Rabbi Garber led Shenley’s ShabbatUK programme on the premise that enhanced Jewish learning will create a more meaningful Shabbat experience. In this spirit, he led an explanatory Kabbalat Shabbat service and made sure to discuss the blessings and songs that arise during a traditional Friday Night meal as well. Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Eli Birnbaum inspired the community with an insightful address, while visiting madrichim from the Ezra youth movement helped to create ruach and lead children’s activities. These madrichim were sourced as part of an initiative of the ShabbatUK office which partnered up interested communities with groups of experienced youth leaders.
Evaluation from Rabbi Garber:
“We got good numbers attending the Friday night programme, among them both core members and those who do not attend many events or services. Many people commented on the warm and friendly atmosphere, with the community connecting well at the communal meal and engaging with our guest speaker Rabbi Eli Birnbaum. We were able to attract a number of new attendees, some of whom are now keen to get more involved. We also enabled a number of congregants to take leadership roles in organising the program.”
“What a lovely evening. The food, the programme of learning and the atmosphere were all excellent.”
“Very enjoyable. Well organised, well attended, good atmosphere and lots of fun. Rabbi Garber drove the whole evening along with great skill and a huge sense of fun and exactly the right spirit for the occasion.”
“I have made a resolution to attend shul more often.”
“We have made a few new friends and strengthened our ties with old friends. We really felt a part of our Jewish community.”