Bringing the community together — one Shabbat at a time!

The Shabbat Project 2021 presented Ottawa with a great opportunity after a year and a half in lockdown, unable to share our Shabbats and High Holidays as a community. Thousands of Jews from around the world will be coming together for the Shabbat of October 22 & 23 for this year's Shabbat Project, and Ottawa will be too! Jewish Education through Torah (JET Ottawa) seized this opportunity, along with Congregation Beit Tikvah of Ottawa (CBTO), Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Young Israel of Ottawa and NCSY by offering a number of free or low-cost programs to celebrate together, in person all across Ottawa! These events are powered by Jewish Federation of Ottawa Microgrants.

The Shabbat Project will kick off in Alta Vista on Thursday, October 21, when we will join together at Machzikei Hadas for a Challah Bake. Sharing braiding techniques, baking tips and Shabbat stories and lessons, this indoor event (masks obligatory), is open to men, women and teens. This venue allows for more people to participate in a socially distanced format.

On Friday night, October 22, we move to Craig Henry where the Glebe Shul will be hosting a special (and free) Shabbat Dinner for Ottawa’s Young Professionals in Congregation Beit Tikvah’s outdoor tents. With the warmth from JET staff (and new outdoor patio heaters), an exciting night of good food and good schmoozing, much like the pre-pandemic days, is in store. Catered by Ottawa’s own A Dashing Pinch, this is a delicious opportunity for our next generation to come together for a communal Shabbat meal. 

Shabbat day, October 23, will feature what is likely the first communal Shabbat  lunch in over a year. The lunch will take place at 11:30 am in the Beit Tikvah tent, hosted by JET Ottawa. In addition to great food and company, the program will include an engaging discussion about what Shabbat means to you. The cost for the lunch is $18/adult, $10 for children 3-12 and a family maximum of $54. 

To finish off Shabbat in a fun and meaningful way, there will be a musical Family Havdalah at 7:30 PM in the outdoor tent behind CBTO. The program will include Havdalah, music, refreshments, and a craft, combining both Jewish learning and play. This event is free and after Shabbat, to enable people from across the city to join together in saying goodbye to this special Shabbat.

It will be a very different Shabbat Project from the last one that we celebrated in person. Masks, hand sanitizer, individually portioned/packaged food and outdoor activities are our new reality. We pray that the nice weather extends into October 22 & 23. Until then, we will keep planning for community togetherness in Ottawa, especially through these times of need, no matter what obstacles come our way!

Please join us for this special Shabbat - we are #KeepingItTogether!

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