Shabbat UK at Jewish Care

04 Mar 2019

Last week, residents, clients, volunteers and staff across Jewish Care baked challahs and got together to mark Shabbat UK. Jewish Care see Shabbat UK as an opportunity to bring people of all ages into Jewish Care resources to take part in a wide range of Shabbat related activities.

Tanya Miller, Community Engagement Officer at Jewish Care said, “Every week we rely on our volunteers to make Shabbat special for our residents by running our Friday night services, kiddush and helping at dinner or running the Shabbat service on Saturday morning in our care homes. Our doors are always open and we were so pleased, this Shabbat UK, to welcome so many of the members of the community across the generations to prepare for and enjoy Shabbat with our residents”.


80 people got together for an intergenerational Jewish Care Challah Bake for Shabbat UK at Jewish Care's Betty and Asher Loftus Centre lead by Ta’am’s Rebbetzen Ilana Epstein. 

Fay Wayman, aged 95, who is a resident at Rosetrees home, said she was “Delighted and hadn't baked challah in 60 years.” Another resident, Doreen Cohen, baked with four generations of her family at the Challah Bake. Residents at Princess Alexandra Home in Stanmore, Vi & John Rubens House and Redbridge Jewish Community Centre also enjoyed a challah bake for Shabbat UK. 

The Dennis Centre for people living with dementia and their carers, hosted Shabbat lunch on Friday for their members that attend the day centre and memory way cafe

Rabbi Plancy joined members of the Jewish Care's Holocaust Survivors' Centre in Hendon for lunch at the start Shabbat UK. At Selig Court in Golders Green, Kisharon students joined tenants for flower arranging and challah baking before enjoying a lunch together with residents from Clore Manor and Otto Schiff homes.

After Shabbat tenants at Selig Court were joined by families and young professionals who brought guitars and their singing voices for a musical Havdallah. Residents at Vi & John Rubens House in Ilford were given spice bags and chocolates by Chabad Lubavitch and joined by young students from King Solomon High School for a lively Havdallah session.

The ten participants of Jewish Care’s 3rd Bnei Mitzvah programme enjoyed a musical Havdallah with residents from Otto Schiff Care Home for the first session of their Bnei Mitzvah programme, which runs from March to July.

Jewish Care volunteer, Anthony Pack, who lives in Hendon, says, “I organise the weekly Shabbat service in the Holocaust Survivors' Centre, which I really enjoy and when the opportunity came up to perform a musical havdallah in a different Jewish Care resource, I was excited to volunteer. We always do a musical havdallah in our home with our children, my daughter who is 3 years and my son who is 1 month old, so sharing the experience with Jewish Care's residents and singing some of the golden oldies was a real pleasure, especially when everyone joined in with the songs that they recognised. The experience was so good that my friends and I are committed to visiting regularly.” 

“It's important for my wife and I, that our children spend time with the older generation, so my daughter comes every week to the Holocaust Survivors' Centre, which the regulars love. She also came to Otto Schiff on Sunday with some of her friends and by dancing, singing and talking to everyone, I think they really added some extra joy to the event. I would encourage everyone to spend some time volunteering at Jewish Care, it is really not a huge commitment and the reward is immense.”

Tanya Miller is quick to point out the all year round opportunities for members of the community to make Shabbat special for Jewish Care residents and members:

“Every week of the year Shabbat at Jewish Care is special. For care home residents it’s the only day that is obviously different from the other days of the week. This is only possible thanks to volunteers from across the community. We invite more members of the community to get in touch with us and volunteer when they can. Whether it’s to bake challah with residents and community centre members to help with Friday night services and dinner, Shabbat morning services or havdallah which can take place anytime from Saturday all the way up until Tuesday evening, it all makes a huge difference to help our residents and members to celebrate together.”