Twenty-one teens gathered from four Asian cities for the Asia Progressive Judaism (APJ) Teen Shabbaton, held in Hong Kong from 23rd- 25th November. Teens from Progressive communities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and for the first time, Beijing took part. For visitors, the weekend began with a food tour that included Hong Kong’s most famous egg tarts. The group attended Shabbat services and dinner, and took part in Torah study on Shabbat morning. Tikkun Olam was an important part of the weekend with the teens participating in a Kindness Walk with ImpactHK, an organization that helps the homeless in Hong Kong. During the walk, the teens distributed food and toiletries to the people they met. Though they were a bit shy at first, by the end of the walk, when the supplies had run out, the teens began giving away their own lunches. The teens also checked out the view of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak, hiked down the morning trail, and blew off steam on a Tram Party, riding from one end of the city to the other on an antique tram along while enjoying dessert and lots of music. On their final morning, the teens were joined by the B’nai Mitzvah class of The UJC and participated in a Koolulam-style activity, learning a song in three-part harmony in under an hour. It was a fitting end to the Shabbaton – coming together to create a beautiful moment. The Shabbaton was hosted by The United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong with the support of the Joint Distribution Committee. It was the sixth APJ teen weekend. Planning is underway for another Teen Shabbaton in Spring, 2019.
About the author:
Rabbi Martha Bergadine has served as the Education and Programming Director of The United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong since 2009.