Shira Nussdorf

Lori Palatnik Talks Torah, Politics, the Cubs, and the Shabbat Project Tel Aviv

Lori Palatnik, world renowned speaker and founder of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, kicked off the Official 2016 Shabbat Project Celebrations Wednesday November 2 in of all places…Tel Aviv.  The event was hosted by Hineni Tel Aviv and the presentations began with a powerful dedication by Debroah Danan,  volunteer and co-director of White City Shabbat, not only in memory of Rebbitzen Esther Jungreis zt”l, but her own father in law Rav Yosef Ben Chasiba ( Yosef Dahan) who had died earlier in the day. Deborah brought the audience to tears when she admitted, “ I didn’t think I would be able to make it tonight, but then I reflected on a shiur I once heard Lori give over.  I watched my husband cry at his father’s bedside because he would no longer be able to fulfill the mitzvah of kibud av v’em and thought, this is the only way we can take care of him now.  We continue his values by teaching Torah in Tel Aviv.”

Leading over 400 mothers from the United States on a spiritual tour of their estranged homeland, Palatnik checked out the scene at 126 Ben Yehuda, the North Central Synagogue and spoke with over 150 young professionals about a wide range of topics, including theories on engaging out-of the box thinkers, the rise of the Cubs in this historic World Series, and of course, the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election.

Chana Weinberg, a resident of Tel Aviv felt most connected when Palatnik spoke about the three archetypes found in the Torah and still seen today.  “ I’m definitely  a “Chiam”;  in my own little intellectual world most of the time and often misunderstood, like Yaakov of the Avos.  When I heard about the different personality types, it gave me a broader perspective on relationships.   We should be more open to someone who can really balance us out.  I’d wish she’d come back to Tel Aviv to coach people on dating.”

This is Lori Palatnik’s second time opening the Shabbat Project festivities for the White City.  Last year, she baked Challah with over 500 hundred women including the ever popular Rebbitzen Yemima Mizrachi.  When asked why a right-wing religious woman would speak in “Sin City” she beamed, “I have to tell you, it’s very exciting to see the resurgence of a religious community in Tel Aviv. The anglos are really coming here, getting everyone involved, and building an inspiring movement.  Regardless of political or religious differences, if you can find what you have in common and focus on what you share, rather that what divides us, you can bring tremendous bracha for the Jewish people.”

When asked as a spiritual advisor to thousands of women which Presidential candidate she endorsed, Palatnik simply answered, “For me, I don’t vote gender, I vote for who is the best person to lead.   My number 1 – 10 on the issues that I take into consideration when voting are: Israel Israel, and Israel.  We live near Washington DC and so we are right in the middle of everything.   It’s a very complicated decision as to who is the right person is. I already voted

Deborah Danan, Lori Palatnik, Natalie Solomon, and Shira Nussdorf offer words of wisdom at 126 Ben Yehuda
Deborah Danan, Lori Palatnik, Natalie Solomon, and Shira Nussdorf offer words of wisdom at 126 Ben Yehuda

14859751_10153780958211370_5478155559044708575_o but it’s a good thing that Gd runs the world.”

With the upcoming presidential election dividing America, the Shabbat Project preaches at “Keeping It Together” and promoting global Jewish Unity.  This year’s theme is what you can do on Shabbat and aims at including even more than last year’s astonishing 85 countries and 919 Cities. Tel Aviv’s The Big Dinner promises to be one of the largest gatherings of young professionals in the world.  With more than 1,000 Jews expected to attend “The Big Dinner” in the Namal at Hangar 11 in Tel Aviv on November 11, and a full series of cultural celebrations planned throughout the week, White City Shabbat organizers have their hands full, not that it’s ever stopped them from rolling up their sleeves. Next on their plate is the Challah Bake wherein Hinieni’s Shaindy Eisenberg will be honoring her grandmother Rebbitzen Esther Jungreis zt”l, Batya Burd will be dedicating the evening to the yahrzeit of her husband Gershon Burd zt”l and with a blue bedazzled guitar in hand, rising star Shaindel Antelis will lead hundreds of women in song.

Regardless of which city you’ll be in, there is most likely a Shabbat Party happening near you.  Crossing party lines to stay within the confines of the eruv never looked like this.  It’s not your grandmother’s Shabbos, but then again, maybe it is.   

For more info check out:The Big Dinner  

The Great Challah Bake

The Shabbat Project

Hineni Israel

North Central Synagogue

White City Shabbat

Shaindel Antelis

About the Author
Shira, a feisty little Zionist from New York, miraculously made aliyah and lives to tell the tale. At the age of 4, her Israeli gannet Mrs. Taylor wrote on her evaluation report, "left alone Shira will rule the world." She grew up to be a social activist, singer, writer, teacher, and mitzvah girl. She advocates for aliyah and empowers hundreds of olim weekly by hosting in Tel Aviv. Shira is the reigning "Shabbas Queen" in the Guinness World Records Largest Shabbat Dinner.