Office of the Chief Rabbi

Kenton: Residential Shabbaton

Event

A spirit of unity was fostered very successfully during Kenton’s Residential Shabbaton in the Buckinghamshire countryside, as participants, including those who are housebound and can’t ordinarily make it to shul, enjoyed a full Shabbat with communal meals, ruach-filled davening and inspirational speakers Elana Chesler and The Rabbi created an onsite Eruv before Shabbat, and though there was no pressure to attend all aspects of the programme, each session was close to full, with full attendance at the musical Havdalah.

Objectives

To provide a setting in which the participants could establish closer relationships
To inspire members and show how Shabbat can be meaningful

Evaluation from Rabbi Black

‘I have been overwhelmed with the positive responses and feedback that I have received from the community. The Shabbaton brought everybody closer together. Every aspect of the Shabbaton went to plan and everybody was engaged in the Shabbat fully. We taught people about Eruv and other aspects of Shabbat. Throughout the Shabbaton there was a tremendous Ruach. Everyone came away with something they had learned and people are now talking about how inspiring it was, wanting to bring that inspiration into Shabbat in Kenton.. (Yes)!! We definitely want to do this again next year- but bigger and better!!’

Participant Feedback:

  • Gained the opportunity to learn from the speakers, to experience a wonderful Shabbat atmosphere and to become involved with individual members of the community.
  • Extremely good bonding experience. Chance to retreat from one’s usual world
  • The musical Havdalah with Rabbi Black, singing and dancing accompanied by accordion and tambourines, with everyone joining in, was magic
  • This have me a feeling of belonging to a community again (Non-Shul member)
  • My husband and I enjoyed taking part in a lovely Friday night service – it is a very long time since either of us attended shul on a Friday night. I spoke to several people in the community that I had never talked to before and got to know some members of the Wembley community, who also attended