Next Mission: December 26, 2023 - January 1, 2024
When mentor Sammy Simnegar and his wife Reyna returned from this summer’s Mentors Mission, they wanted to recreate the experience on a local level. Mr. Simnegar’s mission was twofold. First, he wanted to strengthen the connections made on the Mentors Mission, so that students would be able to continue learning. Second, he wanted to introduce his friends to the concept, and inspire them to become mentors themselves.
Wasting no time, he offered to host a Shabbaton in his own backyard (literally!) in Boston.
Fifteen college students from across the United States converged in the historic New England city, for a historic Shabbos that will remain seared in its participants’ memories, forever. The Boston community opened their homes and hearts to the students. There may or may not have been steeped drinks on the menu – but unlike the tea party that made the city famous, the hospitality was delightfully warm.
The weekend kicked off with a visit to an authentic kosher Indian restaurant. It continued with a boat duck tour of historic Boston. But the most historic event occurred later, when, at 6 pm on Friday afternoon, students and business leaders from the community – invited by Sammy Simnegar – joined for the first of four mentor sessions in the beautiful Simnegar residence.
Like at the Mentors Mission, the students dove head-first into the Sea of Torah – and found it exhilarating. It was the perfect prelude to a magical Friday night meal on the back porch of the Simnegar home.
The experience was surreal. Everything, from the stunning tablescape, to the delicious food, to the heartfelt singing and divrei Torah, touched the students’ hearts.
The inspiration continued at the Shabbos day meal, which students enjoyed with their host families. They regrouped for the second mentor session at Rabbi Halpern’s Shul – where they once again learned with members of the Boston community. Shalosh seudos was graced by an inspiring lecture by Ohr Somayach’s Rabbi Yitzchak Greenblatt, who came especially for the event from Eretz Yisroel.
The final mentor session took place at the farewell breakfast in a local yeshiva, where the spark of Torah was once again ignited, giving students the inspiration and strength they need to stay connected with their mentors – and with Torah – through the winter, and beyond.