With huge thanks to Alissa Mroz for this wonderful post about Shabbat in a Mason Jar. When I read about the project, I was so intrigued, I asked her to share the concept with us. Thanks, Alissa!
Alissa Mroz is on the volunteer leadership team of “The Porch,” a young adults and young families Jewish group through Temple Beth El. As a Southern Jew, she likes fried chicken for Shabbat dinner! She is a graduate of the Bernstein Leadership Group and remains active in Charlotte’s Jewish community.
Think Outside the Box and Inside a Mason Jar!
In the South, we are all about the Mason jar! At Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina, our Young Adults/Young Families initiative—a group called The Porch—embarked on a special “Shabbat in a Mason Jar” project. The Porch aims to deepen relationships among young Jewish adults—singles, couples, parents of young children—and to foster and deepen Jewish identity, especially within the context of religious celebration/observance. We thought Shabbat celebrations would be easy for young adults to host if they came pre-packaged in a Mason jar!!!
Through a #MakeItHappen micro grant from the Schusterman Foundation,* The Porch hosted a “ShabbesFest” Shabbat dinner event where each family or individual went home with a Mason jar filled with Shabbat goodies. We made sure to include candles, matches, a challah recipe, and a challah cover that kids (or adults!) could decorate at the event. We also had a prayer sheet to take home so that people could celebrate Shabbat on their own with their friends and neighbors, or members of their Shabbat Supper Club (another successful Porch initiative). If you wish to create your own version of “Shabbat in a Mason Jar,” other items you may want to include are candle holders, a kiddush cup, or a handwashing bowl.
Here are some additional ways that you and your family can use your own “Shabbat in a Mason Jar” creation:
- Create jars as gifts for grandparents, Hebrew school teachers, etc. Make sure to include a kid-decorated challah cover!
- Bring “Shabbat in a Mason Jar” to your child’s school as a show-and-tell object. Great opportunity for holidays-around-the-world or multicultural celebrations!
- Keep a small stock of jars at-the-ready to welcome new Jewish neighbors, and invite them to your home for Shabbat dinner! Your temple or local Jewish Federation may have a list of newcomers or elderly shut-ins who would love it if you reached out!
- Turn your Mason jar into a tzedakah box by replacing the metal lid with a cloth or cardboard lid with a slit. When it fills up, decide as a family which organization/cause your tzedakah money should benefit.
- Get creative—can you put Havdalah in a Mason jar? What about Hanukkah, Passover, or Sukkot? Put the jars on a shelf, and your display of a year’s worth of Jewish holidays in a jar might be a great visual reminder of how to live Jewishly every day!
*This project was made possible by a #MakeItHappen micro grant. #MakeItHappen is a global initiative of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network. For more information, visit makeithappen.schusterman.org.
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