Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Christine DeSouza
Assistant Editor 

Be a part of the worldwide Shabbos Project


Dr. Warren Goldstein, chief rabbi of South Africa.

The weekend of Oct. 24-25 every Jew worldwide, from all walks of life-from Scottsdale, Arizona to Seattle, Washington-is invited to come together and spend one Shabbat in unity. Whether Shabbat is observed in the home, with a group, at the synagogue, it will be a time to set aside everything else and observe Shabbat from sunset Oct. 24 to sundown Oct. 25. This event is called The Shabbos Project.

The Project was conceived last year by Dr. Warren Goldstein, South Africa's chief rabbi. He set out to unite South Africa's Jewish communities by organizing one unifying Shabbat-from sunset to sunset, 25 hours of keeping Shabbat by the entire Jewish community, which is about 70,000 people. The majority of South African Jewry participated in the weekend-long celebration. Soon after, Dr. Goldstein began to receive inquiries from many Jewish communities worldwide, so he decided to coordinate an International Shabbos Project appropriately themed "Keeping it Together."

J.O.IN. Orlando has been busy making plans for the Orlando Jewish community to participate in The Shabbos Project. They have booked the Buena Vista Suites from the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Oct. 26. There will be kosher food, accommodations available to book, as well as childcare and children's programs. The entire Orlando Jewish community is invited to this worldwide Shabbat-to celebrate the Shabbat as one people.

"There will be a special Friday afternoon shabbos candle-lighting ceremony to welcome the Shabbat," said Rabbi Gabi Gittleson, co-founder of J.O.IN. Orlando. "It will be a united Orlando Jewish community joining together with the entire Jewish world in celebrating one Shabbos together."

Members of the Miami Jewish community hold a banner proclaiming they are 'Keeping It Together' on Oct. 24-25.

The Shabbat will culminate with a Saturday night soulful concert (Kumzitz and Melaveh Malka-to bid farewell to the Shabbat Queen). For those who can't make it for the weekend, the Saturday night concert-Kumzitz and Melaveh malkah is open to the public.

"Of course, celebrating Shabbat in your own home is still a show of unity. We coordinated the hotel as a way for people to come and have an easy location to 'Keep It Together,' but everyone can keep The Shabbos Project the best way they see fit," said Gittleson.

Reservations are recommended for both days or just the Saturday night concert. Buena Vista Suites is located at 8203 World Center Dr., Orlando 32821.

For more information about The Shabbos Project or to make reservations, please call J.O.IN. Orlando at 407-569-8840 or email Orlando@theshabbosproject.com. To learn more about The Shabbos Project, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhfe-MZcCjE or http://www.theshabbosproject.org.


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