The second time I hosted a Shabbat Share meal at my home through Krieger Schechter, our guests were truly guests. Two families who were totally new to both me and my children. The hard working Shabbat Share Committee had, in their wisdom, matched us up. While I had never spoken to the adults before, in fact didn’t even recognize them, and my children were not in classes with any of their children, we had a wonderful evening.
I had picked up a catered Shabbat meal that afternoon at the synagogue, including grape juice and challah that was all boxed up and ready to go for the exact number of people who were coming that night. They even provided paper goods so that anyone who wanted to could participate, whether or not they had a kosher home.
We kibbitzed and got to know one another, we ate well, we sang the blessings together, the kids played raucously and happily. It was a wonderful evening of becoming more entrenched in our Krieger Schechter community.
We’ve hosted Shabbat Share other times but the reason I mention that one is because of what one of our guests said at the end of the evening. As she was leaving and saying goodbye, she said thank you to my children and I and then she got down to their level. She said, “Now we know each other and we are going to be friends. Every time we see each other in school we are going to be able to say hello and talk to each other.”
And almost two years later, that has come to be, as all of us have not only had a lovely evening come out of Shabbat Share, but also acquired new friends and acquaintances. It has made our school community more of our community.
I am really looking forward to my next Shabbat Share. On Friday November 20th Chizuk Amuno is hosting its first Shul Shabbat Share, modeled on Krieger Schechter’s wonderfully successful program. Our hope is that we will build our community through celebrating Shabbat in each other’s home.
As I mentioned above, the food is all provided at a nominal cost and the program is arranged in such a way that anyone can participate and we hope you will.