Yeshiva University Joins Global Jewish Community in Keeping Shabbat Together October 24 – 25
This week, Yeshiva University students will join Jewish communities in more than 212 cities across 33 countries for a Shabbat dedicated to Jewish unity and identity as part of The Shabbos Project.
The brainchild of South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, the international grassroots initiative hopes to bring Jews of all backgrounds and affiliations together to observe a single Shabbat on October 24-25.
After a successful inaugural Shabbos Project last year united South African Jewry in a complete Shabbat experience—from preparation to praying to hosting meals, the Shabbos Project movement has gone global this year with participating communities worldwide.
“There was a mass movement, a people’s experience, it was a people’s spring,” said Rabbi Goldstein. “The whole campaign went viral and the people owned it.”
Shabbos Project 2014
This year, The Shabbos Project chose October 24-25, 2014 to once again create an inspirational and engaging Shabbat where Jews worldwide will be “Keeping it Together.” This specific weekend was chosen because it immediately follows a month full of Jewish holidays to encourage Jews that may only attend shul [synagogue] on the High Holidays to remain engaged and connected. The Yeshiva University community has taken an active role in this initiative by creating a weeklong Shabbat experience for its students and neighbors.
“YU students will be running numerous programs and initiatives designed to reach out to the broader Jewish community, and both our campuses will be hosting Shabbos Project experiences that energize the local communities with the vitality and warmth of a Shabbat experience,” said Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, the David Mitzner Dean of YU’s Center for the Jewish Future. “We encourage all of our communities to open their homes and synagogues to Jews across the spectrum of affiliation, in pursuit of unifying our people through the inspiration of observing Shabbat.”
The weeklong excitement begins on YU’s Israel Henry Beren Campus on Monday, October 20 with a TSLS event on the topic of “How Shabbat Builds a Sense of Community” followed by a T3 (T-Cubed) learning event on Tuesday, October 21 which will give Stern College and Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls students an opportunity to learn together.
On Wednesday, October 22 the Wilf campus joins Tomchei Shabbos to pack Shabbat meals for needy families in the greater New York area. Stern College will host a “Mock Kiddush” during club hour in the lobby of the 245 Lexington Stanton Hall which will include a “Challah Challenge” and other iGive activities. Already a longstanding tradition on the Beren campus, undergraduate students will then participate on in an extensive Challah for Hunger event, baking challah together in an exciting cross-campus event. The proceeds of the challahs will be donated to MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.
On Thursday, October 23, Yeshiva College students will learn together with high school students for chaburah style learning. The Beit Medrash Committee at Stern College will be hosting a mishmar and kumzitz.
Activities on Erev Shabbos, Friday, October 24, will include chessed programming with the student-led clubs Music Vs., Project Sunshine, Sharsheret, and Loving Kindness.
Throughout Shabbat on October 25, students will have the chance to interact with their community and faculty. A joint program with the Manhattan Jewish Experience is also planned.
To extend the spirit of Shabbat, a leil iyun on Sunday, October 26, will feature distinguished speakers about various topics related to Shabbat.
On Monday, October 27, the Shabbos Enhancement Committee will hold an open forum for students to share their ideas to build upon the excitement of the Shabbos project and discuss how to create the ultimate environment for future Shabbatot on campus.
With over 50 communities worldwide taking part in this exciting project, the largest presence of the Shabbos Project is in Manhattan. Yeshiva University plans to not only create a vibrant environment for its students, but will partner with other local institutions to create an open and warm atmosphere over the weekend.
Khal Adath Jeshurun (KAJ) of Washington Heights is encouraging members to host a Friday night dinner in the home and reach out to friends, relatives, and co-workers, as well as the greater Jewish Washington Heights community. KAJ will host a kiddush at 11:15 a.m. and Seudat Shlishit at 5:30 p.m., on 90 Bennet Avenue.
The Mount Sinai Jewish Center will also facilitate meals between its members and other Washington Heights residents, complete with educational materials and a Friday night oneg to follow at 135 Bennet Avenue. Programming will also include a challah-baking event and a concert at the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood.