Shabbat is often the highlight of a Birthright Tour and can be life-changing particularly for participants who have never experienced a Shabbat before.
However an awesome Shabbat won't just happen on its own by virtue of the sun going down on a Friday night. It requires some serious planning to make sure you build a day which taps into the Shabbat spririt and create a day which is truly a day of rest, physically and spiritually.
The day should be relaxed with extra time allotted for sleep and rest. Kabbalat Shabbat is the most important prayer service for the group and requires preparation to make sure it is accessible and right for the group.
In addition, you can make space for spiritiuality by setting aside time for the group to reflect on the week, sing together and be inspired by uplifting Jewish stories. A discussion on Jewish identity is also a great idea that also taps into the character of the day. Please check out the other Shabbat resources o the site, but to start with, here are some great Shabbat resources to help you plan.
About the Kabbalat Shabbat service
Kabbalat Shabbat guide - This should help understand the Friday night service.
Guide to creative prayer service - you may not feel a traditional service is right for your group, if not check out this creative idea.
Lecha Dodi: Youtube video with the most traditional lecha dodi tune. - Definitely worth teaching this to your group!
Lighting Candles: Video of how to light the candles - essential that someone on the staff can do this and teach others how.
Blessings: Guide for making Blessings on the Challah (bread) and Wine.
Stories for Shabbat:
Stories for shabbat -What would a Shabbat be without stories?
More stories by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach - The legendary Reb Shlomo Carlebach led a revolution of Jewish spirituality in the 70s & 80s.
Making it an Awesome Shabbat