An estimated 50,000 candlesticks are being distributed across the UK for the Great Friday Night Light event, as part of the Chief Rabbi’s ShabbatUK initiative, organisers have said.
The event, for which Jewish News is media sponsor, will see candles lit in hospitals, prisons, schools and households up and down the country, with “more people than ever before bringing in Shabbat together”.
Writing in Jewish News this week, the Chief Rabbi said: “This year, our aim is to add another very special element to the experience of welcoming in Shabbat – the knowledge that for one week, more people than ever before will be taking that deep breath and lighting those candles.”
The Great Friday Night Light is part of a series of events around the world, to mark Parashat Lech Lecha on 11-12 November.
Organisers said ShabbatUK 2016 would include Challah making, Havdalah events, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “This year we make a pledge: let no Jew, regardless of their circumstances feel that they cannot experience that unique moment of peace when Shabbat begins.”
He called for British Jews “regardless of religious affiliation or level of observance” to get involved, citing examples of events, such as a ‘Shabbat Art Gallery’ at Hendon shul, which will feature artwork from Liora Rosenberg, a teaching assistant who died in March at the age of 20, having suffered a devastating bleed to the brain.