The Chabad Young Professionals Encounter: Midwest Shabbaton will include soulful farbrengens, thought-provoking classes, social gatherings, and networking opportunities.
Jewish young professionals in their twenties and thirties from various cities in the Midwest are headed to Chicago for an unforgettable Shabbos. CYP Encounter: Midwest aims to unite these individuals for a weekend filled with community, networking, and exploring their Jewish heritage. The immersive experience will be hosted by the West Rogers Park community, where locals will generously open their homes to accommodate the participants, creating a 25-hour Shabbat experience.
The idea of a Shabbaton, uniting young professionals in an immersive experience, was conceived by several shluchim in the region. Rabbi Yosef Moscowitz, of ‘The Living Room’ in Bucktown, Chicago, enthusiastically backed this initiative, stating: “In this Year of Hakhel (gathering), where the Rebbe urges us to unite Jews, we are excited to seize the opportunity to bring more young professionals together.”
Drawing inspiration from the successful San Diego regional Shabbaton, CYP headquarters facilitated the project’s logistics. Previous participants emphasized the significance of connecting with geographically and professionally diverse YPs. As a result, the upcoming Shabbaton aims to incorporate social events as integral components of the program, including a pre-Shabbat happy hour and post-Shabbat axe-throwing-social.
Rabbi Beryl Frankel, Director of CYP International at Merkos 302, envisions a greater purpose beyond the casual socializing. According to him, “Shabbat afternoon’s informative discussion on purpose-based dating, as well as the social events, were purpose-built. The aim was to create an encouraging environment for meeting one’s bashert (soulmate).”
For those without a nearby CYP branch, this Shabbaton presents a chance to network with fellow Jews. As one Chabad on Campus director shared: “Our graduates, who were involved with Chabad during college, are quite dispersed. Many don’t have access to a Chabad House that caters specifically to their demographic; this event will provide a golden opportunity to network with fellow Jewish businesspeople while immersing themselves in Yiddishkeit.”
The Shabbaton will feature numerous learning opportunities, headlined by renowned theoretical physicist Dr. Dovid Imbo. Who will captivate with his wisdom and share his riveting life story: From the Chicago Ghettos, To the Halls of Harvard, To Judaism. Additionally, participants can look forward to a “Stump the Rabbi” session with Rabbi Menachem Posner, longtime staff editor at Chabad.org, and a heartwarming farbrengen with Chicago’s own Rabbi Baruch Hertz.
Rabbi Sholom Brook, who leads the Uptown Chabad Young Professionals chapter in Minneapolis, is eagerly anticipating the event. He believes “this Shabbaton will deliver an important message of Jewish pride while fostering meaningful connections. Together, we will experience an empowering sense of belonging to a unified community.”
The CYP Midwest Shabbaton, scheduled for June 2-4, will welcome groups from throughout the region. Participating CYP Chapters include Kansas City, KS; St. Louis, MO; Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Detroit, MI; Milwaukee, Madison; Mequon, WI; Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, OH.