Tel Aviv hosted the largest ever Shabbat dinner when 2,226 participants gathered in a hangar at the city’s port to participate in the record-making meal. The event on June 13, 2014 was co-organized by Chabad and White City Shabbat (the Tel Aviv-based NGO that organizes events for the international community) and sponsored by the Tel Aviv Municipality, Golan Heights Winery, a crowdfunding campaign and others.
“The event was epic, and surpassed all our wildest dreams. A truly monumental moment for White City Shabbat,” Deborah Danan, Co-Director of White City Shabbat, tells ISRAEL21c. “Jews from all walks of life gathered together and the unity in the hall was tangible. When the Guinness World Records adjudicator [Pravin Patel] announced that we had more than doubled the minimum amount of attendees that Guinness demanded, the crowd was jubilant! We couldn’t hear ourselves think for all the cheering in the room.”
Organizers started campaigning for the world record three months ago and held a crowdfunding campaign to ensure it would take place. They sold out two weeks before the official event took place.
Notable guests at Friday’s event included Alan Dershowitz, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, former ambassador to the US Michael Oren, and basketball legend Tal Brody.
Danan says hundreds of would-be participants were left outside the hangar where the event took place and not counted in the official record numbers because they did not adhere to the required Guinness rules.
The dinner menu included 600 bottles of wine, 74 bottles of vodka, 1,800 pieces of chicken, 1,000 pieces of meat and 250 vegetarian options.