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Our Community Shined As One

Our Federation’s 1,000 Shabbat Celebrations on October 26th was a true communal experience. With over 1,000 hosts signing up and receiving our special Shabbat box of blessings, readings and inspirations – not to mention candles – we estimate that 20,000 community members took part in the celebration across Los Angeles. We invite you to enjoy the stories and pictures submitted by the participants.





We had a wonderful time using our Shabbat box for dinner this evening! We can’t wait to continue this tradition every Friday! 
Tammi Mintz

Thank you for motivating us to have this special Shabbat celebration. It was a wonderful evening and one I hope to repeat with other friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
Michele Zwillinger 

I bought a delicious challah, lit those candles, and proudly displayed my challah cover in the kitchen.  I had a few friends over to celebrate and explained to them the traditions behind the various songs we sing! 
Elinor Artsy

I celebrated with my son, daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren. I also heard my grandson recite the prayers for the 1st time as he is getting ready for his Bar Mitzvah.
Ron Cooper 

We enjoyed the ritual prayers over bread and wine; we spoke of the Torah portion…and then we all told personal stories of a time when we left what we knew and went to an unknown place. What a gift to us all! (The true gift is that the specialness we all felt is available every Shabbat!)
Richard Rossner

We don’t usually invite guests on Friday night, but this opportunity got us to think a little differently, and we finally invited some delightful neighbors whom we’d been meaning to invite for quite some time. 
Miriam Goldberg

We used the candles you sent and said the blessing. We will definitely be using the Shabbat blessings book you sent on Friday nights.
Nathan Temple 

After Kiddush and Motzi we served several Shabbat salads/appetizers followed by a chicken couscous with vegetables. After dinner we had some Moroccan mint tea with cookies. It was a beautiful Shabbat table!
Odelia Marciano Taieb

We had a wonderful Shabbat dinner.  It was originally scheduled to be just our family (My wife, two kids and I) with one other family along with my brother-in-law and another close friend of ours.  Then on Tuesday of last week my 99 year-old grandma passed away.  My father was still feeling down over the loss of his mom and wanted to get the family together for Shabbat.  So instead we had the whole family (sisters with husbands and kids, mom and boyfriend, Dad, Stepmom and kids) for a total of 24 people. It was truly a Shabbat to remember and my Grandma was looking down on us with pride knowing that the Jewish values she instilled in us will not be forgotten.
Stephen Plutsky

The reason it was so special is because everyone in my family, especially my two teenagers, are so busy with either school, work or social commitments that we barely eat together as a family any night of the week let alone Shabbat. So as a result of the “1,000 Shabbat Celebrations” we all made a commitment to come together as a family for Shabbat dinner no matter what AND WE  DID IT!  It was wonderful thinking that there were families all over the city that were doing the same thing.
Mira Greenwald

We typically celebrate Shabbat in our pajamas, lighting the candles, saying the blessings over the wine, challah and children as quickly as we can and then scarfing down dinner before the kids have to go to bed. This night, we took our time. We read from the wonderful packet The Jewish Federation provided and – for the first time – my husband and I honored each other with the prayers for a man and the woman of valor prayer. It was a lovely addition to our Shabbat that I hope to add every week.  
Mayrav Gaslin

We had 10 guests ranging in age from 13 months to 80 years and one non-Jew whose husband is Jewish. They all loved the idea of a community-wide Shabbat celebration and we all enjoyed the meal, the ceremony and each other! 
Frima Telerant

Ours stretched to San Diego where our Grandson is away at the University, but he said he went to Chabad for Shabbat that evening so as to be part of the 1000. We began by welcoming the Shabbat in song and then talking about various celebrations of our own pasts. The participants included a couple of “native” Californians, a Moroccan-born/Israeli-raised Son-in-Law, and my husband and I, first-generation Americans of eastern European descent. We remembered Shabbats of joy, of anxiety during wartime, illness, but mostly happiness in the warmth of a gathering around the Shabbat table!
Adrienne Lassman

My grandmother passed away a few days before the October 26th Shabbat dinner, but we felt it was important to light the candles, say the prayers, eat challah, and eat Shabbat dinner. Because of the circumstances only my children, husband, and myself shared this Shabbat. However, even though this sounds like a solemn occasion, I want you to know that we appreciated being included in the 1,000 Shabbat Celebrations and you gave us a great opportunity to be thankful for having each other and also to celebrate her life. 
Shannon Tepfer

We celebrated my mother’s birthday with Shabbat at her house. We had four generations present for the celebration!
Hilary Bienstock

We could not believe it!  Almost 350 people came to a 5:30 Shabbat service led by our clergy and a 6:00 pm dinner served buffet style on our outdoor playground and it was absolutely magical to see so many people joining together for Shabbat under the Stars, joining 1,000 other organizations and homes to celebrate the Shabbat as one people!  
Tamar Andrews, EdD
Temple Isaiah

We had a lovely time with our closest friends. Thank you for giving us an excuse to carve out some time from our very busy schedules, to get together and share the wonderful spirit of Shabbat!
Elina Baron

