The Shabbos Peace Project

$3,024 of $3,600 goal

Raised by 19 people in 12 months
Shabbat is the day when we make space for the things that are important but not urgent. The Sabbath Peace Project (SPP) aims to bring people of diverse backgrounds to experience Shabbat in the most authentic, engaging and meaningful way

Who this Group is For

The  group uses the gift  of Shabbat  to  promote unity and well-being. So this group  is  for  Jews, non-Jews  who  want to experience  and learn about Shabbat, and  mixed couples (Jewish/non-Jewish.)


Originally the Sabbath was conceived as a way of limiting slavery. One day a week, masters could not make their servants work. For Jews today the Sabbath is a liberation from other kinds of slavery. Imagine a day without texts, tweets, emails or phone calls, without television, computers or electronic games, a day without the pressures of a consumer society, without cars, traffic, planes, noise and pollution, a day dedicated to family, community, study and collective expressions of gratitude. It’s when we make space for the things that are important but not urgent.

For me as a Jew, Friday night around the Sabbath table is the high point of the week. The candles send out their soothing light, and the blessings we make over the wine and special bread remind us that what we have is the gift of G-d. A Jewish Sabbath is family time. Husbands sing a song of praise to their wives, taken from the book of Proverbs: ‘A Woman of strength, who can find? Her worth is above rubies.’ Parents bless their children, and together we sing our traditional songs. Those who observe the laws of the day do not work or shop, answer phones or faxes, watch television or use the car. The pressures of the outside world disappear, and life becomes simpler and more serene. In ancient times the Sabbath was a protest against slavery. Today it is an antidote to stress, the most effective I know.


Shabbat is the day when we make space for the things that are important but not urgent. The Sabbath Peace Project (SPP) aims to bring people of diverse backgrounds to experience Shabbat in the most authentic, engaging and meaningful way. Picture this: a candle lit dinner, with friends and great people, a 3+ course home cooked meal, singing and enriching ideas all in one place. But Shabbat is so much more than that- it is how we stop and let the blessings in our lives catch up. It is an opportunity to look at life without all the distractions and discover the incredible richness that life holds. The inspiring gift that Shabbat is- both for ourselves and for our families- emerges when we live out Shabbat in a real and experiential way. The Shabbat Peace Project is here to help us access these blessings through the gift of Shabbat. I hope you will consider being a part of this life-changing initiative. Read on for the  who,  what, were, when and how  of  this  group. 


Shabbat  dinners  will take  place in a home environment, with my family (wife and  2 adorable kids)


Shabbat descends upon us on Sunset of Friday evening and last until  night  fall of Saturday night. So  the times  will  change depending on the  season. Approximately 6 p.m. in the  winter and  about  8:30  in the summer. 

What To Bring

Just you, your family and your friends. 

Suggested  Donation

Everyone is invited- that means, the  cost of this important event  should not dissuade anyone from coming.  At the same  time, such an event can cost up  to $300 for a meal serving 10-15 people. As a result, we are starting this important initiative to raise enough money to cover the costs of these  Shabbat experiences for one year.  Wish us luck and please donate if you can as your supporting the creation of a safe space for people to nurture their relationships  with others, their soul , their body and their mind. 

A Jewish Experience; A Lesson For Everyone

The significance of the Sabbath is threefold. First it introduces into a culture in the most vivid way the idea of limits. We can’t produce, consume and deplete our resources constantly with no constraints and no thought for future generations. A day without cars and planes would go a long way to cutting the carbon consumption that threatens the earth’s ecology.  A failure to understand the idea of limits has, as Jared Diamond has chronicled in his books, brought about environmental devastation almost everywhere Homo sapiens has set foot.

Second, it creates for a day a week a world in which values are not determined by money or its equivalent. On the Sabbath you can’t buy or sell or pay for someone’s services. It is the most tangible expression of the moral limits of markets. Whether in the synagogue or home, relationships are determined by other things altogether, by a sense of kinship, belonging and mutual responsibility.

Third, the Sabbath renews social capital. It bonds people into communities in ways not structured by transactions of wealth or power. It is to time what parks are to space: something precious that we share on equal terms and that none of us could create or possess on our own.

The  USA and  Britain used to have its own Sabbath every Sunday. Then it was deregulated and privatized. Holy days became holidays, sacred time became free time and rest became leisure.  The assumption was that everyone would benefit because we could all decide for ourselves how to spend the day. This was and remains a fallacy.

There are certain experiences, even states of being, you can’t have unless they are “out there,” not just “in here.” You can’t have the peace and quiet that used to mark the English Sunday if, as now, the roads are crowded, the shops are open, and everything is for sale. To use Robert Putnam’s famous analogy, ten pin bowling becomes a different kind of experience if no one joins teams anymore and everyone goes bowling alone.

Emil Durkheim was among the first to diagnose the dangers of an era of individualism and the breakdown of community. He believed that Trade Unions might supply the Gemeinschaft, the strong togetherness that was being lost in society as a whole. Perhaps they did once, but not now. Today you find the strongest forms of social capital in places of worship and the congregations they house, as Putnam himself has shown in his book American Grace.

Societies need civic time when we cultivate the relationships that constitute the third realm that is neither the market nor the state, and that in effect means a Sabbath, whether or not it carries religious connotations. A secular Jewish writer, Ahad Ha-am, once said, “More than the Jewish people has kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jewish people.” A once-a-week sabbatical that is public, not private, rest would renew the social fabric, the families and communities that sustain our liberal democratic freedom today.
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$3,024 of $3,600 goal

Raised by 19 people in 12 months
Created April 14, 2016
Irma Polanco
29 days ago

Chag Pesach Sameach!

Alan Deckelbaum
2 months ago
3 months ago
Irma Polanco
5 months ago
Allan and Amy Steinberg
5 months ago (Offline Donation)
Randee Silberfeld
6 months ago

Thanks Ori and Nora for your hospitality. It was an inspiring and joyful Shabbat.

6 months ago
Franca Floro
6 months ago
Barbara and Allan Meisel
7 months ago (Offline Donation)
Samantha Gross
7 months ago
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