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

Temple Shalom hosts Shabbat Across America tonight


On March 13, 1656, the government of New Amsterdam, on the island of Manhattan, denied the first application to build a synagogue in North America. This evening, March 13, 2015, the Jews of Western Volusia County will gather at 7 p.m. in the synagogue of Temple Shalom of Deltona to mark the 19th annual Shabbat Across America and Canada program, coordinated by the National Jewish Outreach Program. The event will bring together the membership of Temple Israel of DeLand, Congregation Beth Shalom of Orange City and Temple Shalom of Deltona. Services will be led by Rabbis Reuven Silverman, Winston Weilheimer and Merrill Shapiro.

On Friday night, March 13, in 435 locations in 37 states, five Canadian provinces, New Zealand and Qatar, hundreds of synagogues will take part in an historic national Jewish event to celebrate what unifies all Jews—Shabbat! Everyone is invited... singles, couples, families—all ages. The motto of Shabbat Across America has become “Turn an ordinary Friday night into something extraordinary!” More than 100,000 Jews will share the experience together at different locations.

Temple Shalom of Deltona President Bruce Bartel has expressed “enormous pride” in hosting this year’s event and being in a position to invite President David Weinstein of Temple Israel of Deland and President Paul Barr of Congregation Beth Shalom of Orange City and their entire congregations to join their voices together in Temple Shalom’s sanctuary.

It is the longstanding practice of all Jews to mark the Sabbath on the seventh day as they are commanded in the biblical Book of Exodus. The creation story of the Book of Genesis tells us that “there was evening, there was morning, a first day.” Thus, Jews remain faithful to the text of the Bible by beginning each day, the Sabbath included, in the evening.

“The fact that this year’s event falls on the 359th anniversary of the denial of permission to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam, later to be taken over by the British and renamed New York, is especially meaningful,” says Rabbi Merrill Shapiro. “Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch director general of New Netherlands may have put a temporary halt to the progress of North America’s development as a center of Jewish life, but the Jewish community cannot be stopped! We are proud of our role in the growth and the excitement of being part of the fabric of life in Western Volusia County.”


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