We had a delicious Shabbat dinner.  Our conversation revolved around the election.  It was a stimulating evening.  The experience was wonderful.
Carol Lewis

We had our usual family Shabbat with one nephew as our guest and he enjoyed it very much.  
Sylvia Schleimer

I had 50 people for a Shabbat service and pot-luck supper, Sponsored by Pico Egal, most of the participants were in their 20’s and 30’s, but there were a few older than that and a handful of children.  Everybody admired the Sabbath Challah cover you provided. We are looking forward to using even more of your materials on a Friday night soon.
Norm Green

My Shabbat dinner far exceeded my expectations! Ten of us came together in my apartment and I officially notified everyone that this was a part of the “1,000 Shabbat Celebrations.” What amazed me was that each person’s face seemed to light up when they I explained a bit more about this. It was exactly as I had hoped. We actually truly felt like we were part of a GREATER WHOLE and an overall COMMUNITY. 
Tabby Davoodi

We had gotten out of the habit of having Shabbat dinner with our family since we had a baby two years ago.  The kit gave us everything we needed, so we had no excuse! The challah cover design was awesome, and my husband and I were able to brush up on the prayers.  Our daughter really enjoyed the small, intimate celebration we had, and we look forward to continuing this tradition each week.
Sara Isaac

There were 9 of us. Neighbors and friends. Good food, lots of laughs, very comfortable for all of us. Now we all want to do it more often.
Shelly Littauer

We had a wonderful night, with long time friends and some newer friends. It was a night filled with laughter and good times. Thank you for helping us to create such long time memories.
Jocelyn Silverman

What a joy for me as well as my whole family, to be a part of 1000 Shabbat Celebrations.  I have not made regular Shabbat dinners in the past…..life has gone by so quickly. Everyone busy with their individual schedules and always something else to do on Friday night. This community event was the perfect door to open, to participate and welcome Shabbat for me and my family.  Everyone came, we did the complete service, not just a prayer over bread and wine that we rushed through in the past.  It was so nice to stop, take the time to sing, say the prayers, celebrate our tradition and heritage, eat a wonderful meal and enjoy time with each other as well as being so grateful for everything.  At the end of the evening we circulated the Tzedakah box and everyone opened their pockets and their hearts. 
Florence Silver

Thank you so much for all the helpful items, the Challah cloth is beautiful! All 10 of us thank you very much.
Vita Montgomery

It was a stressful week, but I shared a lovely night with the young woman I’m dating.  We laughed at the Challah cover because both of us had very stressful weeks, and yet we were able to enjoy a relaxing and fun Shabbat.  
Christopher King

It brought a little more light into my life literally. I was so excited it was wonderful. Thanks!
Felice Kaplan

We had a lovely Shabbat, and very much enjoyed receiving the Box to get us started.  My daughter–who is in her bat mitzvah year and has been working toward completing the tasks required of her as she transitions into adulthood — felt especially moved by our participation in this community-wide event. She commented, “This is the kind of thing that makes me feel really Jewish.”  
Marci Goldberg
Past President, Adat Chaverim
LA Congregation for Humanistic Judaism

Our Ecumenical Shabbat was a success with guests who were Christian, Muslim and Buddhist along with our extended family. EVERYONE was happy to be part of the 1000 Shabbats.
Ness S. Carroll, PhD.
Richard D. Meaney

Thank you for sharing this wonderful event! In our home, with our guests, we shared the best parts of our week. 
Leah Ackermann

50 Israeli-Americans gathered together to celebrate the Federation’s 1,000 Shabbat Celebrations.  The conversation flowed easily, alternating between Hebrew and English. There was a strong sense of togetherness, especially knowing that our group was one amongst hundreds of Shabbat meals taking place across the greater LA Jewish community for the same cause. Parashat Lech Lecha opened a conversation about what people take with them when they leave their place of birth, both in ancient times and today. It was a wonderful way of celebrating the Shabbat together and we hope to do it again!
Ahuva Ron

Shabbat dinner was really nice and I really enjoyed using the Shabbat blessing guide. It made it simple and step-by-step. Excellent format with the ring and sturdy card stock.  
Joyce Stein

We had a wonderful evening. Thank you for planning this event.  It reminded me how nice it is to sit down to Shabbat Dinner with friends.
Elayne Wypyszynski

Students from LMU Hillel gathered for 1000 Shabbat Celebrations, and enjoyed an intimate, fun Shabbat experience together!
Rabbi Ilana Schachter

I have been having a “Shabbat shalom” on Friday evenings in my hair salon for my community for a year since 11/11/11. That was Veterans Day and my grandfather was on his death bed. In a memorial dedicated to him, and the fact that he had recently told me that our lineage was called Zales, but was forced to become Catholic and change our ancestors name to Gonzales, (now that explains why he felt comfortable to fall  asleep in the church services I remember when I was a young child!) When I saw that The Jewish Federation called what I was doing the same thing, I figured that I should see if I was doing it right! I’d been going on what my Facebook friends were teaching me. I enjoyed the inspiring photos and artistic challah cover and gleefully shared with all of my clients! 
Jessica Evrist/(Durant-Gon/Zales)

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