Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis is spearheading a campaign to increase the celebration of Shabbat.
Shabbat UK was inspired by a successful programme launched last autumn by his South African counterpart, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein.
“Shabbat is a core building block of Jewish identity,” Rabbi Mirvis said. “It has the power to shape and transform individuals and communities. Shabbat UK will inspire communities to collectively share the Shabbat experience.”
Details of the first Shabbat UK event, which will take place over October 24 and 25, are being worked out by a newly formed steering group consisting of rabbis, student representatives and members of the Zionist Youth Council.
Around 100 Orthodox rabbis and rebbetzins attended a briefing by Rabbi Goldstein in London last week about his Shabbat Project.
The aim of the South African initiative was to encourage as many Jews as possible to keep one Shabbat together, and included a grand challah bake, a Friday night street dinner and a havdalah concert. It was preceded by a mass educational campaign about Shabbat observance.