The Shabbat Projects to connect and inspire Sydney’s Jewish community

November 10, 2019 by Community newsdesk
Read on for article

The Shabbat Project has just one simple aim, to unite Jewish communities around the world for one 25-hour period, where they can come together and experience one Shabbat.

Davina, Sybil, Tess, Hayley and Josie Resnick

The hope is that this shared experience will lead to deeper spiritual and communal connections.

Daniel Sekers, Chair of The Shabbat Project, said to us “As a tech entrepreneur I have witnessed first-hand the impact technology has on our everyday lives. We are at an unprecedented time in history where technology outpaces and overwhelms our ability to keep up every day. We are being controlled by something we should be in control of.

The Shabbat Project has really brought an innovative reprieve to our community, and though only for one week in the year, we have seen an amazing uptake of the community in driving this program and celebrating the community’s ability to disconnect from the everyday, and reconnect with our family, friends and community. Shabbat is the greatest gift given to our people in the modern day.”

The concept started in South Africa in 2013 and has since become a global phenomenon. This year on Friday 15 November, over 1 million Jews in more than 1,500 cities will disconnect from their devices and tune into Shabbat. In Sydney, it has evolved into a true grassroots program supported by our major communal organisations with over 50 community organisations hosting programs each year. Across Australia, the Project will be celebrated in Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and Cairns with our neighbours in Auckland participating with many events for the first time.

The Shabbat Project has inspired many fascinating feats and broken records with large scale and innovative events like the largest ever Kabbalat Shabbat gathering which took place on Bondi Beach in 2016 with over 2,600 in attendance.

This year, The Shabbat Project continues to bring our community new experiences coming together around Shabbat preparation with the Machane Yehuda style Shabbat Shuk in Kiaora Lane, Double Bay on Thursday 15 November, 3-7pm. “We are excited to see such excitement around The Shuk. This has been a great initiative to generate a buzz around the preparation and lead up to Shabbat in an atmosphere akin to Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem,” said Daniel Sekers.

The Shabbat Project and UIA are expecting in excess of 3,000 people to attend the Shabbat Shuk with a curated selection of the top kosher suppliers where you’ll find everything from challah to chicken, fish to fudge, brisket to blintzes and everything else you’d want for your Shabbat table. You can even purchase your braided challah dough ready to bake at home. To add to the ambience there will be live music, a kids’ activity zone, and The Golden Sheaf is hosting its first kosher pop-up bar – Bazaar Bar. Register free at

The JNF and Grandma Moses are working together with local Jewish day schools to attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for longest braided loaf of bread. The aim is to bake a challah that is 10m long! The current record was set in 2015 in Brooklyn where they baked a challah that measured at 20 feet (approx. 6 metres) and displayed it through the streets on a flatbed truck.

Daniel Sekers closed by saying “For some, this is their first experience, for others it’s a weekly recurrence, but for all the power of Shabbat to our community is both electrifying and unifying. We see Jews from all walks of life, young and old, from across the spectrum of affiliation, experience the magic, joy and connection of Shabbat.”

While there are some impressive events that may earn a place in the record books, there are over 75 community-led events registered to ensure that there is something for everyone across Sydney and our in our fringe communities who wants to join in and experience shabbat, even out to Dubbo and Wollongong. There are challah bakes, Shabbat meals, learning programs and Havdallah rock concert featuring internationally-acclaimed Moshav Band. All information is available at

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.