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Shabbat Hosting Lab provides a deep dive into the history and practice of Shabbat. You'll become an amazing Shabbat host, grow together with a cohort of other great Jewish students, and you get paid for it too! 
Click here to apply!

How do I know if I’m qualified to be a Shabbat Hosting Lab Fellow?

Shabbat Hosting Lab is right for you if you are interested in:

  • developing confidence and knowledge surrounding Shabbat rituals

  • designing and executing a personal Shabbat skill set

  • becoming an emboldened host, capable of facilitating a table experience in your own living spaces that is informed and inspired by Jewish wisdom and tradition

  • being a part of a supportive, intentional community of other learners

 

What’s the time commitment?

Shabbat Hosting Lab is a powerful Fellowship experience where you will learn, connect, and grow. And, there are also several expectations that all Fellows are asked to take seriously. Fellows are expected to:

  • Attend 10 weeks of sessions. Each session is about 90 minutes long

  • Attend 1 Shabbat meal at Rabbi Kenny Weiss' home

  • Host two Shabbat gatherings/meals for 6 to 8 of their friends (Hillel covers the food costs for the Shabbat dinners)

 

I hear you get paid for this fellowship! How much?

Each SHL Fellow will receive a $250.00 stipend to mark the significance of their dedication to this learning and growing. 

 

What can I expect to learn and over the course of this fellowship?

Scroll down to see the schedule for this 10-week fellowship!

 

I don’t currently have much of a personal Shabbat practice and/or I don’t feel very knowledgeable about Shabbat. Can I still participate?

YES! Shabbat Hosting Lab was made for you! All SHL content and curriculum was designed to be useful to participants of all Jewish knowledge levels and backgrounds. This experience will feel welcoming and accessible to you, regardless of how much or how little you already know about Shabbat.

 

I don’t live in a space that has enough room to comfortably host a group for a Shabbat meal/I don’t have a dining room. Does this preclude me from applying?
Absolutely not. Shabbat meals can take place anywhere that is safe and comfortable for you and your guests! You can host Shabbat in a dorm’s communal gathering spaces, at a park, or on the floor of your living room. We will help you to think creatively about space and how to maximize your resources to host some amazing Shabbat gatherings.

 

Why Shabbat?

Every week, we encounter an opportunity to embrace and make holy a milestone of completion and of rest. While Shabbat has long been a programmatic staple across the Hillel movement, the last two years have undone a playbook that once felt timeless. By inviting students to become curators and crafters of their own Shabbat experiences, you’ll have the opportunity to develop the skills of a Jewish lifestyle, transforming Shabbat into an intentional practice that you can produce for yourselves and others - while a student and beyond.

 

How/when do I apply?
Click here to apply!

 

I have a question that doesn’t appear on this list. Who do I contact?
Email Rabbi Kenny Weiss at kweiss@houstonhillel.org.

Shabbat Hosting Lab Schedule

Unit 1: Mitzvot (commandments) as Creative Acts

Session 1: Shabbat: A Timeless Ritual for Human Connection | Wed. Jan. 31 at 7 pm 

  • The role of ritual in our modern lives 

 

Session 2: Bring In the Light, Welcome Mystical Angels | Wed. Feb. 7 at 7 pm 

  • How does the practice of lighting candles amplify our Shabbat experience?

  • What role does Shalom Aleichem play in elevating our Shabbat table? 

 

Session 3: Appreciating Creation and Sanctification | Wed. Feb. 14 at 7 pm 

  • The meaning behind kiddush 

 

Session 4: On Sustenance and Gratitude | Wed. Feb. 21 at 7 pm 

  • How does hand washing provide a pathway to gratitude on Shabbat? 

  • Why challah?

Shabbat dinner at Rabbi Kenny Weiss' home| Fri. Feb. 23 at 6 pm

 

Unit 2: Intimacy & Connection

 

Session 5: The Table as Canvas | Wed. Feb. 28 at 7 pm

  • The key components of creating a purposeful, unique Shabbat experience

  • Prepping for the first SHL fellow-hosted meal 

 

Session 6: On Hachnasat Orchim: The Clarity of Hosting and Hospitality | Wed. Mar. 6 at 7 pm

  • What are the virtues we should activate when hosting Shabbat dinners, and who are the best models from whom we can learn to sharpen our virtues?

 

Unit 3: Becoming a Shabbat Creator

Session 7: The Party Continues: Saturday Shabbat Meal Rituals | Wed. Mar. 20 at 7 pm

  • What are the fundamental Saturday Shabbat meal rituals and associated choreography?

  • How does the food we serve elevate or enhance our experience of Shabbat? 

  • How has Shabbat being a 25-hour experience (rather than just one evening or one meal) influenced Jewish life and community?

 

Session 8: Finding Your Sweet Spot | Wed. Mar. 27 at 7 pm

  • What are the virtues we should activate when hosting Shabbat dinners? 

  • How can we help guests “drop into” the experience in a thoughtful way?

 

Session 9: The Otherness of Shabbat | Wed. Ap. 3 at 7 pm

  • What is the value or challenge of separating from others? 

  • When do I choose to act in alignment with convention, and when do I act outside of convention? 

  • When does distinctiveness feel special vs. isolating?

 

Session 10: Becoming a Bold Host + Celebration! | Wed. Ap. 10 at 7 pm

  • Wrapping up and celebrating our growth

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