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Shabbat Shalom!
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Where to this week?
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See you on Shabbat!
Moti and Liran offer cheery atmosphere in Rome, Bella and Moshe will make your favorite dishes in Canada and David family offers baked delights and an in-house physician. Welcome to Shabbat.com, where you can find a place to spend Jewish holy day no matter where you are
Positive aspects to Diaspora living: A Jew can find kosher food and a sympathetic environment almost everywhere around the globe. A group of young Americans led by Rabbi Benzion Klatzko of Ohio, decided to take advantage of the Diaspora reality and use it for a one of its kind hospitality program – the Jewish version of couch surfing.

 

The Shabbat.com website gives Jews the opportunity to stay as a Shabbat guest with Jewish families around the world. Anybody interested in being a guest just needs to fill out a profile page with some personal details like age, profession, preferred synagogue(Orthodox, Modern etc…), a character reference – and of course, their location.

 

For example, if you're spending Shabbat in Geneva, you can stay with Francis and Dalia Brunswig, Orthodox with two children. In Rome, Moti and Liran Mor, two enthusiastic students offer a cheery atmosphere, good food and Shabbat songs. You might also want to consider Bella and Moshe Benaroch, a young Modern Orthodox couple from Canada, who will even make your favorite dishes

 

So, what do you do?

The hosts can also be chosen according to profession. If you're interested in spending the Shabbat with a road engineer the site will search for the perfect host. Those who wish to spend Shabbat with a doctor can stay with Dr. Stephanie Becker in Baltimore or in New york with the David family who "are easygoing, great cook and even better baker". Sharon Asher, a teacher in Los Angeles, has a comfortable futon in the living room.

 

In fact, it seems that teaching is a very popular profession on the site. Over 240 teachers from throughout the globe are listed on the site. A large percentage lives in New York, but they can be found in Argentina, Brazil, Italy and the Ukraine.

 

A search for doctors, every Jewish mother's dream, yields dozens of results. You might be disappointed if your dream is to spend Shabbat with a Jewish haute couture designer, but you will find a few artists.

 

Most of the host families include family pictures in their profiles. There is also an option of seeing how many families stayed with each host in the past, and even the option of contacting them to get recommendations. The hosts include young families, older families, singletons and divorcees.

 

In total the site offers hospitality in 62 different countries and 1,468 cities. To date, close to 34,000 people have found a place to spend Shabbat through the site.

 

Matchmaking an option

Shlomit Mantel, from Givat Shmuel, who registered with Shabbat.com says that the process is friendly and simple. "You have the option of choosing which kind of accommodation you offer – meals only or meals and lodging.

 

"You can select the day of the week by which time the guest needs to let you know if they're coming – Wednesday, Thursday or 'last minute'. You can also mention if you engage in matchmaking. Most of the people registering for accommodation in Israel prefer Jerusalem or Beit Shemesh."

 

Mantel, who was interested in finding accommodation in Strasbourg, found three families interested in hosting her for the Shabbat meals. "But most of the offers come from New York," she revealed.

 

 

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