When my friend Pamela* and I first heard about the Shabbos Project, we fell in love with the idea immediately. What a great concept! Jews around the world who kept Shabbos and appreciated its special nature would reach out to others not so blessed and share the beauty of the day with them in a global show of unity. We decided we would open our homes to any fellow Jews who wished to join us for an authentic Shabbos experience.
Pamela and I live in the predominantly chareidi Stamford Hill area of London, where Shabbos observance is a given. However, there are some unaffiliated Jews in the locality as well, and it was them we particularly wanted to reach.
The question was, how?
The main difficulty we faced was that unaffiliated Jews often don’t have any connection at all to a shul or community and were therefore unlikely to be reached via the traditional promotional methods of noticeboards, newsletters, email lists and the like. Eventually, we came up with the following idea:
In addition to registering with the Shabbos Project website, notifying the local shuls and communal organizations and, of course, spreading the word via friends, neighbors and social contacts, we’d put up eye-catching posters throughout the Stamford Hill area. That way, we’d grab the attention of even those elusive folks who had no contact with any form of Yiddishkeit.
The posters, which we paid to have printed locally, featured the following message: “We are two warm, welcoming local families who live in Stamford Hill, North London. We love Shabbos and would like to share it with other Jews, by inviting them to join us for a free Shabbos meal. Why not find out how you can be part of the magical experience of Shabbos!” Contact details were clearly displayed.