The recent fires didn’t only cause school to close for four days last week, but also led to the postponement of the sophomore and junior class shabbatonim, as well as Senior Mystery Night, and a freshmen experiential learning day. Earlier today, it was decided that the sophomore and junior class shabbatonim would be rescheduled to the same weekend as the freshmen and senior shabbatonim, leading to the first all Milken Shabbaton in over a decade.
The shabbaton will take place at Brandeis Bardin (the home of Camp Alonim) in Simi Valley from February 23-24. Since the whole school and most of the faculty will be in attendance, Milken will take over the entire campus of Brandeis Bardin. While it is assumed that upperclassmen will stay on the Brandeis Bardin side and underclassmen will stay at Camp Alonim, the full schedule for the shabbaton has yet to be finalized. Accommodations are going to be very tight, as there are just over 500 beds throughout the whole campus, but the administration plans to get creative in order to find space for all students and teachers.
While there are two shabbaton weekends scheduled for next year, if this year’s All School Shabbaton works out, it could become a permanent event. Other schools like Shalhevet and deToledo have successful Shabbatonim as a whole school every year.
Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will stay the night of February 23, while seniors will stay for two nights. The extra night of the Shabbaton will replace Senior Mystery Night, which is expected to be canceled. If this is the case, the resources will be allocated to enhancing the events planned for the second night of the senior shabbaton.
Since this is the first ever All School Shabbaton, the concept has not been finalized, however, there will be a mix of all school activities as well as grade level and advisory-based events planned. The fires, which burned down several communities nearby, now give us the opportunity to take 25 hours to build an even stronger community right here at Milken.