The Friendship Circle held it's Second annual Shabbat Retreat & Spa for special moms on Dec 9-11. The retreat took place at Tremblant Manor a luxurious villa just steps away from the Mount Tremblant village. .
The purpose of the Shabbat at the Spa weekend is for women to escape the stress of daily life and regenerate their minds, bodies and spirits to align themselves once again and return to their families with batteries recharged and a renewed positive outlook on the future. Without this kind of escape, the struggles of daily family life can wear mothers down, which can weaken the family unit.
“Moms come from all different walks of life, ages of children, kids with different types of challenges, but there’s an end of the line bond that they all share in that no matter where they come from that they share something so uncommon that they understand each other’s plight. The moms in this group just ‘get it’ whereas the rest of the community may not.”
The guest speaker, Goldie Plotkin, is a co-founder of Chabad Center in Markham, Ontario, the director of Torah Tots Pre-School, and also runs a learning program in Toronto called Women and Wisdom. As a mother of eight children (one which has special needs), Plotkin offers a unique skill set and experience to the Friendship Circle mothers that attended the weekend getaway.
The Weekend Rundown
Friday afternnon women were greeted with a gourment lunch each mom was given complimentary spa services with a choice of massage, facial or manicure. The women welcomed shabbat with a traditional candle lighting ceremony followed by a a four-course gourmet dinner focusing on the “power of hope.” The talk deeply inspired the moms with newfound strengths and positivity. Diner was followed by a lively pajama party where delicious cocktails and desserts were served.
Shabbat morning started off with breakfast in bed followed by a discussion exploring Jewish identity. Focus was given on prayer and mindfulness by exploring prayers for the special needs mom. An engaging panel explored the unique perspectives of several moms on a variety of topics relevant to the special needs family. A beautiful three course Shabbat meal focused on the Power of women and the important role they have in building their home. Moms then explored the snow covered tremblant village followed by a delicious popcorn bar.
After a farewell to Shabbat ceremony, women enjoyed swimming and appetisers followed by an energising Zumba class. A unique activity of “Paint your pop art” gave the women a chance to paint a self-portrait “pop-art” style. The wonderful evening concluded with a fajita bar and a delicious fondue dessert.
The weekend offered a great combination of moms connecting with other moms, networking and an opportunity to relax, get some respite and be pampered.
Every time moms visited their rooms, there were gifts waiting to be given to them including spa slippers and custom sweaters.
The end of the weekend culminated Sunday morning with a poolside yoga class followed by a brunch where everyone shared what inspired them over the weekend and how the new relationships developed gave a greater sense of belonging in the special needs community. Many of the moms shared how they gained inspiration from their peer moms just as much as from the incredible speaker!