Office of the Chief Rabbi

ShabbatUK @Finsbury Park

Event

ShabbatUK at Finsbury Park got off to a creative start as children created wooden stars in a Parashat Lech Lecha-themed session titled ‘Ani Kohav’. These created the backdrop for their Shabbat, which was also preceded by FPS’ first ever Challah Make, where attendees included a handful of people who had never made challah or attended a ShabbatUK event before. FPS laid on the full Shabbat package over the weekend, with a Kabbalat Shabbat followed by dinner, talks from speaker Rabbi Dr Lowenthal and an upbeat Melava Malka featuring the band ‘Soul Flame’.  Participants came away encouraged by the vigour of community life and buoyed by the uplifting experience of a full Shabbat.

Objectives

To make people aware of the joys of Shabbat and to engender a community spirit

To attract people who are less observant to shul and to the Shabbat experience

Evaluation from Maytal Charing:

“The children loved the ‘Ani Kohav’ activity and the fact that their stars were made for creating the atmosphere for our Shabbat UK events. For our Challah Make and our Shabbaton, we all sat “under the stars” that were made by the FPS kids and it was a pleasure to see for all. The Challah Make was a first at FPS. It was so successful that people who have never made Challot before promised to make challah every week and want another Challah Make event!”

Participant Feedback:

  • It was the first Melava Malka that I have been to. My children felt welcomed and I met knew people, it was joyful! I am thinking about joining the shul
  • Since I keep Shabbat anyway, it was just an opportunity to have an enjoyable social evening. Kudos to the Chief Rabbi for initiating this event in the U.K.
  • I think the board are doing a marvellous job reviving the shul and focusing on what the community want. About a year ago, I rarely attended shul, but the fact it is taking part in Shabbat UK makes me want to attend shul more often
  • There was something for everyone, from the inspiring address by Rabbi Dr Lowenthal, the out of this world “Soul Flame” singers and the well-presented food
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