Jewish Families Alliance hosts monthly Shabbat dinner


Davis Marks/Chronicle

Members of the Jewish Families Alliance light candles while saying a prayer during Shabbat dinner.

Davis Marks

The Jewish Families Alliance (JFA) hosted its third teen Friday night Shabbat dinner Dec. 10. In addition to Shabbat dinners, JFA hosts a variety of other events to provide Jewish students and families with a community that allows them to connect with Jewish heritage and culture as well as with each other, according to JFA co-leader Gabe Glassman ’22.

After arriving, members gathered at the table to recite prayers over the candles, grape juice and challah before dining on an assorted potluck.

Glassman said hosting Shabbat dinners are a meaningful way for the group to continue to connect. He said he also enjoys being able to have fun with people he has not been able to get to know through other activities.

“I think it’s important for us to continue having Shabbat dinners consistently so we can get closer together as a group,” Glassman said. “Also, these dinners are very fun, and it is always amazing to have new people come out and enjoy dinner with us.”

After JFA members finished dining, they held a white elephant gift exchange. This exchange is similar to Secret Santa, but instead of purchasing individualized gifts for eachother, players choose a gift from a pile on their turn that can be stolen later on by a different person. 

Zach Berg ’22 attended the event and said he feels the Shabbat dinners are an opportunity to celebrate Jewish culture. He says he has been eager to go in order to feel more connected to his family heritage.

“I think it’s important that there’s a space where we can all gather once a month and just partake in the traditions that we share,” Berg said. “I personally attend because I have never been super religious in the past and feel it is necessary to connect deeper with my heritage.”

Sam Volokh ’22 attended the dinner and said he finds Shabbat dinners to be a great way to spend time with the people he shares traits in common with whom he otherwise would not spend as much time with.

“I thought that the Shabbat dinner was great,” Volokh said. “It’s always really fun to be with a group of people who I might not be very close to, but who I truly do have a lot in common with, and I think that [Shabbat] dinners such as this one are great ways to do so.”