On Friday UNC Charlotte Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus will host a Statewide Shabbat.

Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath. It starts at sundown on Friday and goes until sundown on Saturday. In the Jewish community, the day starts at sundown.

Jewish people believe that Shabbat is a precious gift from God. In their culture, it symbolizes a day of great joy when Jewish people can set aside all of the weekday concerns and devote themselves to higher pursuits.

The very first Statewide Shabbat was during the 2004-2005 academic year by UNC Charlotte Hillel for a Purim Shabbat event. This is the first time since then that UNC Charlotte Hillel has had the honor of having another Statewide Shabbat here.

The Shabbat service will start at 6:30 pm.

To start the Sabbath, women light Shabbat candles. The custom is for women to light two candles. After the candles are lit, there is then a Shabbat service.

The length of the service usually varies by the type of Judaism practiced. A few examples are practices such as Chabad, Modern Orthodox, Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed.

Afterwards, there is a Kiddush. A Kiddush is the saying of a prayer over wine/grape juice which sanctifies the Sabbath, washing of the hands and a prayer over the Challah.

Last, the meal is served. They eat three times on Shabbat – dinner, lunch and a light snack before Shabbat is over on Saturday night. After eating, a blessing is said and conversation and games are played afterwards.

Neili Eggert, secretary of Hillel said, “I, along with the rest of the UNCC Hillel Executive Board and members, are looking forward to hosting this Statewide Shabbat event. We encourage Jewish students to please join UNCC Hillel and fellow Jewish students from across the state at this amazing event. It is a great way to get to know fellow Jewish students. The last Statewide Shabbat I attended helped me gain some valuable insight into my Jewish identity and I hope this event does the same for other Jewish students.​”

UNC Charlotte Hillel and North Carolina Hillel staff members have been planning this event since the end of the spring 2014 semester. They’ve held several meetings to discuss logistics, food, services and games for attendees.

This event is opened to all Jewish students at UNC Charlotte and North Carolina Hillel schools. North Carolina Hillel consists of UNC Charlotte, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Greensboro, NC State, Appalachian State University, Davidson College, East Carolina University, Elon University, UNC Asheville, UNC Wilmington, Guilford College, Wake Forest University and Warren Wilson College.

Hello! My name is Sydney Wright and I am majoring in Communications with a minor in Journalism. I am an intern with Niner Media. I participate in other various clubs such as Wallis Hall Council and being a tour guide (Niner Guide) here on campus.