SHARE SHABBAT
We are launching a new initiative at Bet Torah—it is called “Share Shabbat.” We are inviting each and every one of you to reach out to one or two (or even three) families or individuals who are part of the Bet Torah family, and to start a tradition of sharing Friday night dinners together. Why? To help to push the pause button in your crazy life and create some balance. To build in more time to connect with your family, and with other Bet Torah families.
We suggest you try to pick one Friday night a month to commit to…but start in a way that feels comfortable. The people you reach out to ‘share’ with can be people/families you know well, or people/families you have always wanted to find a way to get to know better. And if you need help finding another family or someone to Share Shabbat with, or if you want to offer your home to invite another family in, we are here to help.

Hark! I hear your panicked voices in my ears as I write this missive:

You: “But I don’t know how to cook chicken or make a Shabbat dinner!” Me: You do not have to know how to cook chicken-or anything at all . Dinner can be pizza/sushi/pot luck or mac and cheese. And for kid friendly Shabbat dinner ideas, check out Kveller http://www.kveller.com/article/10-kid-friendly-meals-for-shabbat-dinner/

You: “But I have never done Shabbat before and don’t know what to do.” Me: We have great swag to get you started and help you out. I am inviting all of you—whether this will be your first in-home Shabbat experience or your 1000 th in-home Shabbat experience—to stop by my office any time the week of April 9th and pick up your customized ‘Shabbat Box.’ In it you will find some special Shabbat surprises, the traditional blessings, and other ideas to enhance your Shabbat experience. And of course, I am always happy to meet with you as well. Please don’t be embarrassed—all questions are truly welcome.

You: “But my kids go to bed so early.” Me: Shabbat can start any time that is convenient for you. You can even do it in pajamas!

You: “But this feels hard to figure out with my crazy schedule and do I have to host all the time?” Me: Do it on whatever schedule works for your group. You can rotate homes or one person can host all the time. It is whatever you all decide. Or when the weather warms up, do it outside as a picnic!

You: “This feels kinda hard…is there anyone at Bet Torah actually doing it now that I can talk to about it?” Me: YES! Feel free to reach out to Meg Waxman who does it with her family and other families with kids ( megandpeter@optonline.net ) and/or Susan Light who does it with other empty-nesters ( slightcarroll@gmail.com ) We actually got the idea for this hearing them rave about how much they the love it.  

You: “So explain to me again how this works and what I am supposed to do?” Me: Talk with friends you might want to do this with or let us know if you want us to help to ‘fix you up.’ Then set a first Friday night to start (and maybe mark your calendars for a few more times in the future as well). Work out the logistics together—place, time, maybe even food. Let Rabbi Koffman know you will be Sharing Shabbat and with whom, and stop by Rabbi Koffman’s office to pick up your starter box (one for every person/family). Then let the magic happen. It sometimes involves tears and tantrums and frustrations (and that’s just from the adults), but
stick with it because we really do believe that over time, it can be transformative for you and
for your family.

Questions? Ask Rabbi Koffman rabbikoffman@bettorah.org .