‘Religious-secular’ Shabbat attracts 6,000 households

Beit Hillel national-religious rabbinical association initiative seeks to create societal bridges between the religious and secular sectors.

October 26, 2013 20:13
1 minute read.
Jewish woman lights the Shabbat candles

Jewish woman lights the Shabbat candles 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

More than 6,000 families up and down the country took part in Shabbat meals in an initiative to build community connections, with religious families hosting secular attendees.

Started by the Beit Hillel national-religious rabbinical association, friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances attended meals together as part of the organizations attempts to create societal bridges between the religious and secular sectors.

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Among the participants were several public figures including Education Minister and Rabbi Shai Piron, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, former chairman of the Jewish Agency and Mayor of Ra’anana Ze’ev Bielski, singer Kobi Oz and Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom.

Meretz head Zehava Gal-On, Yesh Atid MKs Aliza Lavie and Adi Kol, and MK Zvulun Kalfa of Bayit Yehudi also took part.

Beit Hillel said that it received more than 2,000 requests from families either wishing to host or seeking to be hosted for a meal over the weekend.

Among the several thousand meals which took place in 45 cities and towns around the country, there were several meals in which large numbers of people participated and which were held in community centers and synagogue event halls.

The organization plans to make the initiative an annual event.

“This Shabbat was a starting point,” said the organization’s chairman Rabbi Meir Nehorai.

“We hope now that people will, by themselves, continue to invite and open their doors to their neighbors and friends.

“Shabbat is a big common denominator and it is possible to build bridges and meeting points between us all. This is one of the most powerful ways to enhance the unity of the nation,” Nehorai said.

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