TSTI members open homes to fellow congregants for Shabbat B’Bayit

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Eleven members of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange opened their homes on a recent Friday evening for Shabbat B’Bayit, or “Shabbat in the home.” Congregants from throughout Essex and neighboring counties shared Shabbat dinner at synagogue members’ homes in South Orange, Maplewood and Short Hills. Approximately 160 people of all ages gathered this year to light candles and recite the traditional Jewish prayers that usher in a Sabbath meal before enjoying dinner together. The event provides TSTI members with the opportunity to dedicate an evening to the company of new and familiar temple friends.

The evening began at TSTI with an oneg Shabbat followed by a brief communal service before everyone headed to their host family homes for dinner. Shabbat B’Bayit team Chairperson Andrea Baum noted that, “Adding the oneg before services this year was a great success. Our congregants had a chance to mingle with one another and chat with our clergy, which really helped to create community.”

Two of the Maplewood families who hosted dinners were Lauren and David Freedman and their children, and Diana and Donald Jaffe. Joining the Freedmans were Gail and Michael Kanef, Karen, Jerry, Jack and Abbey Wish, and David, Josh and Andrea Baum, all of Short Hills. The Jaffes hosted Elliot Baumgart and Estelle Hellreich-Baumgart, also of Maplewood; Arlene and Andrew Brafman of West Orange; and Steven Pomerantz and Betty Cohen of Montclair.

In South Orange, Elise, Donald, Emma and Quinn Joy hosted four families: Ellen and Bob Blake of West Orange; Deborah Joselow and Brad Gerstle, and Monique, Todd and Ilana Lurie, all of South Orange; and Pam and Jeff Paro of Short Hills.

“I want to thank the Shabbat B’Bayit team for putting this wonderful event together,” first-time participant Tsipi Kaplan of Maplewood said in the release. “I had a lovely time, our hosts were amazing, and the company, food and wine were such a treat. Thanks again for creating such a beautiful community. I’m looking forward to participating next year!”