What Did We Do in 2016?

What did we do in 2016?

The ShabbatUK Bus

This was a new initiative for 2016 that fast became a symbol of the campaign. A branded bus with a sound system, video screen and open-plan upper deck toured London for 2 weeks, while another bus visited Northern cities for 3 days.

The buses visited Challah Makes great and small – sometimes with the Chief Rabbi – schools, charities and popular Jewish shopping areas. They created excitement and awareness wherever they went, serving as mobile billboards that became a focal point for publicity in the two weeks before ShabbatUK. The London bus alone visited over 40 ShabbatUK events.

The on board video played ShabbatUK songs and educational material, while staff gave out candle holders, educational leaflets and merchandise. The open-plan space upstairs allowed charities to deliver educational content onboard.

The buses’ travels were documented widely on social media, with images beside iconic landmarks particularly raising awareness of ShabbatUK within wider society.

The ShabbatUK Challah Makes

The ShabbatUK Challah Makes were a huge success with over 12,000 challah makers in 75 locations, the local “Challah Makes” reached at least 25% more people than in previous years, by encouraging local ‘Challah Makes’.
With a great deal of central support in terms of marketing, merchandise, recipes “how to” guides, brochures, ingredient lists, supply options, and free flour, the Challah Makes were available for everyone, from charities like Kisharon and Jewish Blind and Disabled, to campuses and schools like NWLJDS and Hasmonean, to communities including Cardiff and Belfast, to Seed and the Adeni community in Stamford Hill. ‘The Great Challah Makes’ provided everyone with an opportunity to take part in ShabbatUK. They were also readymade for social media sharing, which built the profiles of those communities taking part, and allowed them to reach out and engage those in the local area to come to shuls and community centres to participate.

The Great Friday Night Light

On ShabbatUK 2016, 50,000 special ShabbatUK candle holders complete with prayer card were distributed as part of ‘The Great Friday Night Light’, helping to ensure that more people than ever before will ushered in ShabbatUK together.

The Great Friday Night Light supported lighting candles at home with family and friends as they host ShabbatUK dinners, lighting candles communally as part of a community Shul event, encouraging people to light candles and spend some time with someone living alone or in difficult circumstances, finding a time and place to light.  Liaising with the BOD, a campaign for people to feel comfortable in approaching employers if they would like to leave earlier on Shabbat, and also lighting in more challenging circumstances such as in hospitals or prisons.

Schools, Campuses and Charities

Schools, campuses and charities across the country developed innovative ShabbatUK programmes geared specifically towards their service users.

The JC reported “School’s out for the Chief’s concert party” following the success of a Kabbalat ShabbatUK concert for 1,500 Year 4 and 5 pupils from 21 London-based Primary Schools. They enjoyed a ruach-filled event at which a guest band performed Shabbat songs and the Chief Rabbi spoke.

This kicked off Schools Programming in an exciting way, and was built upon with numerous school visits from the ShabbatUK Bus, school Challah Makes and special programming. These fostered a great enthusiasm for ShabbatUK itself, as children joined their friends and families over the weekend.

Schools engagement was enhanced by external educational organisations, with Tribe, PAL, PJ Library, Etgar, Gift and others theming their programming for ShabbatUK.

Click here to download the ShabbatUK 2016 Report

Join us this year – 27/28 October ShabbatUK 2017!