A ten-year-old project to bring together the world’s Jews under the wings of the holy Sabbath broke its pre-pandemic success record this past weekend.
The 2022 Shabbat Project hosted 3,711 unity events this past Shabbat in 1,500 cities around the world.
The project brings together Jews of all backgrounds to celebrate and keep one complete Shabbat in a spirit of global unity with mass Shabbat dinners, Shabbatons, challah bakes, Havdalah concerts and other events.
South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, who founded the project in 2013, said that “In the face of rising anti-Semitism and general global uncertainty, the response to the Shabbat Project is a powerful declaration of a positive Jewish identity; a proud refusal to be defined by hatred of others, but by the Divine values that give us inspiration and purpose, and that have held our people together.”
The project was driven by a coordinated effort across Israeli civil society that brought together local municipalities, innovative NGOs, Israel’s Ministry of Education and Jewish youth movements to bridge the political and religious divides in Israeli society.
In the United States, there was also a dramatic growth in the project, with more than 1200 unity events that took place in cities across the country.
Similar events were held in France, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Portugal, Japan, South Africa, Nigeria, Tahiti and Morocco.