Duke Jewish Student Community Comes Together for ‘Unity Shabbat’

Student with sign that reads: Where do you find joy in our Jewish community?

Shabbat is a weekly day of rest; it begins at sundown each Friday night and continues until Saturday evening, and is traditionally observed with candle-lighting, singing, prayers and a holiday dinner. Both Jewish Life at Duke and Chabad celebrate Shabbat with students at their respective locations each Friday night; this special collaborative occasion will move the festivities to Penn Pavilion for the evening.

Duke Campus Rabbi and Jewish Chaplain Elana Friedman said, “Jewish people mark Shabbat in many different, authentic ways, and Duke students are no different.” Rabbi Friedman shared that “some students celebrate with us, helping to lead prayer services or joining us for dinner. Some spend time unplugging from social media or work. Some go for a walk in Duke Gardens. All are valid ways of expressing one’s Jewish identity.”

“I’m so thrilled to see our entire Duke community coming together to celebrate Shabbat, just like my own family does,” said undergraduate Lizzy Glazer. Glazer noted that her brother identifies as Modern Orthodox, while she identifies with the Reform movement of Judaism.

These denominations have distinct differences in Jewish observance. “Even though people celebrate Shabbat in all sorts of different ways, at the end of the day, Shabbat is all about bringing people together,” said Glazer.