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Tel Aviv gears up to host Eurovision tourists for traditional Shabbat dinners in local homes

by Sharron Livingston
Shabbat dinner c. Kfir Bolotin

“Shabbat Shalom Europe! Come join us for a Shabbat Dinner”. That’s the message coming out of Israel’s most vibrant city, Tel Aviv, host of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. 

The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality in collaboration with Eatwith are offering tourists of all backgrounds the unique experience of an authentic Shabbat meal at the home of host families in Tel Aviv.

Shabbat dinners, held at sunset on Fridays, are a cultural staple of many Israeli families – secular and religious. Most local families gather together with family and friends on a weekly basis.

The Shabbat Dinner project will match tourists of any religion and cultural background with local host families for a meaningful night around a Shabbat dinner table.

Anyone can take part in this unique immersive highly authentic experience and enjoy a home cooked meal while learning about Jewish traditions that have been observed for centuries.       

Ron Huldai, The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo:

“We are working hard in order to make sure that the Eurovision Song Contest will be an unforgettable experience for everyone, including the local residents who wish to be a part of this major tourism boom. The Shabbat Dinners Project is one of the many ways to connect the thousands of tourists to Tel Aviv families and introduce them to the wonderful Jewish tradition of Shabbat in Israel. By the way, I already told Yael, my wife, to not make plans on the Friday before the Eurovision final, because we will be cooking!”

There are three options:

  1. Shabbat Dinner at a host family (up to 6 guests)
  2. Proud Shabbat Dinner:  Eatwith and the Tel Aviv Municipal LGBTQ Center invite guests to attend a LGBTQ friendly Shabbat dinner at a host family
  3. Community Shabbat Dinner: Locals and tourists are invited to attend one of the communal potluck Shabbat dinners hosted at community centers around the city

There is a courtesy fee of 50NIS (New Israeli Shekel)  to secure a place; all proceeds will go to the hosts.  

The Shabbat Dinner Project will take place on Friday, May 17, the eve of the Eurovision Final.

If you would like to experience this you should register in advance. Register here 

More articles about: Tel Aviv


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