Capital Connection, a Kemp Mill, Maryland, based organization bringing together marriage-minded singles, is gearing up for its second annual shabbaton. It will take place over the weekend of Nov. 10-12 and is expected to once again draw Orthodox singles from across the country.
Singles ages 35-55 are invited to attend; the age limit — on both ends of the spectrum — is strictly enforced.
“Our events are nothing very ‘single-y,’” said Rhonda Lehman, co-director of Capital Connection. “We create events anyone could attend which are fun and interesting.”
Lehman shared some of the details of the upcoming shabbaton. Five meals will be served, and the food will be elegant, she emphasized, “not the typical potato kugel and cholent, but food they never experienced.” Dr. Erica Brown, a local Jewish scholar and author, will hold a workshop. For seudah shlishit (the third meal), shabbaton participants will take to the great outdoors, visiting Brookside Gardens.
There will also be entertainment, including a comedian, interactive activities, a Sunday brunch, and a dating coach (Kol HaBirah columnist Rachel Burnham) for those who’d like to meet with her.
Burnham, a member of the organizing committee, said that she personally had “a challenging journey” from singlehood to marriage. “That’s why I want to give back,” she said.
The organizers promise a “warm, welcoming atmosphere” at the shabbaton, which will offer home hospitality in Kemp Mill, said Marci Schopf, the event’s co-director.
But the shabbatons have another purpose, according to Lehman. “We hope they will increase awareness, mindfulness, and sensitivity toward singles,” she said. “Shabbat and Yom Tovare particularly lonely, very challenging.”
By Barbara Trainin Blank