, Class of 2019

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Sophomore Seminar 2017/5777