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Tel Avivis Attempt To Set World Record For Largest Shabbat Dinner

White City Shabbat’s campaign to gather 1,000 people for dinner in a hangar in the Tel Aviv Port. Read More

By / March 28, 2014

The most interesting Jew in the world wants you to join him for Shabbat dinner—how could you say no?

This is the premise of White City Shabbat‘s campaign to crowdfund the world’s largest Shabbat dinner in June.

The parody of the Dos Equis beer video features Jay Schultz, founder of White City Shabbat and self-styled “International Mayor of Tel Aviv,” speaking with over-the-top Yiddish inflections, claiming he was born circumcised, and taught the Mossad to kill—and his Bubbe to make chicken soup.

Schultz then invites viewers to join him at the Guiness World Record-setting Shabbat dinner in Tel Aviv, “the most interesting city in the world.”

White City Shabbat is well-known to Tel Aviv’s young internationals for its monthly communal dinners and holiday services and meals, but now the non-profit, run by a volunteer group of young immigrants, is raising money to make a global name for itself.

The organization plans to host 1,000 people–including former chief rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who contributed a video blessing, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, and Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan—for Friday night dinner in a hangar in the Tel Aviv Port.

“While White City Shabbat is going to be the first organization to attempt this record, our hope is than in years to come, communities around the world will come together to try and surpass the standard we set,” Shultz stated. “What a beautiful, holy race it would be to have Jewish organizations trying to outdo each other. It will be a real win-win for Am Yisrael.”

“Shabbat is the solidarity of the Jewish people,” Lau said, showing a poster released from the office of Tel Aviv’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, 80 years ago, calling for the city’s residents to keep Shabbat publicly. “This is our real heritage. The fathers of the city wanted us to follow in their footsteps and keep the unity and holiness of the Shabbat,” Lau added.

Eytan White and Deborah Danan, co-directors of White City Shabbat, focused on what the event could mean for Tel Aviv.

“With more and more young Jews from around the world choosing to make Tel Aviv their home, celebrating the first ever World’s Largest Shabbat Dinner with the Guinness Book will further establish Tel Aviv as one of the most important cities for the Jewish People today,” White said.

According to Danan, “Tel Aviv is a unique global city in that it has one of the highest percentages of young professionals. Coupling that with its mix of immigrants and natives, who are both religious and secular, and its overarching atmosphere of openness and inclusivity, makes Tel Aviv the perfect city to host an event of this historic magnitude.”

The Indiegogo campaign has already brought in $17,432 of White City Shabbat’s $25,000 goal. The dinner will be free of charge, but a $50 donation now can guarantee you a spot at the landmark event. Plus, White City Shabbat is looking for sponsors for all sorts of Shabbat event necessities, like kippahs, benchers and siddurs.

(Image: Shutterstock.)