Office of the Chief Rabbi

ShabbatUK @Brondesbury Park

Event

Approximately 550 people attended the various ShabbatUK events arranged by Brondesbury Park, which kicked off with a huge ladies Challah Make that didn’t just celebrate the mitzvah of making challah, but also featured wine, sushi, music and song. Also part of the build-up was a Whisky and Torah evening at which Rabbi Tatz spoke on the Hidden Dimension of Shabbat. Family activities and a captivating talk from Rabbi Sharon Shalom about his journey to becoming the first Ethiopian Rabbi enlivened the communal Friday Night Dinner no end. The Havdalah programme was equally upbeat, with attendees joining in a musical ceremony and children enjoying arts and crafts activities and a special supper.

Objectives

To generate a greater awareness of the value of Shabbat resulting in an increased level of observance

To facilitate networking between less affiliated families in a warm shul environment

To highlight various dimensions of Shabbat both in terms of preparation for Shabbat and in terms of how to get the most out of Shabbat through positive family interaction

Evaluation from Rabbi Levin:

“The challah bake drew in a swathe of people in the community who would not normally engage in our routine activities and gave them an appreciation of this unique mitzvah. The Friday night dinner generated a wonderful sense of communal spirit whilst reinforcing the value of Shabbat in people’s minds and allowing them to experience what it should feel like when done right. Havdalah left people feeling deeply moved. With our Eruv going live shortly this was an opportunity to hopefully set the scene for several families to fully embrace Shabbat observance once the Eruv is up and running.”

Participant Feedback:

  • It was all well organised and well attended, with a fabulous atmosphere throughout, though especially at the challah make
  • Everything was amazing. The challah make was a fabulous evening, and the challah tasted delicious. The speaker on Friday night was inspirational and Havdalah, as always with Rabbi Baruch was beautiful
  • Such an amazing experience, even better than last year’s! The community was out in force and was so amazing to share this with friends old and new. It was a joy to see the children get so much from it
  • Was a lovely, community experience. All children regardless of age were able to join in, be stimulated and experience a wonderful melodic Havdalah
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