European Campus Students Meet, Inspired at Prague Pegisha

Taking inspiration from the annual Pegisha Shabbaton in NYC, 150 Jewish students from seven European countries gathered in Prague for an unforgettable weekend of inspiration, joy, and connection.

The fabled city of Prague has borne witness to over a thousand years of rich Jewish history. Another chapter in its vast legacy was penned this winter as 150 Jewish students from seven European countries gathered for an unforgettable weekend of inspiration, joy, and connection.

This year’s European Pegisha was a pivotal experience at a crucial time for Jewish students on campuses across the continent – and around the world – as they continue to face the immensely challenging atmosphere on campus with courage and Jewish pride.

Taking inspiration from the annual Chabad on Campus International Pegisha Shabbaton in NYC, the European Pegisha aimed to evoke among its participants a strong sense of Jewish joy and pride, and provide an authentic experience that would linger and perpetuate through the students upon their return to campus.

“Gathering from various European countries, the diversity of languages spoken was quite impressive,” said Rabbi Yossy Gordon, CEO of Chabad on Campus International, who participated in person. “It was a beautiful testament that despite the language barrier, we communicated through the universal language of the Jewish People. Everyone understands “Shabbat Shalom”! Everyone understands a smile. Everyone understands hospitality. And everyone understands a joyous melody. It was truly a resounding success!”

Throughout Shabbos, students were immersed in learning and connecting as they shared their experiences and inspired each other to return to their respective campuses prouder and more committed Jews. Sessions included those on relationships, antisemitism on campus, prayer, and a myriad of other fascinating topics and discussions.

Pegisha is all about joy. The students felt an inherent sense of Jewish empowerment and joy, filling the weekend with song and dance.

Joining the students as scholars-in-residence were Rabbi Boruch and Riki Kaplan, renowned educators from Israel; Rabbi Yossy Gordon, CEO of Chabad on Campus International; and Chabad on Campus Shluchim and Shluchos from around the continent.

After Havdalah and a light game of laser tag, the Pegisha Vibe event took place on a boat, as the students enjoyed some music and their newfound company while drifting down the Vltava River through the center of Prague.

Before leaving, students had a chance to take in the illustrious Jewish history of Prague, touring and exploring the rich story of Jewish life that has played out over the past 1,000 years in the city.

The European Pegisha wasn’t just an event. It represented the courage and strength Jewish students around the world are oozing in the face of unprecedented challenges. It gave these students, these heroes, a chance to connect with each other and reignite their flame, the beacon of hope and light that is the students of Chabad on Campus.

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