White City Shabbat has announced that it will be setting the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Shabbat Dinner set to take place in the Spring of 2014 at the Tel Aviv Port.
In order to break the record, over 1,000 Israelis and new immigrants must attend the dinner. The guest list will also include notable Israelis including Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, former chief rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Eli Ben-Dahan. In keeping with White City Shabbat’s mission statement of “Shabbat for all,” the dinner will be free of charge. This week, White City Shabbat launched a creative Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign – mimicking the theme of Dos Equis commercials – to raise the $25,000 needed to cover the costs of this historic event.
A non-profit organization entirely run by volunteers, White City Shabbat is hoping that the Guinness title will encourage Jews worldwide to celebrate Shabbat in their own communities. “While White City Shabbat is going to be the first organization to attempt this record, our hope is that in years to come communities around the world will come together to try and surpass the standard we set this year,” said Jay Shultz, one of the event’s organizers who is often dubbed “the international mayor of Tel Aviv.”
Tel Aviv is known as being the economic and cultural epicenter of Israel, but the event organizers are hoping the World’s Largest Shabbat Dinner will showcase another side to Tel Aviv, its spiritual side. “With more and more immigrants choosing to make Tel Aviv their home, celebrating the first ever World’s Largest Shabbat Dinner with Guinness will further establish Tel Aviv as one of the most important cities for the Jewish people today,” said Eytan White, co-director of White City Shabbat. White’s partner, Deborah Danan, agrees. “Shabbat is the cornerstone of the Jewish faith and as such has the power to bring people together,” said Danan. “Tel Aviv has a unique demography of mainly young professionals. Couple that with its mix of immigrants and natives who are both religious and secular and its overarching atmosphere of openness and inclusivity, makes Tel Aviv the perfect city to host an event of this magnitude.”
Over 10,000 people have already attended White City Shabbat’s monthly meals and each one is packed to capacity with over 200 people in attendance and another 100 plus on waiting lists. “At any given White City Shabbat dinner, you’ll hear about ten languages spoken and World’s Largest Shabbat Dinner will be no exception. We’d like to see Jews from all over the globe take part in this event, either to come and enjoy this spectacular demonstration of Jewish peoplehood in person or by donating to our fundraising efforts. After all, Shabbat is the soul of the Jewish people and Tel Aviv is a focal point of the Jewish world,” says Natalie Solomon, a new immigrant from Birmingham, Alabama and another of the event’s organizers.
To make a contribution to White City Shabbat’s World’s Largest Shabbat Dinner, please click here.
UK Toremet is the fiscal sponsor of the World’s Largest Shabbat Dinner. Partial sponsors include the City of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Hanger 11, Golan Heights Winery and NakedSea Salt.
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About White City Shabbat:
White City Shabbat is the premiere portal of Jewish Life in Tel Aviv. Bringing the concept of Shabbat dinner parties to a wider community, the organization hosts its own private, warm, welcoming, all-inclusive Shabbat meals every month. White City Shabbat also hosts holiday celebrations and meals, Jewish learning series, beginners learning minyan, and inter-community programming. To learn more about White City Shabbat visit www.WhiteCityShabbat.com and to read more about the campaign or to make a donation, visit www.igg.me/at/WorldsLargestShabbat.