N’Shei Chabad of South Africa Hosts Lavish Hakhel Gathering

Women in South Africa were treated to a 5-star experience at the N’shei Chabad Hakhel Shabbaton. The weekend included delicious meals, keynote speaker Rabbi Ari Shishler, a comedy evening, art therapy and more.

Over 50 years since the Rebbe sent the first Shluchim to Johannesburg, South Africa, the wellsprings are flowing outward, stronger than ever. 

Last week, in her opening address, South Africa Head Shlucha and Nshei Chabad President, Mashi Lipskar looked out at a sea of over 100 Jewish women, who attended the Women’s Hakhel Shabbaton organized by Nshei Chabad and exclaimed in wonder, “None of this existed when we first came to South Africa!” 

The Rebbe’s brochos tangibly flowed in abundance from beginning to end as the Shabbaton brought together women from their twenties all the way into their eighties. Coming from different communities and from different stages of life didn’t prevent these women from connecting. The sense of Achdus was palpable as barriers were stripped and boundaries broken, creating an openness and connection that permeated the entire weekend.

Rabbi Ari Shishler of Chabad of Strathavon and keynote speaker provided guidance and support to the Nshei Committee’s vision of producing a world-class weekend away. He wowed his audience with an incredibly inspiring, thought-provoking farbrengen and powerful shiurim that not only enlightened and motivated, but left ladies with a practical application. 

Zeesy Deren of Chabad of the West Coast, Cape Town brought an empowering feminine energy and shared her in-depth understanding and practice of Jewish meditation. She created an intimate space for spiritual reconnection and gave the ladies practical tools on how to access these gifts.

Each ‘Akeres Habayis’ was treated to five-star gourmet meals by caterer Riva Flax, beautiful accommodation in an idyllic setting, and a nonstop lineup of nurturing experiences which also included kosher yoga and art therapy. Motzei Shabbos was an evening of uncontrollable laughter as Casey Shevel, author of “Mom of Boys”, connected to the authenticity of every lady in the room – a good reminder of how we take ourselves too seriously and of course how beneficial it is to just laugh together!

Both Mashi Lipskar and Rabbi Shishler encouraged the participants to take the weekend’s inspiration forward into their families and communities. Nshei’s team of young dynamic volunteers made this a possibility by providing a calendar of upcoming programs offered for the next year. 

Women left Pretoria’s Roodevalley Hotel revitalized and floating on clouds of purpose, armed with a beautiful edition of Sefer Tehillim, a Tzedoka box made especially to be affixed to the kitchen wall, and the Rebbe’s guidance, encouragement, love, and pride deep within their hearts. 

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