North Manchester was positively brimming with excitement by the time their huge ShabbatUK ‘coalition’ came around, with adverts on billboards and in the local Jewish paper sating appetites for a packed programme across four of the main shuls. Participating congregations included Holy Law & South Broughton, Heaton Park, Prestwich and Manchester Great, New and Central.
Communal Friday night davening with over a thousand in attendance set the tone for a ruach-filled weekend that saw shuls decked out with decorations including a Bedouin tent and a camel (!), communal meals along long tables, workshops, international speakers and a Havdalah concert finale with a band from the US. Participants were particularly pleased to witness the spirit of unity fostered between the United Hebrew Congregation and Charedi communities.
Evaluation from Organiser:
“We had 1400 at the Friday night communal dinner, with a similar number attending the ‘inspiring’ motzei Shabbos Havdalah concert, with Eitan and his band delivering a memorable performance. Everyone seemed to go home with a smile on their face. Rabbi Gold spoke incredibly well for both events and everyone had a story to take to their Shabbos table. Overall, B’H this event was an outstanding success and through our advertising we created an excitement which snowballed right the way through to the event”
“It was inspiring to see such unity between the various communities”
“I came away with great satisfaction at seeing young people engage with these ‘kosher’, communal activities”
“I am Shomer Shabbat, but the whole weekend still gave me a spiritual boost”
“The evening was electric!!! Well done to all involved”
“This was an inspirational Shabbat that has resulted in me wanting to become more and more involved”