Shapell’s Student Activities
Once a month the students get ‘back to nature’ while touring the Land of Israel. Guided tours to locations of Biblical, historical and natural interest, accompanied by expert guides, security escorts and a medic, strengthen our connection to and appreciation for ‘God’s Country’. The picture at left was taken on a mountain-top in Israel’s Negev desert, where Darche Noam/Shapell’s unexpectedly met up with a class of Israeli high-school students on a similar tiyul.
Student-organized chesed groups have formed over the years. Our bikur cholim choir (pictured at left) sings for patients at nearby Shaarei Zedek Hospital on Shabbat afternoons. Other volunteer projects have included serving food at a local soup kitchen, informal youth education tutoring in the Hebrew University Beit Medrash program, and tzedaka collection projects for needy families.
Twice a year, in addition to the monthly ‘in Yeshiva’ Shabbatonim, the entire student body, staff, and their families spend Shabbat in communities outside Jerusalem. The Shabbaton includes an Oneg Shabbat, a visit to the community led by a resident, shiurim, and an always lively panel discussion. Among the topics previous staff panels have addressed are, ‘Living with the Security Situation,’ ‘How did you develop a connection with Torah?’ ‘How do you educate your children in Israel’ Motzaei Shabbat opens with sports and arts & crafts and closes with a kumzitz, and Sunday follows with a tiyul in the area.
Thank G-d, we have many occasions to celebrate as a community. Many of our students are at the age where they are marrying and having children, so each year is punctuated by engagements, weddings, sheva brachot, and brit mila celebrations (we’ve also had a number of pidyon haben celebrations over the years). The joy is tangible, the community feeling is powerful, the music is beautiful and exciting, [and the food is great].