Cohort 6 spent their second Shabbaton at Camp Ramah and the weekend was completeley run by the Fellows with some support from the staff. Rina Dale and Sam Epstein served as the "Leaders of the Shabbaton" which meant that they were in charge of planning the whole schedule, managing logistics, running their own programs, and supporting the other groups. We had sub committees of Rituals, Program, Maagal Lila, and Games and Bonding. We explored leadership multiple ways, and explored the question of whether leadership should be self-proclaimed or externally proclaimed. We also explored the concept of "followship" and used our Myers-Briggs tests and Leadership Compass results to help guide us!
Following are reflections by Fellows who served in different groups:
Sam Epstein (Co-Leader of the Shabbaton):
Last weekend I had the incredible opportunity to be one of our two Shabbaton leaders, along with my wonderful co-leader Rina Dale. With leadership being the main focus for our self management Shabbaton this was especially exciting. Our duties ranged from planning the daily schedule to checking in with other groups and making sure they had everything they needed to make the shabbat the most it could be. A safe, fun environment where we could learn about each other as leaders. Every moment after we stepped off the bus into the sharp winter air amazed me, seeing all of the planning we put in over the past two months come together into the exploration and learning opportunity it was. Our cohort is full of leaders, making every activity a learning opportunity about how people with different personalities can lead in different ways. This was the main focus of my program with Rina, where we explored our Myers Briggs personality test results using art therapy to discover more about our group dynamic and how we all can be leaders. In other programs where I was not in a leadership position and was being lead by other leaders, I discovered that in order to truly be able to lead, you first must learn how to follow.
Channah Powell (Rituals Committee):
Zoe Goldstein (Programs Committee)
Three months ago, when we began planning for the Shabbaton, it seemed crazy that I would actually be leading a program. I knew that as a member of the ‘programs’ group, I would be helping write and lead two programs, but after experiencing how amazing the first Shabbaton was, I was afraid I would not measure up. My group, to some degree, felt the same way. We thought of countless ideas but could never think of the perfect one. The plans for our programs—one about Jewish leadership, one about leadership in general—changed every time we met. This caused us to pour hours into the creation of our programs that in the end did not matter at all. However, going into the Shabbaton, my group felt that we had created the most interesting, exciting, and informative programs that we could, and this justified our drawn out creation process. Unfortunately, implementing the programs was a bit harder than we had anticipated, due to unavoidable changes in weather, timing, and people present. Additionally, my group found out (as we were running our programs) that we had put so much work into making the activities fun that we had neglected the discussion questions, which are arguably the most important part, as they explain the connection between the fun activity and the important lesson we are trying to teach the fellows. These two major problems taught us to be flexible and creative in both the creation and the implementation of our programs. Even without the problems, the programs gave us a new leadership experience—teaching a group of leaders how to lead with the assistance of other leaders. The number of times I used the word ‘lead’ in the previous sentence visually portrays how it felt to write and lead the programs. Everyone in my group had a different takeaway from this experience, but mine was that I learned that it is possible to be a follower and a leader at the same time. Before the Shabbaton, I had thought that it was only possible to either lead everything or lead nothing. Working with other leaders taught me that I cannot lead everything, but that I should never lead nothing.
Erica Morrissey (Maagal Lila Committee):
Eitan Galper: (Games Committee):