Shalom Life | October 26, 2014

Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

Jews in 460 cities across the world to take part in the inspirational Jewish initiative, including Paula Abdul and Mayim Bialik

By: Daniel Koren

Published: October 24th, 2014 in News » World

Photo Caption: The Shabbos Project in Times Square


The Shabbos Project has returned for the year 2014, poised to be one of the largest Jewish solidarity events to take place in recent time.

This year, Jews from 460 cities of various sects, some kosher, some secular, some religious, some plain curious to try it out, have committed to honoring the Sabbath as the Torah commands, as the day of rest.

64 nations will be involved, not to mention some 1,700 partners.

The initiative even has its own hashtag, #KeepingItTogether, which has already been used by Jewish celebrities like Mayim Bialik and Paula Abdul, both of whom have confirmed will be taking part.


The Shabbos Project, as organizers explain, is a bid to build camaraderie amongst the world's Jews, and give secular Jews the opportunity to experience the Sabbath, even if just for one day, as religious Jews do.

This means turning off your cell phone and television, and using the day to reflect, to rest, to spend with your family, and even to pray.

Synagogues across the world have been advocating for the project, as I'm sure you all know, with congregants excited for this annual unity event.

For those new to keeping the Sabbath, the project even offers guidelines on how to fully keep the Sabbath, offering tips like using Sabbath-friendly lamps, etc.

“The Shabbat Project is an opportunity for the entire Jewish world to keep one complete Shabbat together – from Friday evening just before sunset on October 24, until Saturday night after the stars have come out on October 25,” South African Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein said.

Goldstein, of course, is the rabbi who founded the Shabbat Project last year in South Africa, which was met with a very positive reception from Jews, both secular and religious, around the world.

“The beauty of this is that it is so practical and manageable. It’s only one Shabbat. It’s something everyone can do…This approach is predicated on the idea that the real energy of Shabbat – its transformative power – is wholly dependent on immersing oneself in the full Shabbat experience," Goldstein said.

In Israel, Jews are taking part in the project as well, offering challah for a shekel, wine for five shekels, and other such specials to encourage Jews to take part. Egged buses have ran ads promoting the event as well, and an Israeli team has even launched the #KeepingItTogether app.

Over in Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, known for his unrelenting support of Israel, has advocated for the project as well.

“Shabbat restores us, not just in a physical sense, but emotionally and spiritually as well, so that we emerge on Saturday night as new human beings ready to face the week with all of its challenges and opportunities," Goldstein explained about the trending initiative .

So wherever you currently are in the world, it's no matter; visit the Keeping It Together website now and try your hand at keeping the Sabbath for for Oct. 24/25.

You may even enjoy it.

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