Hundreds of people in FJC communities across Russia and the CIS took part in the 3rd annual Shabbat Project, celebrating the Jewish Shabbat worldwide on the weekend of November 11th.
The project calls on Jews everywhere to ‘keep together’ one Shabbat in full accordance with Jewish law and celebrates the significance of its shared heritage. This year cities from Russia, Ukraine, Estonia and Belarus joined, adding their flavors and stories to the global Jewish mix.
“About 25 women came to the challah bake organized as part of the international Shabbat Project challah baking on Thursday night. Friday night dinner was shared with over 50 young people, for most of whom it was their first Shabbat celebration ever,” says Eli Riss, Chief Rabbi of the autonomous region of Birobidjan, Russia. “The idea of a global Shabbat was really exciting and everyone enjoyed it.”
Thursday’s challah bake is the launching pad of global Shabbat Project activities, with breaded goodness spread everywhere from Tel Aviv and New Jersey to Amsterdam, Buenos Aires and Sydney. This year hundreds of FSU women also learned to design and bake the traditional Shabbat bread, joining the activities across the region, from Bobruisk, Belarus to Tallinn, Estonia.
The Shabbat project continues with festive meals on Friday night and Saturday morning, many organized in creative venues and formats, such as community potluck dinners or picnics in the park. In Ukraine, members of EnerJew youth movement came together from the cities of Donetsk, Mariupol and Zaporozhye for a joint Shabbaton organized as part of the project.
The end of the Shabbat is marked with Havdalla events and parties. Members of the Petersburg EnerJew club went museum hopping, while young people in Perm organized a dance party. Overall about 250 EnerJewers participated in project activities, program director Konstantin Shulman said.
The Shabbat Project was first introduced in the Jewish community of South Africa in 2013, by Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein. In the following years the initiative was enthusiastically adopted around the globe and currently unites Jewish people from over 900 cities worldwide.]