By Leah Jalfon

I am so proud to be part of Moishe House for so many reasons, but I was particularly proud when in the wake of the Pittsburgh tragedy, Moishe House chose to do more than put out a statement. Moishe House offered additional funding and resources for hosts and residents to host Solidarity Shabbats to gather their community to be together, process their feelings, and show their support to Pittsburgh.

Thank you to all those who hosted a Solidarity Shabbat or Havdallah: Lauren Greenberg, Hannah Herman, Eden Banarie, Adam Kouba, Hadar Cohen, Ben Varhula and Liza Moskowitz, Aviva Hirsch, Eliana Rudee, Ariel Brotman, Arielle Sokoloff, Hadar Cohen, Jonah Adams, Shana Weiner, Aliza Minkina, Marissa Spiegel, Aleeza and Mike Wilkins, Marlon Danilewitz, and Molly Cram.

Shana Weiner: New York City, NY

“For years I’ve hosted Friday night Shabbat dinners, attended festive holiday parties with fantastic food, copious quantities of adult beverages and elaborate costumes, and I’ve done all this while leading a double life; these were activities that I participated in with my Jewish community and kept separate from the rest of my life. My non-Jewish friends, I assumed, would have no interest in these activities. AJC’s #ShowUpForShabbat campaign called on EVERYONE to come to synagogue that Friday night and Saturday morning, not just Jews.

I’ve been a part of the problem by keeping the beauty and joy of my Jewish life such a secret from the rest of the world. I reached out to some friends and invited them over for a Shabbat dinner. What was different was that half of the friends I invited were not Jewish.

At dinner I walked through each of the rituals, the candles, the wine (I sang Kiddush for the first time in a long time—usually I just saw the short blessing), and the Challah. As I saw how everyone was enjoying the food and wine I felt peaceful and relieved. After a week of not knowing quite what to do with everything I was feeling, and hoping this would give me some peace, I looked around at my friends knew that this was the answer.”

Read Shana’s full reflection here on her blog.

Aleeza and Mike Wilkins: Washington D.C.

Aleeza and Mike partnered with their Temple to host Solidarity Shabbat. “I thought, I want to go to Shabbat dinner. I wondered how many people in the synagogue and beyond wanted to as well.” She created a Facebook event and put out a radio ad, inviting people of all faiths. Christians, Unitarians, and many more showed up to offer their support to the Jewish community. Her program was so successful that it was even featured in the News Leader. Read about it here!

Aviva Hirsch: Jerusalem, Israel

“Talking about Pittsburgh felt like a way to connect to the Jewish communities we come from being so far away from home. We all expressed feeling shaken and heartbroken about the shooting. We send healing and love to the Pittsburgh community and to all people who have faced terror and tragedy in their places of prayer and gathering.”

Ben Varhula and Liza Moskowitz: Chicago, IL

Ariel Brotman, Danielle Dankner, and Ben Livni: Los Angeles, CA

Aliza Minkina: San Francisco, CA

Jonah Adams: Philadelphia, PA

Adam Kouba: Chicago, IL

Eden Banarie: Charlotte, NC

With the tragic attack in Pittsburgh still fresh on our minds, click here to read Moishe House CEO & Founder David Cygielman’s reflection on the 50+ Solidarity Shabbat and Havdalah programs led by Moishe Houses and Moishe House Without Walls hosts around the world, as well as his feelings on how we are going to move forward.