CHICAGO, IL — A high school shabbaton was tragically cut short this weekend, thanks to a bear rampaging through the woods surrounding the summer camp where the shabbaton was held. Several students that were in the woods had to be rushed to the hospital, somehow oblivious to warning sounds of an incoming bear.
“We actually heard the bear coming,” said sophomore Katie Schultz, who had been in the woods at the time with junior Jonah Lipman. “I mean, we were just… um… talking about the page of the Talmud that the rabbi taught us about this morning. And we saw it a few yards away, so we got dres– I mean, we ran away as fast as we could.”
Two freshmen, Rina Abramson and Harry Kleiman, were so far into the forest in the back of camp that they did not hear the shouts of the rest of the school body. “Rina was just showing me around, because she goes to camp there in the summer, and we were looking for a place to… play cards, or something,” Kleiman said. Kleiman’s lower leg has been amputated due an infected bear bite, and Abramson has a bruise on her neck that they both insist also came from the bear attack. She has no other injuries.
Seniors Gabby Tessler and Lillian Grinberg were the heroes of the night. They were responsible for rounding up nearly 20 students from around the woods once they heard the first screams. “We had left the evening activity early, so Lillian could help me, you know, collect some leave samples for our bio lab,” Tessler said. “We got dibs on a really good spot in the woods since we’ve been dati– I mean, lab partners, for the longest of anyone in our grade. So we heard the yelling first and we knew we had to help the freshmen who don’t know the area as well as we do.”
In an email to parents, Head of School Rabbi Aaron Silver said, “Our top priority is the safety of your children, so we will be suspending all plans for future Shabbatons. While our school’s mission remains to create the next generation of Jewish thinkers, it’s not necessary to create them just now.”