JFA gathers for monthly Shabbat Dinner


Iona Lee/Chronicle

Jewish Family Alliance (JFA) members gather around a table before their monthly Shabbat dinner is served.

Iona Lee

Members from the Jewish Family Alliance (JFA) gathered for their monthly Shabbat in Beverly Hills on Friday. JFA hosts events throughout the year to connect students with their Jewish heritage and with each other as a community, according to co-leader Sophie Shabani ’24.

Shabbat dinners take place at different members’ houses, depending on who volunteers to host them. Jake Lancer ’24, who hosted this JFA dinner, said he enjoyed hosting the event.

“I thought that it would be fun,” Lancer said. “I know that my house is in a convenient location for a lot of people because it’s near school. I’ve been to one before, and I had a really fun time, but I think it was actually one of the biggest Shabbats we’ve had this year.”

The event was opened by traditional prayers over candles and challah and grape juice. After dinner, the JFA members played a game of basketball together.

Shabani said the dinners bring the members closer and stronger as a community.

“It has a strong sense of community,” Shabani said. “We all bring food and talk about our weeks, and I feel like I’ve been able to learn a lot about other people in the JFA program and make a lot of new friends. The best Shabbat tradition has been playing very competitive games of basketball, which really makes us a stronger community.”

Co-president of JFA Gabe Glassman ’22 said he enjoys Shabbat and appreciates it when people who aren’t Jewish attend the event.

“I personally love Shabbat because it is a great opportunity to spend time with my friends and maintain our strong Jewish culture,” Glassman said. “It’s great how people who aren’t Jewish are willing to come to Shabbat and learn more about it. JFA plans many events other than Shabbat including speakers and other get-togethers.”