Over 2,500 Shabbat Project events – more than double than in 2021 – will take place this year on and around November 11-12, 2022 (Parshat Vayeira), in Jewish communities across the globe.
From Australia to Israel, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Morocco and Monaco, to the United States, Canada, Argentina, Guatemala and Chile, more than 1 million people across the globe will be part of the 10th anniversary festivities for the Shabbat Project.
The Shabbat Project, led by South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, is a global, grassroots movement that unites Jews around the magic of Shabbat. As part of this initiative, Jews from all walks of life – from across the spectrum of religious affiliation, young and old, from all corners of the globe – come together to celebrate and keep one full Shabbat, in a spirit of global Jewish unity.
South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, founder of The Shabbat Project, said: “The Shabbat Project is bringing Jews together around the world. This year's Shabbat Project is happening shortly after very divisive elections in Israel and the United States, and this is an opportunity to harness the healing power of Shabbat to unify and inspire Jewish communities. In times of rising antisemitism, we need to define ourselves by our values and not by the hatred of others.”
“Through the Shabbat Project, we can create a new Jewish future based on Jewish pride, unity, and values, transcending the barriers that seem to separate us. This is an opportunity to rejuvenate family life, strengthen Jewish unity throughout the world, and restore Jewish pride and identity."
In Israel alone, more than 250,000 participants are embracing The Shabbat Project, thanks to an astonishing coordinated effort across civil society – a diverse coalition bringing together local municipalities, innovative NGOs and nonprofits, Israel’s Ministry of Education and Jewish youth movements, in more than 100 cities throughout Israel with more than 135,000 students. Activities are taking place in schools, synagogues and city centers, bridging the stark political and religious divides in Israeli society.
In Europe, Jewish refugees from Ukraine will attend a Shabbat dinner in Strasbourg, France, with hundreds of participants expected. In general, the Shabbat Project in France is focused on youth, with Shabbatons for students and young professionals, and events dedicated to teenagers, happening across the country.
In South America, Buenos Aires will host a mass outdoor challah bake in a park for around 3,000 women. Other Shabbat Project events are happening in Córdoba, Argentina, Guatemala, and Chile.
And in South Africa, where the Shabbat Project began in 2013, a new, ambitious initiative – the Journey to 25 hours – is empowering Jewish families to keep Shabbat throughout the year.
New countries joining the project this year include Tahiti and Morocco, with events taking place in Casablanca in the build-up to Shabbat, culminating in a community-wide Shabbat meal.
The Shabbat Project in North America
Hundreds of Jewish communities in North America are participating in The Shabbat Project. In San Diego, 180 diverse Jewish organizations are coordinating events for the entire Jewish community, including one at a local farm.
In Los Angeles, the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy is running 10 events for children and their families, including a block party Kabbalat Shabbat service in the streets and a Shabbat lunch in the school gym, while religious and secular families will pair up for Shabbat dinner.
Portland, Maine will be participating in The Shabbat Project for the first time, with a challah bake at the local JCC.
And Project Inspire will host its annual “Body and Soul Retreat” in New Jersey, with more than 500 Jews from all over the United States, Canada and Israel gathering for an unforgettable Shabbaton experience.
“Shabbat is a Divine gift – it improves our quality of life, transforms our families and relationships, and has the power to bring Jews together like nothing else can,” said Rabbi Goldstein, whose new book about Shabbat, A Day to Create Yourself, will be released shortly after the project.
“After two years of disrupted celebrations, there is a real thirst for in-person events and real human connection. The Shabbat Project is a direct response to the call of our times, a chance to re-energize and reconnect, and unite in celebration.”