2023 Neighborhood Shabes Gatherings

The Shabes committee recently organized neighborhood Shabes gatherings on Friday, June 16th. When thinking of Shabes, the words “rejuvenate” and “reconnect” come to mind — at a relaxing gathering that gives us space to catch our breath and to celebrate together.  Our three Neighborhood Shabosim provided exactly that space. There were gatherings in three neighborhoods: Jamaica Plain, Cambridge and Brookline, and at all of them people relaxed, schmoozed and celebrated. 

During the week before the Shabosim, the three hosts anxiously checked weather apps daily in order to decide whether or not the gatherings could take place outdoors. The weather that week was very variable with showers randomly popping up. The force in charge of weather shined on us. JP and Brookline both had outdoor Shabosim and Cambridge spent half of the time outside for gathering & schmoozing and half of the time inside for the the blessings, the program, and the food.

With an intergenerational mix of people — around 14 at each neighborhood event — we spent time chatting with people we knew and people we were meeting for the first time, people  who had been in BWC for decades and people new to this community. It felt like it had been so long since we could have a casual gathering like that, in person. And we got to enjoy a whole range of foods provided by the attendees, again something we haven’t done for awhile. The Shabosim brought to mind the Nordic word “hygge,” meaning a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality. Or, better yet for BWC:  the Yiddish word heimish which means homey, cozy and unpretentious.

We want to thank the three hosts for making your homes available and for doing the work of planning and set up:  Ava Cheloff (in JP with co-host Annie McHugh),  Anne Greenwald (in Brookline with co-host Jill Edelson), and Marie Ariel (in Cambridge with co-host Patty Nolan).

There have been requests to do something with neighborhood Shabes gatherings again. We on the Shabes Committee would love to do that! Please contact us at shabes@circleboston.org to volunteer to host and/or to join in to helping to plan. Any neighborhood can be a gathering spot for neighbors in a town/city and its surrounding communities. If neither hosting nor helping plan is feasible for you right now, please let us know using the email address above if you’d like to be emailed a special reminder when the next Shabes is announced. 

We’re in the planning stage for next year and have some great ideas, including an Intergenerational LGBTQ+ Shabes, an Arts Shabes, a Singing Shabes, a Food Shabes, and, of course, the Yiddish Shabes. Please join us this coming year as a participant and feel the spirit of community at all of the BWC Shabosim.

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