Illuminating our community with caring and respect

One Shabbat Meal at a Time

    • Turning isolation into joy:
      Every week our devoted volunteers bring a beautiful Shabbat meal and a friendly visit to elderly patrons.
      These visits give volunteers an opportunity to befriend people, some of whom are socially alienated due to illness, financial difficulties and other challenges. From seniors, new mothers, families dealing with illness or new to the area, and many others. For many, this service represents their one nutritious meal each week, along with the reassurance that our community cares about them. As relationships develop between patrons and volunteers, many lives are enriched.

About Light of Shabbat

The Light of Shabbat is a community-based program developed and staffed by volunteers from the Richmond Jewish community. We are proud of this initiative, the goal of which is to provide Jewish seniors with a healthy Shabbat meal. From its inception the light of Shabbat has been guided by the principles of Chabad, which emphasize the value of community, respect and caring for others and the importance of Shabbat.

What's provided

Each package of food delivered to Jewish seniors contains a generous Shabbat meal. This consists of soup, salad, main course and dessert, Shabbat candles, a bottle of grape juice for Kiddush, two challah rolls and the weekly D’Var Torah.

The Program

The Light of Shabbat is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers. Some procure food and prepare these nutritious meals at Chabad. Others take care of the logistics of distribution by hand-delivering the packages to Jewish seniors in the community. Through these connections relationships are fostered, conversations are shared and the community is strengthened.

Both children and adults are actively involved in the Light of Shabbat, making meaningful contributions in a variety of ways. Many adult volunteers bring their children along for meal deliveries, teaching by example that even a small contribution of their time and effort can have a significant impact on members of their community.

The Light of Shabbat is a program through which volunteers of all ages come to value the importance of developing new friendships, respecting the needs of community members and strengthening their connection to Chabad.

“Maintaining a community spirit is deeply important to me and it’s a value I want my children to experience firsthand. My teenagers and I volunteer to deliver means for the Light of Shabbat program, and it gives us a chance to implement Jewish principles and practices while performing mitzvot. As we deliver Light of Shabbat meals to members of the community, my children and I have a unique opportunity to bond while being of service to the Jewish community. It’s a special opportunity and one I treasure.”

 

“I feel strongly about the spirit of community, and I want my son to experience that firsthand. It’s important to be a role model for my kids when it comes to Jewish principles and practices, especially doing mitzvahs. There’s limited one-on-one time with a 14-year-old boy, so spending time with my son while delivering Light of Shabbat meals to people gives us a chance to bond

David Aarons,
volunteer

 

The Light of Shabbat is a wonderful service that Chabad has for seniors. It makes you feel like you’re part of a family, and not alone. I really appreciated getting a full Shabbat meal, especially after I’d been ill. It’s a very generous program and they really step up to the plate. And the kosher food is great!

Pamela Tiggelers,
Light of Shabbat recipient

Growth-chart

Growth

The program is still growing in terms of awareness, the numbers of meals prepared, frequency of meals delivered and the impact within the community. Chabad is now dedicated to growing the program where up to 50 meals are eventually prepared and delivered every week throughout the year. A thoughtful and structured approach is essential to raise awareness of the program and ensure it stays both operationally and financially sustainable.

How can you help?

Richmond is a strong and close-knit Jewish community. Aging is a fact of life as are changing circumstances and life events. We want to acknowledge those changes and support others when they need it most. Despite the closeness o our community, we don’t always know when those changing life events occur but always want to respect the dignity of others and let our community know that the Light of Shabbat program exists and wants to help. For more information, please contact 604-277-6427

 

This program is supported by The Kehila Society of Richmond