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What is a Shabbat Animator?

Shabbat Animators is a person who can animate a Shabbat home gathering. Enliven your home with an incredible Shabbat experience with one of our Animators.
Chava Mirel, One of 3 New Shabbat Animators offered by Panim Hadashot-New Faces

Announcing the Home Shabbat Animators Initiative: Animate Your Shabbat Gathering with Incredible Shabbat Table Leaders 

A few months ago Panim Hadashot received an Ignition Grant from the Jewish Federation called Home Shabbat Animators Initiative.  The grant provides funding for Panim Hadashot to recruit and train talented individuals who can "animate" home Shabbat gatherings with their talents and experience.  I am happy to announce that we are launching the initiative.  I would like to introduce our initial group of Shabbat Animators who are available to if you wish to host a home Shabbat gathering with any of them.  

  • Chava Mirel is one of the leading Jewish musical voices in Seattle.   Chava Mirel is a nationally touring Jewish musician, composer, prayer leader and recording artist, bridging communities with her universal approach to Jewish spirituality through song. Chava can bring to your Shabbat gathering a rich experience of Jewish music that will engage everyone in the room.  She is an inspiring teacher and well versed in Sabbath traditions.  
  • Ilan Speizer is a unique talent and educator.  He is a lover of Midrash (interpretations of the Torah) and a Musician.  He combines his musical talent with his love of music by writing original songs that interpret biblical characters. He is a scintillating teacher.  Ilan can enrich your Shabbat gathering by stimulating thought provoking discussion on themes in the Torah.  
  • Sam Perlin is a coach and athletic director and former Jewish camp director, he is a lifelong Jewish family educator.  He knows how to create "a feeling of Jewish fun".  Sam gears his Shabbat animation for families, engaging children in activities, stories and creating a uniquely joyful Shabbat experience for children and their parents.  

The ignition grant allows us to offer Shabbat Animators for no charge (although donations to Panim Hadashot are always appreciated). It is easy and a great experience to host. Of course, Rabbi Gartenberg and the Heart of Shabbat Ensemble remain available to enhance your Shabbat gathering either with music or Torah study.  Contact Rabbi Dov Gartenberg, our Director, to arrange to have a Shabbat Animator for a future Shabbat gathering.  He can be reached at or 206 739-9924.  You can also check out our "hosting" recommendations on our website at:


Rabbi Dov Gartenberg