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Panim Hadashot is Closing Its Doors

Sunday, October 20, 2019, Erev Shemini Atzeret

Dear friends of Panim Hadashot-New Faces,

In case you did not get this message, I am sending it a second time. 

After much reflection I am recommending to our board of directors to permanently suspend our programs and activities. As you may know I have taken an interim rabbinical post in Albuquerque this past August. Our attempt to find a successor to lead Panim Hadashot was not successful. It is time to close our doors and to set aside the initiatives we brought to the Seattle area.

Our mission was to bring people together through Shabbat hospitality. Since 2016 we joined over 75 hosts in their homes for enhanced Shabbat meals. Our Heart of Shabbat Ensemble brought people together with music and song from the voluminous Jewish songbook. We shared the joys of “hachnasat orchim”-welcoming guests in everything we did.  We also brought to Seattle a taste of the Jewish musical renaissance taking place in both the United States and Israel.

I want to thank all those who hosted Shabbat meals in their homes and collaborated with us to bring joy and spirituality to their tables. Thank you to all the wonderful donors and subscribers that enabled us to fill a gap in communal Jewish life by focusing on the sharing of Shabbat meals and highlighting the Jewish group singing traditions. Thank you to the talented musicians who inspired hundreds of folks with their sharing of rich Jewish music.  Thank you for the many people who joined us for Shabbat gatherings, bringing food and fellowship wherever we met. 

I will be back in Seattle for the last Shabbat in October, Shabbat Bereishit.  On Friday evening, October 25th we will hold a “Musical Shabbat Table” hosted at the Metzenberg home in the Montlake/Capital neighborhood. Shabbat dinner will start at 6:30. It will be a chance to say goodbye to me and to celebrate the work of Panim Hadashot.

We will have an extended Shabbat group singing session starting at 7:30 led by Ari Joshua and the Heart of Shabbat Ensemble. We’ll sing and share Torah until 9:30pm  If you can’t come for dinner, come for the music and singing.  This event is free. The kosher fleichik with veggie options will be prepared and donated by the Metzenbergs. There is no need to bring food. If you have an instrument, bring it.  

To attend please make an RSVP at Once you email us with an RSVP you will receive the address where the Musical Shabbat Table will take place. Please RSVP by Wednesday evening, October 23rd. 

Hag Same’ah
Rabbi Dov Gartenberg
Convener and Director of Panim Hadashot-New Faces