Shabbat at Home: Nurturing family ties through rituals and creativity

by | Feb 8, 2024 | It's a Wrap, Latest News

Despite it being a Tuesday, the spirit of Shabbat was alive and thriving at the Sandler Family Campus on January 23, as families gathered for a Shabbat at Home event. The second in a five-part series that explores ways to build ritual and tradition into Friday nights, this was a delightful evening focused on blessing the children – filled with crafts, blessings, and community bonding. Attendees also had the opportunity to create glass mosaic frames to hold personalized blessing cards for their Shabbat tables on Friday nights.

Families learned and created together, and children bonded while playing between crafting sessions.

Rabbi Avi Farkas from Ignite 757 played a pivotal role in the event, sharing insights into the biblical history of Shabbat blessings for the children and guiding participants on how to say them. “My mom and dad started whispering a special wish into my ear after the Hebrew blessing on Friday night after learning about that from Rabbi Avi,” says Rinoa Lautman, age 10. “I like it when they do that, and I also like watching my uncle whisper a special wish to my cousin Lily every week now.”

One participant, Anna Fox Burnette, says, “Our family really enjoyed learning about ways to expand our Shabbat experience and getting ideas for how to add to our own traditions. It was great that the interactive celebration included all our kids, ages 3-10.”

The Shabbat at Home series is presented by the Konikoff Center for Learning of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and PJ Library in Tidewater. The series continues March 12 at 5:30 pm, when families will learn about making kiddush (the blessing over wine). As families continue to weave newfound insights and creations into their Shabbat traditions throughout the year, they will build memories and Jewish connections for their children.

For more information about the Shabbat at Home series or Jewish education and engagement in Tidewater, visit or contact Sierra Lautman, senior director of Jewish Innovation, at

Steven and RInoa Lautman