In response to a project which aims to make Shabbat a central feature of Jewish life in North America, we sent out a request to our alumni. We asked them to describe their first Shabbat at Livnot and how it affected them. We received almost 400 letters in the first 4 days of the campaign. It was overwhelming to read your letters, and to learn the impact that Shabbat had on your lives, even decades after.
Your response and a lot of leg work on our part has brought a wonderful opportunity. This summer, we will run several Shabbat programs for Birthright Israel trips, bringing the magic of Livnot and Tzfat to them. Our goal is to make the Shabbat as interactive as possible, spiritual and meaningful. A Livnot coordinator and banot sherut will join the trip on Wednesday in order to connect with the group and build up to Shabbat. Our experience teaches us that such celebrations can completely transform a participant’s experience and change the Birthright trip from a “great Israel trip” to a “great Jewish experience.”
We are building a coalition of Israel experience programs to coordinate efforts to utilize and maximize the special spirit and environment of Israel to provide a meaningful Shabbat experience. We want to promote the celebration of Shabbat as a central pillar of all Israel programming.
The responses of your letters, each and every one that we collect, is a testimony and reinforces this ideal.
For those who have not yet responded, we will be reminding you to help us with this effort. We will be organizing groups and all Livnot alumni to take part in “passing along the torch,” of demonstrating how a celebration of Shabbat enhances and strengthens the impact of the Israel experience.
If you have already sent your letter, THANK YOU!! If not, it’s not too late to be part of bringing a taste of Livnot to the Birthright experience by sending your Shabbat memories to botzer(at)livnot(dot)org