Chief Rabbi moves date of Shabbat UK from October to March 2019
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Chief Rabbi moves date of Shabbat UK from October to March 2019

Communal event delayed until next year because staging it close to Chagim was 'a challenge for organisers and participants'

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and pupils celebrate ahead of ShabbatUK
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and pupils celebrate ahead of ShabbatUK

The Chief Rabbi has moved the date of ShabbatUK to early March 2019 after synagogues said the current October date was causing difficulties, coming so soon after the High Holy days.

In a decision announced on Thursday, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis wrote to shuls, schools and university chaplaincies to communicate the change, after his Office sought feedback.

Announcing no 2018 event, he said: “It is clear from your replies… that staging ShabbatUK just a few weeks after the Chagim (Jewish holidays) has proved to be a challenge for many organisers and participants,” he wrote.

“While there is no perfect time, the weight of preference is clearly in favour of the beginning of March. With this in mind, I have made a decision that I firmly believe to be the right way forward: the next ShabbatUK will take place on Shabbat 1-2 March 2019.”

Mirvis said the new 2019 date “will provide an added amount of lead-in time” for preparations and would “give a fresh new feel” for what has become an important fixture in our communal calendar.

The brainchild of Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein of South Africa, who established the Shabbos Project, ShabbatUK has now firmly established itself in the UK after four years.

In his letter, Mirvis said the annual nationwide event had “inspired shemirat mitzvot and community excellence right across the country.

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