Updated: Jun 24, 2021

For the past 2 years the Shrubberies Shul and The Friendship Circle have enjoyed a unique, close relationship, sharing many joint events together. Last weekend, the two communities joined forces once again to celebrate a very special ‘Shabbat Together at Home’.

Starting on Wednesday evening with an art session led by Chava Erlanger, 65 participants came together on Zoom to create beautiful Havadala objects. On Thursday there followed an online challah bake when 85 participants received ready-made dough, kindly donated by Brackmans, and proudly showed off their baking and braiding skills!

Friendship Circle and Shrubberies members were thrilled to watch a special video which included shabbat shalom messages from members of the community, as well as a guest appearance from Chief Rabbi Mirvis who congratulated The Friendship Circle on their inspirational work and congratulated The Shrubberies on being a wonderful, inclusive and welcoming community.

On Friday, 100 packs brimming with treats, games and goodies were sent out to members to enhance their Shabbat. These included a brochure with poems, stories and pictures from Shrubberies families and Friendship Circle members.

Following a beautiful Kabbalat shabbat led by Chazzan Caplan who sang familiar songs from the Friday night service, and the weekend culminated with a musical Havdala and concert by Buchy Gluck with over 60 families joining in and dancing along to the songs.

The event concluded on Saturday night with a fabulous quiz which was great fun for everyone who took part!

Adi Abeles Youth, Families and Young Adults Director at Shrubberies said ‘It was a truly special weekend which enabled so many to unite virtually and enjoy a well needed break from the day to day realities. It was enjoyed by all who participated and the feedback has been just fabulous!’

Programme Director Esty Bruck also commented ‘The Shabbaton was a great show of unity and collaboration, things that are always important but never more so than during the year of social -isolation we have just had. There was a real feeling of togetherness over the weekend from the many different initiatives that were planned. Shrubberies have been a most welcoming and accepting community to us and are really leading the way in creating a more inclusive wider community.’

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