The Shabbat Project, an annual event that has been ongoing for nine years, had a record amount of participants in 2021, despite many COVID-19 restrictions in their respective cities.
The Shabbat Project, originating in South Africa, surpassed the most amount of engagement it had received before the pandemic. There were more than 1,100 "unity events" as well as thousands of events at home in more than 1,500 cities worldwide.
Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, founder and director of the project, stated: "I am moved by the resilience and boldness of our thousands of partners and volunteers around the world whose efforts led to record participation amidst the headwinds of the aftermath of the pandemic."
The event involves Jewish participants attending mass Shabbat lunches, dinners, concerts, Shabbatons, etc.
“The visceral bond between Jews of all backgrounds and Shabbat was in full view in the weekend events across all barriers of language, culture and levels of observance," Goldstein said.
Israel had over 200 different events this year in cities such as Eilat, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, Raanana, Herzliya and Kfar Saba. In the US, The Shabbat Project took place in Phoenix, Long Beach, San Diego, etc. Events in Europe took place in Madrid, Paris and other places.
Shabbat events in Latin America took place in Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama and Mexico.
Although the project originated in South Africa, it was managed from its headquarters in Tel Aviv.
A new initiative within these unique Shabbat events includes the "Shabbox," which is a special gift box designed to help young Jewish families experience the joy of sharing Shabbat together. Other campaigns included "Pick a Mitzvah" and the "Challah Challenge."