ShabbatUK 2016 at Muswell Hill
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Wednesday 16th November 2016

Muswell Hill US community shared together a moving, inspiring and joy filled Shabbat in partnership with Kisharon. Rabbi David originated the idea for this partnership, and the community picked up the idea and worked hard to create a wonderful ShabbatUK experience. Five adults supported by Kisharon stayed in the community for a Shabbat. The community organised a Friday night service following after a ‘Friday night lighting’ together. A small number of members stayed for dinner with the guests to allow them to settle in to the Shabbat experience. On Shabbat, nearly 150 members stayed for a lunch, although before this a highlight of our Shabbat was a series of speeches. The first was given by Debbie Rosten who has support from Kisharon although herself is a Teaching Assistant at Mathilda Marks Kennedy Jewish primary school. Debbie gave a Dvar Torah about parashat Lech L’cha and explained how excited she had been to join us for Shabbat. After Debbie, Elisheva Mason spoke about her and Rabbi David’s journey with their son Netanel who has Downs Syndrome. Elisheva explained how she and Rabbi David had dealt with the early years, what experience was like for Netanel in a mainstream school and how important Kisharon had been for his development. Finally, Richard Franklin, fundraising lead for Kisharon, spoke about what services the organisation offers and how challenging it is to provide such important services. After the speeches everyone enjoyed lunch together. The Shabbat programme continued with Mincha, a Seudah cream tea and ended with a musical Havdalah after Shabbat ended. The community was also thrilled also to welcome a number more of adults supported by Kisharon who really enjoyed the Havdalah.

A lot of work was put in to making this Shabbat special and partnering with Kisharon, as well as raising awareness about the spectrum of special needs being supported was incredibly important. Kisharon put in a lot of effort, and the support workers who came were amazing. It really felt like a meaningful and inspiring way to utilise ShabbatUK to encourage a community to get to know adults with special needs, as well as understanding more the work of the amazing Kisharon. Muswell Hill US look forward to deepening our relationship with Kisharon and looking into using this model again to partner with other important Jewish charities. 

Muswell Hill US are also extremely grateful to the Chief Rabbi’s Centre for Rabbinic Excellence for supporting their ShabbatUK with funding.