Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Community Shabbat for International Shabbat Day | October 24 and 25

On October 24th, in 170 cities across the world, Jewish people will celebrate Shabbat as a global expression of Jewish identity and community. Spearheaded by South Africa's "The Shabbos Project", Shabbat San Diego is coordinating and planning an array of community ritual, educational and celebratory Shabbat programs, in conjunction with local congregations, community organizations, and youth groups. On Thursday, October 23rd, there will be a Community wide Challah Making event. On Saturday, October 25th, there will be a Havdalah event in the evening. On Friday and Saturday, there are planned Shabbat celebrations along with private home Shabbat dinners, special congregational services, Shabbat study opportunities and guest lectures.

“We want to provide a unique twenty-five hour Shabbat experience that is educational, authentic and fun,” said Rabbi Daniel Bortz, one of the Shabbat San Diego organizers. “We hope to reach the 50,000 Jewish households in San Diego. Our goal is for San Diegans to enjoy the events, services and spiritual benefits by participating in the rituals of our heritage.”

“All factional identities, affiliations, ideologies and political differences will be set aside as congregations, organizations and unaffiliated Jews celebrate this special Shabbat, respecting denominational differences and engaging in Shabbat dinners, services, Kiddush, candle lighting, challah baking and study,” added Robyn Lichter, a co-organizer of Shabbat San Diego. “The vast majority of San Diegans are unaffiliated and we hope to provide them with an opportunity to enjoy their heritage in an inclusive and educational environment.”

As part of the event, Shabbat San Diego will match volunteer Shabbat dinner hosts with guests seeking to enjoy a Shabbat experience. Shabbat San Diego will also provide supplementary materials to assist hosts in creating a meaningful evening. In addition, the Education Committee, headed by Hebrew Day School principal, Rabbi Simcha Weiser, will plan a unifying theme for use throughout the weekend and will arrange for lectures by community and religious leaders on Saturday afternoon. One obstacle that has surfaced, is “engaging everyone and offending no-one” in our community, concluded Selwyn Isakow, another organizer.

There are several volunteer opportunities available on a number of different committees, as well as organization and congregation liaison opportunities. For more information please contact us or visit our Facebook page at We look forward to your participation.


Rabbi Daniel Bortz


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