Set amid the rolling hills of Simi Valley at the Brandeis-Bardin campus of American Jewish University, the All-School Shabbaton occurs every spring. Five hundred students, faculty, and most of the staff pack up and move to our off-site community complete with intellectual, artistic and athletic programs, a joyful Shabbat, and time for hanging out with schoolmates, faculty and their families, administrators, and alumni serving as counselors.
Our Shabbaton is the moment when grade level distinctions fall away and de Toledo High School truly becomes one vibrant community. Students and teachers have time to connect, gather for meals, discuss life, and share common experiences.
The vision of the de Toledo High School Shabbaton, the length and depth of the program, is unique to our community. It is, in essence, the manifestation of who we are as a school and how we envision a strong values education. The Shabbaton has truly become the cornerstone of our high-level academic environment, a part of the bedrock upon which our children find emotional strength for success in the “real” world.
In keeping with de Toledo High School tradition, the seniors pass the torch of leadership to the juniors at an emotional ceremony during Havdalah. The talent show and campfire in the outdoor amphitheatre creates a jubilant mood among our community as talented students, teachers, and alumni entertain all with singing, comedy, and music.
The Shabbaton is indeed the culture-making moment of de Toledo High School where school values, students, faculty, and staff meld into one powerful entity. It is an experience that touches the soul, inspires thought, develops students’ life skills and provides unique opportunities for students, teachers, and their families to bond. For many, it’s a transformational experience!