On February 5th-7th more than 100 Shabbat candles will be lit by the side of Tahoe’s glistening freshwater lake by participants in the 2nd Lake Tahoe Shabbaton Weekend Retreat. This is the third year that Chabad of Lake Tahoe has been offering community classes to local and out-of-town guests and more than 150 people are expected for the 2016 winter retreat.
Rabbi Mordechai Richler has created this years’ program to maximize the delight of clear mountain air and Jewish learning. “Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to unwind from our hectic lives. Shabbat is wonderful, but it is also very consuming and by the time we make Havdalah, we’re straight back to work and our busy lives. We need vacation time and it is very important to create this in a Jewish environment.”
With upscale kosher catering provided by Meni Peretz from Yes Catering, this the weekend when you won’t need to cook. The program also provides a full children’s program for children aged 3 – 12 and counselors will take the kids bowling, hiking and otherwise keep them fully engaged.
The weekend’s services will be accompanied by a most special Torah Scroll. Rescued by a young boy during Kristellnacht, this aging Torah scroll is travelling around American shuls. Owned by the JCI, Rabbi Richler heard it was in California and organized for its participation at the retreat where it will be used to read Parashah Mishpatim on Saturday morning.
Other events are plentiful, as well as a lecture and conversation with featured speaker, Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson. A renowned scholar and speaker from London, England, Kalmenson is the author of the inspirational book, Seeds of Wisdom, and A Time to Heal; The Rebbe’s response to Loss and Tragedy. He will be speaking on, “G d is in the Details: The way Judaism transformed the landscape of Western Morality.”
The Saturday night Havdalah buffet will include a musical kumzitz with Rabbi Yehuda Ferris from Berkeley. The evening is expected to run late into the night but Sunday is unscheduled so that visitors can enjoy a hike in the local mountains and can take advantage of the fabulous skiing. With temperatures in the 30’s, the mountain air is crisp but comfortable.
Tahoe is a seven hour drive from Los Angeles, or there is a flight to Reno which takes less than two hours. Once at the resort, there is no need to use your car. You can enjoy a Tahoe experience which might bring some permanent respite from the high-octane life that we experience in Los Angeles.
To register or learn more about the Shabbaton, visit TahoeShabbaton.com or call 530 314 7677