My Shabbat Role
If you’ve been to Shabbat services at UF Hillel in the past year, you’ve probably seen me set up the iPad in the back of the room right before services start. Each week, I livestream the services on UF Hillel’s Facebook page so that those who are unable to attend in person can still experience Shabbat with UF Hillel. Livestreaming the services for the past year has provided me with a new appreciation for Shabbat as a holiday, and has allowed me to understand the importance of inviting as many people as possible to join in.
Growing up, I never attended Shabbat services on a weekly basis. My family would go once in awhile, but we would usually stay at home on Friday nights instead of dressing up and heading to our local temple. When I started interning at UF Hillel and began livestreaming the weekly services, I wasn’t sure about how I felt about attending every Friday – it seemed like a big commitment to dedicate this time each week to services. Once I started attending though, I grew to genuinely enjoy Shabbat services. It is my personal time each week to reflect, and to think about how I can improve and make the next week even better. UF Hillel’s Shabbat services have helped me to understand the importance of livestreaming them, and allowing people outside of our local Gainesville community to “attend” along with those of us there in person.
The livestreams have allowed for over three hundred additional people connect to Judaism each week, and experience Shabbat services in the comfort of their own homes. Hopefully that number will continue to grow as more people discover the livestreams and join in as well.