Skip to content

Home Shabbat Experiences

What is a Home Shabbat Experience?

Panim Hadashot-New Faces has pioneered the “Home Shabbat Experience”. A Home Shabbat Experience is a collaboration between hosts and the Panim Hadashot team of "Shabbat Animators".  The host invites friends and family to share in a Shabbat meal.  A Shabbat Animator brings to your gathering a special Jewish experience of music and song, Torah study, or focused discussion on a prearranged topic.

In this mix, we ask our hosts to make room at the table for a few 'new faces-panim hadashot in the spirit of Shabbat Hospitality. 

All this makes for a joyful shared meal of connecting, learning, and an authentic experience of the power and beauty of the Jewish Sabbath. 

Check out current Out of the Box Home Shabbat Experiences  

What is a Shabbat Animator?

A key part of our Home Shabbat Experience is the presence of a 'Shabbat Animator'.  A Shabbat Animator "animates"-brings alive the experience of Shabbat at home.  We can do this any number of ways: with music and group singing, interactive Jewish learning, engaging facilitated conversation, or narrated journeys of the Shabbat Seder and rituals. Our Shabbat Animators can team up with all sorts of hosts:

Who can host a Home Shabbat Experience?

  • Anyone who wants to connect to others in a meaningful way
  • Folks who want to enrich the way they do Shabbat at home. 
  • People who love singing together with others.
  • Parents seeking to enrich their family Shabbat experience.
  • Families celebrating a milestone in honor of a loved one. 
  • Affinity groups wanting a unique way to gather together.

Who do hosts invite?  When we do a Home Shabbat Experience with a host, we suggest that they invite most of their guests from their circle of friends or family.  Our animators will join you for a minimum of seven people, but the more the better.  In addition, we always ask our hosts to make room at their gathering for a few 'new faces', in Hebrew, Panim Hadashot. 

New faces or 'panim hadashot' in Hebrew alludes to an ancient hospitality tradition in Judaism of inviting new faces to a celebratory feast. We seek to revive that old Jewish tradition of hospitality. 

Making room for a few New Faces?  New faces may be people new to Seattle, new acquaintances, people you don't know well, who you would like to know better, or a stranger you have met just living your daily life.  Or you can ask Rabbi Dov Gartenberg, the Convener of Panim Hadashot, to invite a few 'new faces' from folks he knows, who have expressed interest in coming to Shabbat home gatherings. 

It is not hard to host. We recommend easy ways to arrange for a shared meal and ideas on who to invite. Click LEARN MORE.

It is not costly to host. We request from prospective hosts an affordable voluntary donation to Panim Hadashot-(a registered non-profit). Your donations help us to build our team of animators and to offer this unique program all over Seattle. If finances or space is a challenge, we will work with you to overcome the challenges to host a beautiful gathering. 

You can create your own personalized Home Shabbat Experiences Hosts can customize a Home Shabbat Experience to their preferences and interests. Click Ways to Customize a Home Shabbat Experience

Would you like to host? Send us a note at the Contact page, requesting a tentative date and your choice of Home Shabbat Experience from the choices below.  We will get back to you by phone to set up your Home Shabbat Experience.  


Home Shabbat Experiences for Winter 2019

Home Shabbat Experience #1

New Songs of the Jewish People

Rabbi Dov and members of the Heart of Shabbat Ensemble introduce some of the new Jewish music including niggunim (wordless melodies), melodies from the Jewish Orient, and new compositions for Jewish prayers and expressions. You will be enthralled by their beauty and experience the joy of singing together with others. We advise prospective hosts to plan to have at least 10 guests with more the better.  Recommended donation to Panim Hadashot: $200.  

Home Shabbat Experience #2

Torah from the Wilderness: Home Torah Study and Conversation

Bring a choice group of friends and acquaintances to your table for some rich Torah from the Book of Exodus which is read in the synagogue during this time of year.  Rabbi offers an interactive study session in your home with texts, stories, and insights out of Jewish tradition, This Home Shabbat Experience is ideal for small groups of around 7 or more people. Recommended donation to Panim Hadashot: $54 (3 x 18 Chai). This Home Shabbat Experience is free for Subscribers.