The Yeshiva of Central Queens hosted its annual Yachad Shabbaton. On January 31 and February 1, Shabbos Parshas Bo, students, staff, and alumni from the Yeshiva gathered to share in a Shabbos filled with learning, ruach, and the making of new friends. Community members opened their homes to house Yachad members and staff, making it possible for them to participate in this amazing Shabbaton.

Yachad, the flagship program of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities, teamed with YCQ to allow for the children in Yachad to have the opportunity to feel included in Shabbos, as well as teach the students of YCQ tolerance, acceptance, and compassion.

The yearly program affords the opportunity for grade eight students to get to know Yachad members and to enjoy a spiritual Shabbos with them during meals, learning, and socializing through davening together and participating in a variety of activities and songs run by the Yachad staff.

Divrei Torah were given following each meal by YCQ students and Yachad members, and Shabbos ended with a beautiful Havdalah and Melaveh Malkah with dancing. Participation by students is voluntary. As the grade eight students start to plan for high school, their next step in their education, a program like this gives them the tools needed for them to be well-rounded students. It teaches acceptance and understanding, and creates a quality within the students where they accept and believe that everyone belongs. These qualities will instill in them what it takes to be leaders and community advocates for klal Yisrael, as they continue their journey towards the future.