This post offers information about how you can get set up for Shabbat meals in Jerusalem. Please note that some are free events at private homes or public centers, while others are cultural and culinary experiences for pay.
1. Get Shabbat
2. Anywhere in Israel
Anywhere in Israel sets guests up for free traditional Shabbat meals with religious families throughout the country, with more than 60 registered hosts in Jerusalem. Fill out this form to get started.
Shabbat.com is a free Jewish social network where people can find Shabbat meals and hospitality anywhere in the world, as well as a dating section, job board, and information about Judaism.
4. Shabbat of a Lifetime
The Shabbat of a Lifetime program offers an opportunity for tourists to experience an authentic Shabbat at the home of a host family in the heart of Jerusalem, including an informative introduction to Shabbat and a five-course meal. Please note that this program costs money.
5. Jerusalem Connection
Jerusalem Connection is an organization dedicated to helping people get the most out of their time in Israel, helping people connect to each other, Judaism, Israel and more. To get set up for free Shabbat meals at peoples’ homes in the Old City of Jerusalem, call 02-627-1283.
6. Jerusalem Shabbat Meals Facebook Group
This Facebook group provides a place for those looking to host and be hosted for free, traditional, Kosher Shabbat meals in Jerusalem.
7. Shalom Al Lechem
Created by the Jerusalem Village, Shalom Al Lechem organizes free Shabbat dinners that bring together a small, diverse group of young Israelis and internationals in a private Jerusalem home for amazing food and conversation. Each meal is co-hosted by one native Israeli and one international, each of whom invite a small group of friends. The meals are cooked together with a chef (who comes with a portable kosher kitchen). If you are living in Jerusalem, consider co-hosting a meal to meet other Jerusalemites.
8. Jerusalem Chesed with Rabbi Mordechai Machlis
Jerusalem Chesed is an organization that helps Rabbi Mordechai Machlis host spiritually uplifting Shabbat and holiday meals in his home in Jerusalem. Rabbi Machlis hosts approximately 200 guests each Shabbat, including tourists, new immigrants and students, as well as the homeless, poor and lonely. Contact the organization to find out when and where the meals take place.
EatWith offers exceptional culinary experiences worldwide, including unique dinners, cooking classes and food tours. In Jerusalem, EatWith offers several traditional Shabbat dinner options, including a spiritual Shabbat dinner at a rabbi’s home, a traditional Shabbat dinner at a young family’s home, and a young, fun and lively Shabbat dinner. An excellent way to eat delicious food, meet local Israelis and experience Jewish traditions, these meals cost between 200-500 NIS per person.
Betzavta brings travelers and locals together for casual dinners at the homes of local Israelis. Although this service is not specific to Shabbat meals, it may be possible to arrange this. Created to foster friendships, not make profits, the $39 fee is used to cover the cost of ingredients and operations.
8. Heritage House Jerusalem Hostel
The Heritage House is a Jerusalem Hostel located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Guests who are paying to stay in the hostel for Shabbat can be set up for traditional Shabbat meals at local Jerusalem families for no extra cost.
9. Abraham Hostel
Located in Jerusalem’s city center, The Abraham Hostel Jerusalem hosts guests from around the world who enjoy its warm atmosphere, friendly staff, daily events and tours, and extensive facilities. Guests at the hostel are are invited to shop at the Machane Yehuda market together and then cook and enjoy a Shabbat dinner for 50 NIS.
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