by: Sharona Vedol
The May 20-21 Discover Malden Shabbaton was a great success, introducing almost 25 visitors to our charming, dynamic suburb of Boston. Our guests came from nearby Brighton as well as the more distant New York and New Jersey, including natives of Illinois, Ohio, and South Africa.
On Friday night, our guests enjoyed a Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat, followed by pleasant Shabbat meals and conversation with their host families. There was a full slate of activities planned for Shabbat day.
Shabbat morning began with Shacharit, including a Junior Congregation meeting in the beit midrash, at which the local children welcomed visiting children for tefillah, stories, and parasha. Rabbi Rabinowitz’s talk on Sefirat haOmer was timely and well-received.
At the community luncheon immediately after Musaf, our visitors had an opportunity to interact with the wide variety of people in the Malden community, and friendships were swiftly formed over a delicious meal. Childcare was provided in the downstairs playroom during Rabbi Rabinowitz’s D’var Torah, enabling the children to further their new friendships over play while the adults enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of the rabbi’s speech.
Following lunch, there was a walking tour of the Malden area, showing our visitors a number of important local sites. The tour ended at the Rabinowitz family’s home, with a delicious selection of desserts homemade by Rebbetzin Rabinowitz and animated conversation that extended all the way to the community Seudah Shelishit and board games provided by members of the community. Fast friendships were formed between visitors and locals as well as between the visitors, who were delighted by Malden itself and the Beth Israel community in particular.
We will certainly miss our new friends, but will stay in touch and hope to welcome many of them soon as newly-minted locals!
The community extends its gratitude to Phillip Vedol and Tamar Vogel, co-coordinators of this Discover Jewish Malden Shabbaton, and all of those involved in preparing for it, including but not limited to: Rabbi and Mrs. Rabinowitz, Matthew Garland, Daniel Bitran, Elka Davidoff, Richard Garcia, and Cheryl Lamport.