I had never had a Jewish education even before, but I was craving for some knowledge. As soon as I found out about the Winter Yeshivacation program at Machon Chana, I signed up online. I do admit, I was a bit worried, because I didn’t really understand how everything will be. I was however pleased with the place I was coming too. The girls who I lived and learned with were very welcoming and nice. They helped me when I didn’t understand something and we’re always there to listen to me. I loved the way the teachers taught, because they spoke about their subject with so much enthusiasm. The classes we’re very educative and interactive. All our questions we’re always answered and no questions we’re deemed “silly”. Not only did we learn during classes, but we also had tours. We went to visit the Mikvah, The Rebbe’s Library, The Rebbe’s house, a Matzah bakery a Sofer and Wlcc. This was a great learning experience as well as a bonding experience with the girls I was lucky to meet. I can honestly say that i have blossomed, and I am only now beginning to get to know the person I really am. This is only the beginning of a journey, and I am very thankful that each and everyone at Machon Chana helped me start it.
Our student body is a testament to the diversity and richness of the Jewish people. Each student immeasurably adds to the program with her unique life experience and perspective. Please meet our students, and discover how Yeshivacation has impacted their lives.
Yeshivacation gave me the motivation to start the most important journey in my life the journey – to get to know myself as a Jew.
Deborah Kattan, Investment Banker, Bank Leumi, FL
I loved meeting everyone and connecting through a common craving for increased involvement in Yiddishkeit. In addition to the incredible teachers that we had, I think that our new friendships helped to create an environment where we could concentrate on what makes life meaningful- developing a relationship with Hashem through Torah and mitzvos. I have been permanently touched by the sincerity and warmth I encountered at the Yeshivacation program.
Bassie Fine, 2011 graduate of UCLA B.A., Linguistics
Yeshivacation opened the door for me to a world I never knew existed. My life has never been the same since.
Michelle, Lawyer, Singapore
After having attended Machon Chana in the late 70’s, Yocheved Adelman married and went out on Shlichus. She is currently the Co-director of Chabad House at Amherst.
Over the past 20 years we have been sending Five College students to attend the Yeshivacation at Machon Chana. There is no better way to expose your students to an exciting and invigorating experience of a real Lubavitch community. We have sent students with minimal Chabad House involvement as well as our core group Shabbos girls and each and everyone has returned to college having gained something on their own level. The program is warm and welcoming and well aware of the mindset of the contemporary college student, providing real nourishment for searching souls. The advantage of sending a student to a Lubavitcher mossad cannot be overstated. We are fortunate that Machon Chana provides this venue for our students and I would encourage everyone to take advantage of it.
Yocheved Adelman, Co-Director of Chabad House at Amherst on the Campus of the University of Massachussets
After arriving as a student to Yeshivacation, Bracha Leeds returned to YVC two years in a row. After college. she attended and graduated from the two year, full-time program at Machon Chana. Bracha and her husband Gill, are now Co-Directors of the Chabad Jewish Student Center @UC Berkeley.
A graduate of molecular and cell biology I was more intellectually stimulated and challenged in the 10 days of Yeshivacation, than over the three years of my studies at UC Berkeley. The life changing nature of this program is an opportunity not to be overlooked nor underestimated by Shluchim. The staff and administrators have an exemplary understanding of the unique needs of college students and go out of their way to reproduce the warm inviting atmosphere they find in the homes of their shluchim around the world. Students upon returning to your campus will undoubtedly become your strongest advocates and future student leaders. It would be a tragedy for Shluchim not to take advantage of this one of a kind opportunity in the heart of the Rebbe’s Schuna.
Bracha Leeds, Co-Director of the Chabad Jewish Student Center at UC Berkeley
Reflections from A Visiting Teacher
Rabbi Dov Greenberg of the Rohr Chabad House at Stanford University participated as a visiting teacher in a recent Winter YeshivaCation program. Over two and a half days, Rabbi Greenberg gave a series of classes addressing participants on a number of topics ranging from beginner level Chassidus to the Torah perspective on science and relationships. His visit culminated in a Friday evening meal and farbrengen with YeshivaCation participants and students in the Yeshiva Program. Following his visit, Rabbi Greenberg shared his observations of his first, brief visit to the seminary in the following letter and interview.
Dear Esteemed Rebbetzin Sara Labkowski,
I wanted to drop you a brief note to thank you and to say that you’ve created a magnetic place of learning. Machon Chana’s welcoming environment enables its students to make each step on their Jewish journey with intellectual appreciation and soulful inspiration.
Indeed, to be a Jew means to study and reflect upon the great classics of the Jewish tradition. It means to treasure Judaism, and be committed to Torah and its Mitzvot. It means to be dedicated to enriching and intensifying Jewish life across the world. These values, it seems to me, are central to Machon Chana’s ethos as an institution. As such, it has opened the doors of Judaism and the inner dimension of Torah to its students. May Machon Chana continue to flourish and grow.
Rabbi Dov Greenberg
I encountered a cross-section of YeshivaCation participants. The group spanned the gamut of Jewish women. From students with little or no Jewish education, to those thinking very seriously about making Judaism a part of their life, the women ranged in age and professional and academic backgrounds.
Machon Chana appears to be an impressive, well run institution. I sensed that it is not a simple school but rather a place whose staff and administration is deeply concerned with every student individually. There is a lovely feeling of warmth that runs through the programs and affects the students, creating an atmosphere which is unique and beautiful, conducive to caring and bonding.
When I farbrenged with students in the Yeshiva Program I was impressed that their Jewish knowledge has progressed with an astonishing speed. This is a serious academic program which not only teaches students about Judaism, but gives them the tools to open up a text and have access to 4000 years of our heritage.
In the YeshivaCation participants I felt a restlessness and seriousness about the life questions they are facing. While they may have arrived not knowing what to expect, they began to be open to investing a few days or weeks in Machon Chana sensing that this institution might be a platform for the answers they urgently seek. I felt that a lot of students who attended the program arrived subconsciously asking “why do I need to be Jewish at all? Why do I need to marry Jewish?” and left thinking that perhaps Judaism contains the deepest answers to what really matters in life.
Rabbi Dov Greenberg, Rabbi Dov Greenberg, Executive Director of Chabad at Stanford University, Contributing Editor of the Algemeiner Journal
I found teaching an exhilarating experience. On one hand a diverse crowd where no background could be taken for granted and all material must be presented with a solid rational foundation. At the same time it was a group similar in its high academic and intelligence level, all highly motivated and driven to learn and discover.