Jewish Center of Ulyanovsk

For the first time ever, Ulyanovsk businessmen had the opportunity to celebrate Shabbos and learn about the meaning of Pesach in a luxurious setting, at the Regina resort, 100 kilometers from Ulyanovsk. Professor Rabbi Alexander Lakshin flew in from Moscow to give lectures, lead workshops, and inspire the crowd.
The program started after a refreshing lunch on Friday afternoon, in the conference hall. The theme of the lecture was Shabbos. Many were moved to seriously commit to keeping Shabbos, each on their own level. The Shabbos table was set up magnificently. There was an abundance of delicious challah, fish, salads, dips, chicken and meat. The waiters kept filling and refilling everyones glasses with wine, juice, soda, whiskey, and of course vodka. Rabbi Marozov and Rabbi Lakshin spoke about the Parsha and each businessman stood up to say a toast – mostly it was about how incredible it is to be together in such an environment. After the meal, everyone came together to farbreng. They sang songs, learned new songs, said stories, and asked questions till 5:30 in the morning. It was a night that wont be forgotten.
On Shabbos morning, they had a lecture about Pesach and Freedom. Although they were tired from the night before, they were all there because nobody wanted to miss a single word. The shabbos davening and Torah reading was a special experience, since most of them don’t come to shul often.
The shabbos day meal was filled with divrei Torah and songs. After the meal, they had some time to rest. They all came back to the conference hall re-energized and ready to hear Rabbi Lakshin speak about business and Torah. Rabbi Lakshin spoke about how the Torah teaches us how to live our lives in every aspect – including business. He spoke about various mitzvos and laws that apply to businessmen. The businessmen appreciated the lecture very much since it was very practical and relevant to them.
Although the table was set up beautifully for shalosh seudos, hardly anyone touched the food since they were so full from the Shabbos day meal. The businessmen played a new and exciting version of the “dreidle” game – each letter represented a question for the player to answer. For example for the letter nun they related a personal miracle that happened to them, for the letter hei they related something about yiddishkeit that they remembered from their parents or grandparents… They had so much fun playing that they played until havdalah.
After havdalah, the businessmen were treated to a royal banquet with barbecued lamb chops and chicken. There was lots of dancing, and singing. we had a profesional DJ and singer arrange Karayoki – they even found yiddish songs to sing to. Although the shabbaton ended, the inspiration will last for a very long time.

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