Shabbaton to Spotlight Teens Who Combat Hate with Positivity

Throughout the year, CTeen members have confronted an onslaught of anti-Semitism. This weekend will feature numerous teens sharing their journeys at the Teen Talks, workshops, award ceremonies, and concerts.

Anticipation builds as Jewish teens worldwide prepare for the annual CTeen Shabbaton this coming weekend, drawing an international crowd of 3,000 eager attendees. The theme ‘Count on Me’ will provide the opportunity for teens to hear first-hand stories of fellow teens who stepped up and took the initiative within their hometowns in recent times.

Throughout the past year, CTeen members from around the globe have confronted a series of challenges, from the October 7th conflict in Israel to an influx of antisemitism in schools and online. Yet, instead of succumbing to fear or despair, CTeen Shluchim have continued their mission of empowering young Jewish leaders, arming the youth with the courage to stand up tall despite it all.

“CTeen aims to cultivate young leaders who are both passionate about their heritage and willingly able to share its beauty with their fellow teens,” remarks Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302. “We are seeing teens develop real confidence in their Jewish identity and respond to these trying times by taking on real leadership roles.”

The weekend will feature numerous teens sharing their journeys at the Shabbat Teen Talks, workshops, award ceremonies, and concerts. Among them is Rachel Arrous, a CTeen leader from France, who single-handedly launched CTeen chapters across France, transforming the landscape of Jewish teen engagement in her country. Inspired by her family’s encounter with the Rebbe, Rachel’s journey to leadership began with a profound sense of purpose.

Similarly, Sam Sheyman, a CTeen leader from Tri-Valley, California, has been wearing his yarmulke with pride, refusing to hide his Jewish identity even in front of a large audience on the college basketball court. His courage and determination have already displayed the power of Jewish pride locally. Now, he will share that message with thousands of teens from the international community.

Contributing to this bolstering of Jewish pride and action amongst the younger generation are the 20 CTeen Lounges built throughout the past year, and ten more are scheduled to open in the coming months. These state-of-the-art safe meet-up spaces for Jewish teens have served as an incubator for these powerful initiatives and enabled teens to collaborate and find creative ways to share their passion with others. By the end of the weekend, one more fortunate chapter will receive a CTeen center of its own.

The Shabbaton will provide an invaluable opportunity for teens from around the world to meet others. For some, especially those from small towns with few other Jewish teens, this event will be a chance to connect, share experiences, and build lasting friendships.

The closing ceremony will also include the highly anticipated CTeen Choice Awards, recognizing Jewish teen leaders from around the world. Among the nominees is Oliver William, a 17-year-old Jewish senior at Miami Beach Senior High. Oliver’s refusal to let fear dictate his actions in the face of rising antisemitism and his leadership in celebrating Chanukah proudly in his community have earned him a nomination for this coveted award.

As the global CTeen community comes together for Shabbat and the closing banquet, it’s a celebration of resilience, unity, and the unwavering commitment of young leaders like Rachel, Sam, and Oliver to shape a brighter future for the Jewish people.

Don’t miss the live broadcast of the closing ceremony to witness the inspiring stories of teen leadership in action.

Visit to hear from this year’s CTeen Choice Awards Nominees.

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