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JCC, synagogues and HBHA organize Night of 100 Shabbat Dinners

On Friday, Feb. 21, Shabbat candles will be burning especially bright throughout greater Kansas City. That’s when people at all levels of Jewish observance are invited to participate in the Night of 100 Shabbat Dinners overseen by the JCC in partnership with local synagogues and HBHA.

“We took a cue from KU Hillel,” said Jill Maidhof, JCC director of Jewish Life and Learning, referring to that organization’s recent and highly successful Shabbat Around KU.

Coordinator Janna Rosenthal is working with organizational representatives who are encouraging people to gather privately at sundown on the 21st.

“We love that people who enjoy Shabbat together every Friday will do so this weekend,” Rosenthal said. “We hope that what distinguishes Friday, Feb. 21, is that participants will join new friends, new members of our community or their congregations, and even Jewish or non-Jewish co-workers to share the fun and beauty of Shabbat.”

Participating is simple: One can be a host or a guest. Let the JCC know if you plan to host a dinner and you’ll be added to the list of 100. If you need help finding a home to join or guests to come to your home, Rosenthal will match you up.

“This is an event for everyone because there are no rules”, she explained. “Some hosts will serve a traditional Shabbat dinner on a table with candles, challah and wine, while others may provide pizza that was just delivered! We don’t assume that people will bring any level of Jewish knowledge; we only seek to make it possible for anyone wishing to do so to connect with others and welcome Shabbat in a manner that’s joyous and meaningful for them.”

Rosenthal will provide user-friendly Shabbat guides for those who are not familiar with but want to experience Friday night rituals at their gatherings. She will also offer topics for informal conversation suggested by the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements. Those wishing to participate and/or seek Rosenthal’s assistance should call 240-417-6820 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

One group is well underway in planning a Shabbat gathering. The Kansas City Kollel is offering a Women’s Shabbaton beginning with a dinner on Friday, Feb. 21, at the home of Brenda Rosenthal featuring Kaila Lasky. A dynamic motivational speaker, Lasky tours the English speaking world, sharing her positive Jewish messages of how to attain a spiritual life and strengthen relationships with our friends, partners and ourselves. She is a featured lecturer for speakers’ bureaus of the National Jewish Federation, and gives regular “workout for the soul” classes in the tri-State region. Women are welcome to come to all or part of the Shabbaton. More information and registration can be found on www.kckollel.org.

Kollel Director Rabbi Binyomin Davis said, “We are delighted to participate in the Night of 100 Shabbat Dinners program, which is a great way for the community to share the light and joy of Shabbat. We hope that women from across the community will feel more than welcome to join us for our dinner and guest speaker that Friday night, in what we know will be a magical Shabbat experience.”

The Night of 100 Shabbat Dinners is one of several “100 More” events celebrating the Jewish Community Center’s century of programs and services in Kansas City. For more information about 100 More, visit the organization’s website at jcckc.org.