THE WHITE CITY & ONEG SHABBAT : A LONGSTANDING TEL AVIV LOVE STORY
Oneg Shabbat translates from the Hebrew as 'The Joy of Shabbat'. Well we couldn't agree more, and clearly so did the giant voices who were championing the beauty and importance of Shabbat from Tel Aviv's earliest days. Shabbat is God's gift to each and every Jew, but we know that Shabbat in the White City is just something extra special. Shabbat and Tel Aviv are just a perfect match made in heaven.
"Every Shabbat, the individual sheds the trappings of secular life. With the Shabbat, comes rest. The soul begins to free itself of its heavy shackles. It seeks higher paths, spiritual acquisitions befitting its nature."
:: Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, Tel Avivi & First Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael
“Shabbat is our most amazing sign of national solidarity from generation to generation, and anyone who undermines it undermines the unity of Israel ... Preserve the Shabbat, and it will preserve us.”
:: Mayor Meir Dizengoff, Tel Avivi & First Mayor of Tel Aviv
"More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews."
:: Asher Ginsburg, 'Ahad Ha'am', Tel Avivi & Founder of Cultural Zionism
"Eretz Yisrael will never be built without Shabbat ... The Jewish People will never give up Shabbat, which is not only the keystone of Israel's existence but of human existence. Without Shabbat, there would be no godliness and no semblance of humanity in the world."
:: Chaim Nachman Bialik, Tel Avivi & Israel's National Poet & Founder of Oneg Shabbat
ABOUT WHITE CITY SHABBAT & TEL AVIV JEWISH LIFE
White City Shabbat is the portal for young community Shabbat life in Tel Aviv. Ensuring that Jewish life is not lost on Israel’s cultural and financial capital, the White City Shabbat team acts as a matchmaker connecting people with Shabbat hospitality each week all over the city. Bringing the concept of fun Shabbat dinner parties to a wider community, the organization also hosts its own private, warm, welcoming, all-inclusive Shabbat meals every month for young adults. White City Shabbat also hosts holiday celebrations and meals, Jewish learning series, and inter-community programming.
In 2014, White City Shabbat set the record for the first ever Largest Shabbat Dinner on Earth with the Guinness Book of World Records & manages The Shabbat Project for Tel Aviv.
But who are we really? We are an officially unofficial coalition of like and unlike minded vibrant young Tel Avivis. We are all wildly passionate about creating substantively engaging kosher Jewish life in this holy White City. While our similarities far out weigh our differences, we celebrate our city and respect the diversity of Jewish options that we collectively provide for our amazing city's residents and visitors. Each of us in our own way works hard to keep things cool and kosher, generally tailoring our community events towards young adults in their 20s & 30s, hailing from differing demographics, nusachs, traditions, languages, hashkafas, locations, and Jewish life experiences. We all are totally driven by hardworking grassroots volunteers.
We all look forward to hosting you at our community events, meals, holiday celebrations, and more. Think about what your Tel Aviv Shabbat needs are, and then reach out to check in, so we can 'Challah Back'. Trust that if you have found a community that is warm, welcoming, and willing to find the best Tel Aviv Jewish Shabbat experience that is right for you.
Shabbat Shalom and enjoy all of the joyous splendor that God, in partnership Am Yisrael, blessed Tel Aviv Ir HaKodesh with. Never forget that the DNA of Tel Aviv is Oneg Shabbat. We at White City Shabbat are all honored to be able to help reveal that truth to you now.
A Tel Aviv Shabbat Show & Tell
A few years ago, the White City Shabbat volunteer team went into Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv Rav Lau's office to interview him for a video giving us support in advance of our Guinness World Record Largest Shabbat Dinner event. As part of that meeting, he pulled out from his desk drawer a copy of Mayor Meir Dizengoff's 1933 public service announcement, only number 36 of his public declarations, to remind us that we were in good historical company rocking out Shabbat in Tel Aviv. This treasured poster from the founding of the city was a plea to the residents of Tel Aviv to honor Shabbat. "Against Shabbat desecration in public: All private automobile and motorcycle owners are requested not to drive in the city on Shabbat and holidays..." concluding with, "Protect the Shabbat and it will protect us!".