Teen dinner draws crowd
By Jewish Review
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Shabbat Shebang drew more than 60 teenagers for a Shabbat dinner at the home of NCSY Portland Directors Rabbi Chanan and Meira Spivak Jan. 18.
Based on the national NCSY Friday Night Lights program, Shabbat Shebang has been growing steadily since the Spivaks became the area directors.
According to the Orthodox Union’s weekly national e-newsletter at the end of January, “Since 2006, when the Spivaks came to Portland and became the NCSY chapter directors, they have brought unprecedented growth to the chapter, one of the fastest growing in the country.”
The newsletter goes on to quote Riverdale High School Junior Max Spector: “It’s (NCSY) a setting where I can hang out with some of my best friends in the world and do Jewish things that a lot of us wouldn’t otherwise be doing. I’m extremely grateful for that, especially since we all go to different public schools. The Spivaks make everything fun and accessible for everyone, even people who are less observant. It’s a warm environment where everyone feels welcome.”
The Friday night events begin with a Carlebach kabbalat Shabbat followed by Shabbat dinner, cooked by Meira Spivak.
“Every kid who comes is coming to experience a Shabbat meal,” she said, noting that many at the Jan. 18 dinner had never before been to a Shabbat dinner, including one teen who recently learned she was Jewish.
Spivak said it cost about $4,000 to put on dinner and other weekend events (see related story on previous page) since NCSY also flew four advisors to Portland to interact with the teens.
Since Shabbat Shebang meets only in the winter when Shabbat arrives early, the final gathering of this school year will be Feb. 22. The meal is free, but reservations are required. For more information or reservations, contact Spivak at 503-757-3037 or email@example.com.