Now, that’s what we call a social feed: Tel Avivians plan record Shabbat meal

By Nathan Jeffay, March 13, 2014
“If they think that’s hard, they should try getting our three sons to the same dinner”

“If they think that’s hard, they should try getting our three sons to the same dinner”

The Channel 4 comedy Friday Night Dinner summed up what a struggle it can be even getting a family of four to sit down for their roast chicken.

But young Tel Avivians are convinced they can get 1,000 people all celebrating Shabbat together.

They have taken to a crowd-sourcing site to ask Jews around the world to donate money so that they can feed enough people in the largest possible venue to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. They need $25,000 for the June dinner, and have already raised half.

It is an initiative of White City Shabbat, a religiously diverse group that organises an open-to-all Sabbath meal — albeit smaller than the one being planned — once a month.

The idea of the record-breaking attempt, said one of the organisers, Deborah Danan, “is to give Shabbat the honour it deserves in the city that has become the most attractive place for young Jews to live in, Tel Aviv”.

The emails recruiting participants give a different, and thoroughly Jewish, explanation.

She added: “Why wouldn’t we throw this event? Tons of Jews, lots of l’chaims, and an exponential Shabbat spirit in the most exciting city in the Jewish world — what’s not to love?”

Ms Danan, a British immigrant to Israel, said she hopes that it inspires those who donate, as well as the diners. “We’re hoping that this initiative will compel Jewish communities all over the world to restore Shabbat as the cornerstone of community and of the Jewish people,” she said.

Organisers hope that any excess cash raised can be used to expand their regular meals — which many immigrants say have given them roots in the city.

Last updated: 7:45pm, March 13 2014