Close this search box.


By M. Lowinger

The air is getting nippy, the sukkah boards arestored away, and the Brooklyn Jewish community is gearing up to face the coming winter season. If that sounds dreary, it shouldn’t. Because we have the Shabbos of Inspiration to look forward to. And that should provide us with plenty of warmth and inspiration to brighten the season ahead.

The Shabbos Project is an annual worldwide event which has been established as a means to achieve Jewish unity and to share the Shabbos experience with others. It all started in South Africa in 2013 when Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein launched the program as an opportunity for all Jews to experience the magic of Shabbos together. That first Shabbos Project was a huge success, uniting the community as they took upon themselves to experience a Shabbos together.

This inspired a mass movement, as Jewish communities around the world haveadapted the concept and celebrated their own inspirational Shabbosim, each in its own way. Last year, an estimated one million Jews from 1152 cities and 95 countries joined the Shabbos Project! “There was a world before the Shabbos Project,” says Rabbi Goldstein, “and a world after the Shabbos Project. And it’s not the same world.”

Here in Brooklyn, we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying outstanding Shabbos Project programs for the past four years. And those who’ve participated still cherish the memories and the inspiration.

Plans are in full swing for another extraordinary Shabbos of Inspiration scheduled to be held on Parshas Lech Lecha, October 27th and 28th, with a rich and varied program. The event is being coordinated by Project Inspire, an organization dedicated to mobilizing the Torah community to reach out and become involved in Jewish outreach. They have successfully motivated and inspired the Jewish community through a variety of programs here in Brooklyn and beyond.

Rabbi Chaim Sampson, Founding Director of Project Inspire, explains that this year’s event will be unique in that it is focused on “Inreach”. “Our aim,” he says, “is to inspire ourselves, so that we can inspire others in the future.”

Our community faces a variety of challenges and the Shabbos of Inspiration program will tackle these issues head on. Says Rabbi Sampson, “If we want to create a personal relationship and connection with Hakodosh Boruch Hu, we must energize ourselves. Simchas hachayim, chinuch habonim, performing mitzvos with simcha, serving as proper role models for our children and grandchildren – these are just a few of the issues to be explored.“

While guests are always welcome at Shabbos Project events, coordinators of this year’s Shabbos of Inspiration encourage members of our own community to participate in the uplifting davening and educational programs. As such, a varied and engaging program is being planned. Meaningful tefillos will be led by renowned talents Yanky Lemmer and Mordechai Shapiro, joined by the Zemer choir. A fascinating panel discussion will feature prominent mechanchim and will include a Q and A session. Rabbi Yitzchok Fanger will be flying in from Eretz Yisroel to share his incredible personal account of discovering his heritage. And a rousing Havdalah ceremony accompanied by spirited music and dance will serve to culminate a magnificent weekend. All events and activities will be held at Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin.

Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Rov of the Agudah, explains that “Project Inspire has inspired thousands over the years, and this year we are looking to inspire ourselves, our community, and our young people. Much of the focus will be on issues of chinuch and parenting, including transmitting the mesorah to the next Dor. Scheduled speakers are renowned experts who have their finger on the pulse of the issues of our times. They will offer insights and guidance to parents struggling to raise their families in today’s world. Topics such as how to create an exciting Shabbos table, how to be involved in our children’s chinuch, and how to achieve simchas hachayim will be discussed.” He explains that, “Our goal is for those within our community to continue growing and shteiging. That’s really what the focus will be.”

Mr. and Mrs. Isaac and Edie Gross will be sponsoring the Shabbos of Inspiration l’zecher nishmas their mother, Malka bas Yoseph Yuspeh(Gross) O’H who was recently nifteres. “This year’s event is more meaningful to me than ever before,” Isaac explains. “Shabbos was very special to her. Even when she suffered with Alzheimer’s, she was keenly aware of Shabbos and would light the Shabbos candles and say the bracha without our help. Even during the worst of times, the aura of Shabbos remained ingrained within her. It was a tremendous indication of who she was.”

The Gross family will be sponsoring Shabbos Project activities in Brooklyn and worldwide in memory of their mother. “We are expecting over two million people to participate in 8000 events throughout the world,” says Isaac. “In Israel alone, over 200 Shabbos Project programs are planned.”

There’s no better way to become inspired than by experiencing an uplifting Shabbos. “Shabbos itself is uniquely qualified to inspire us,” says Isaac. “It’s the barometer by which to develop yiras shomayim. During that one day each week, we disconnect from our phones and technology and invite spirituality into our homes. We focus on our children and our families. If we do Shabbos right, it can serve as a shield to protect our families.” He points out that the IDF is participating in the Shabbos Project this year as a means to encourage its soldiers to maintain Jewish traditions and rediscover their Jewish heritage. “Over 1000 cities have a program this year, an indication of tremendous achdus. The Shabbos Project has taken over the entire world.”

We in Brooklyn are gearing up to welcome in an awesome and inspiring Shabbos Project and all members of our community members are encouraged to join. Because everybody could use a little bit of inspiration.

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts