Teens from the Bethlehem Chabad’s CTeen chapter included from left, Samantha Lefkowitz, Gaby Raydo, Talya Cohen, Sophie Raydo, Goldie Hein.

ALBANY–A delegation of Jewish teens from Bethlehem Chabad’s CTeen chapter, under the guidance of Chanie Simon, co-director of Bethlehem Chabad, attended the recent annual CTeen International Summit in New York City. According to Simon, this year, the summit held an even greater than usual significance as it aimed to fortify the teens, providing them with a platform to connect with other Jewish teens and recommit to Jewish values amidst the backdrop of recent adversities, according to Simon.

The February gathering, which hosted a delegation of 200 Israeli teens and included survivors of the Nova Dance massacre, attracted over 3,000 participants from 58 countries. Programs included workshops, discussions, and opportunities for prayer and reflection at the ohel, the grave of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. A Times Square “havdalah” ceremony, celebrating Jewish identity, featured prayers for peace.

“This year’s CTeen Summit was a transformative experience that has deeply impacted my connection to my Jewish identity,” shared Gaby Raydo, a participant from Bethlehem Chabad. “Being surrounded by thousands of Jewish teens from around the world gave me a sense of belonging and strength that I’ve never felt before and which is so important today.”

Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, vice chairman of CTeen International, emphasized the importance of such gatherings. “In a world where our youth are bombarded with countless challenges to their faith and identity, the CTeen International Summit stands as a critical platform to empower the teens to hold strong and be ambassadors of positivity back home,” he stated.

CTeen Bethlehem, is part of the International Chabad Teen Network, encompassing over 730 chapters in 58 countries across six continents

Information about the CTeen program may be obtained by contacting Chanie Simon at [email protected] or 518-439-3310.