SYDNEY’S Jewish community turned out in droves to celebrate the Shabbat Project 2019.
From Thursday afternoon’s UIA Shuk in Double Bay to the many events at synagogues across the city to havdalah at Dover Heights Shule featuring Israeli band Moshav, members of the community came together and fully embraced the spirit of Shabbat.
“It was truly inspiring to see the Sydney community come together as one to experience the magic of Shabbat,” Shabbat Project lead project manager Kate Samowitz said.
Also on Thursday, JNF Australia together with Grandma Moses and Sydney’s Jewish day schools made the world’s longest challah at 10.087 metres at Maroubra Synagogue.
The challah took 12 hours to make using 70 kilograms of dough. With the previous world record just over six metres, JNF is now awaiting official world record certification from Guinness.
JNF NSW executive director Gabbie Budai said, “JNF Australia and Grandma Moses were thrilled to honour the Shabbat Project initiative this year by attempting to bake the longest plaited loaf of bread.
“The record attempt brought the community together to celebrate our culture, tradition and heritage.”
Samowitz said the Shabbat Project team were “proud to collaborate with our major communal partners” to deliver innovative events such as the shuk, Moshav concert and world record attempt, “underpinned by a solid program of 80 community-led events and participation from over 50 communal organisations”.
She described the vibe at the Shabbat Shuk as “truly special” with 3600 people coming together to prepare for Shabbat and take advantage of Sydney’s first kosher one-stop Shabbat shopping experience.
Some Shabbat Project 2019 highlights. See all the pics and event wrap-up in this week’s AJN. Photos: Giselle Haber pic.twitter.com/r3ApnlrfP7
— Jewish News (@aus_jewishnews) November 18, 2019
“Others came to enjoy the Machane Yehuda style market atmosphere, live music and kids’ zone where challah braiding, Shabbat slime, balloon twisting and face painting was on offer,” she said.
UIA CEO Yair Miller said of the shuk, “It was a historic event and UIA is proud to continue to bring Israel to our community.
“As the primary bridge to the people of Israel, UIA is always proud to engage our community in Israeli culture.”
Samowitz said the Shabbat Project team was “confident that many records were set across the community with several shules reporting record levels of attendance across services and Shabbat meals”.
“And to end Shabbat on a high,” she said, “450 people attended Moshav Live and enjoyed the unifying and electric ruach.
“The Shabbat Project shows us that there is more that brings us together than sets us apart,” she concluded.
Sydney joined 1684 other cities in 106 countries in “keeping it together” and celebrating Shabbat.