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First Friday Shabbat

Shabbat dinner at Hillel has been something I've looked forward to attending at the end of the week for the better part of the last four years. Being a senior, I thought I have seen the different cuisines that a Shabbat dinner could offer, from around the world themes (my particular favorite being Israeli themed) to breakfast for dinner. I was wrong. First Friday proved dinner could go to greater lengths. This finger-food filled event has innovated a Jewish tradition that has been around for centuries, while still maintaining the meaning of Shabbat.

The atmosphere of First Friday was probably one of the most memorable parts: it was held in the same room as every Shabbat dinner, but a change in lighting and decoration in a familiar room went a long way. The lights were dimmed and draped across the room. Attendees were greeted by high round standing tables (think: Bar Mitzvah cocktail hour), new and old friends and a schmooze-friendly environment. Lastly, and most importantly, the hors d’ouerves served were delicious thanks to Hillel chef Caila. Among the appetizer-style finger foods were mini knishes, falafel, pizza pockets, and spinach pies — truly something for everyone.

The other part of First Friday that I really enjoyed is the early timing. Dinner falls before services, which makes it more possible to celebrate Shabbat and then attend to other social obligations. Though I did not go to the services after the 5:30 dinner, the combined Reform and Conservative service is a nice way of getting all students together. I am excited to see First Friday enter the Shabbat rotation at UD Hillel and look forward to seeing how it grows in this semester alone!

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