Office of the Chief Rabbi

ShabbatUK @Southport

Event

ShabbatUK helps small communities like Southport feel part of the bigger whole, whilst providing an impetus for them to develop a memorable programme for members. Their Friday Night service attracted over 30 (including some who were unaffiliated), compared to a usual attendance of 5, with the joyful singing and great atmosphere culminating in some spontaneous dancing. This sense of unity and pride in Jewish identity was strengthened further at the catered communal dinner laid out in the shul hall.

Objectives

To maintain services and preserve the Shul

To strengthen participants’ connection with their Jewish identity by providing a traditional Shabbat experience

Evaluation from Rabbi Hackenbroch:

“Food is always a good draw for Jews so a Friday night dinner provided an excellent opportunity to bring our community together, as well as alerting other communities that we are still very active. We ended up with 30 of our own members plus 6 who are unaffiliated to any shul, plus our visiting minister, Rabbi Kaye, bought a further 8 family and guests. The atmosphere instilled by the Rabbi was captivating, and he emphasised the importance of enjoying performing Mitzvot, especially keeping Shabbat. With your help we were able to provide an excellent meal at modest cost. Hopefully we can build on this success and repeat something similar on a regular basis.”

Participant Feedback:

  • I came away with a greater sense of community spirit and warmth
  • Over the course of the service and meal I developed a greater bond with members of our community. The ‘market share’ that we achieved for a small community was very rewarding
  • The sense of community feeling was palpable, long may it continue
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