As part of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ yearlong centennial anniversary, 100 community members were asked to host a Shabbat dinner for a Night of 100 Shabbat Celebrations. To date, 550 hosts have registered with Federation to participate in the Sept. 9 event; they can follow any customs for their celebration and invite anyone they choose. Dinners can be intimate gatherings or large parties; hosts are responsible for providing the food and the location.
The concept is part of Federation’s goal of engaging Jews of all ages within the community, Federation President Jay Sanderson said. All hosts who register will receive a toolbox, including a customized Shabbat book of prayers and readings, a tzedakah box, a specially designed challah cover and candles.
“I’m a host and I’ve decided to open my house to any community member who wants a place to go,” Sanderson said. “I believe the biggest challenge facing the Jewish community right now is that younger Jews are opting out of Jewish life. So we’re trying to reach out and help everyone celebrate in their own way.” Also in the toolbox will be a card asking participants to write feedback about their experience. Sanderson said he hopes to make the event annual, if not more frequent.
“Most Jews in this community want to engage in Jewish life. We’re hoping that this provides an opportunity for anyone interested to become involved while celebrating in a way that is meaningful for them,” Sanderson said.
For more information, or to host or attend a Shabbat celebration, visit jewishla.org.