On Friday night, March 2nd, Congregation Agudath Sholom is joining with synagogues throughout North America in sponsoring the 16th annual "Shabbat Across America," a nationwide effort coordinated by the National Jewish Outreach Program to share the beauty of Shabbat with unaffiliated Jews.
Our program will include a special Friday Carlebach Style Service and a tasty Shabbat dinner prepared catered by Kosh. Elana Stein Hain will be our scholar in residence, and will speak at the Friday night dinner and twice on Shabbat day.
We are grateful to Adam & Jessica Batkin for serving as event chairs and Andrew & Janet Bein for sponsoring our scholar in residence, in honor of Shabbat Across America
In the past, Shabbat Across America has been enormously successful at Agudath Sholom with 300 participants enjoying a truly beautiful Shabbat together in the social hall. This year, I hope we can equal or even surpass that total!
There are several ways to participate, and I urge everyone to be a part of this initiative.
Encourage participation in our Shabbat Across Americaprogram. Everyone has at least one Jewish friend, family member, co-worker, or someone you know who has not truly experienced Shabbat in a long time - if at all. Tell them about Shabbat Across America and urge them to participate.
We are also looking for "table hosts" to help familiarize the unfamiliar and add energy to the event. Being a host entails attending the dinner, working to establish a connection with those at your table, and sharing the beauty of Shabbat with fellow Jews, many of who want so very much to be part of the Jewish community, but have not yet felt that sense of welcome.
Can't join us? That's OK...you can still create your own Shabbat Across America in your home! While the communal event at CAS is a wonderful experience, please consider using Friday night, March 2nd as an opportunity in your home to share a Shabbat meal with those who may not ordinarily enjoy a meaningful Friday night. We all regularly enjoy the beauty of Shabbat, so let's share that beauty by opening our homes to those less familiar with the warmth of the holy day. If you're interested, I am happy to provide you with materials to help make your "Shabbat Across America: At Home Edition" the perfect opportunity for learning and inspiration.
As you can see, there is a Shabbat Across America opportunity for everyone: Whether you come to CAS, or participate at home; whether you recruit others or serve as a table host; whether you're 30 years old or 60 years old. Regardless of how you participate in Shabbat Across America, let us all commit to doing what we can to include as many people as possible in celebrating a more meaningful Shabbat on March 4th. How special it will be to fill up CAS, open our homes, and engage Jews of all ages!