Thanks to University Jewish Chaplaincy’s Rabbi Yossi Bodenheim and his wife, Sarah, around 18 students from Aberdeen J-Soc enjoyed their first meaty cholent in a long time, as part of a wonderful and inspiring Shabbat.
The Shabbaton took place at Aberdeen Synagogue and Community Centre, where Rabbi Bodenheim led the services and gave a shiur about the parashah and about Purim.
“It was a small and welcoming community and very inspiring to be with the students around the Shabbos table and give Divrei Torah,” said Rabbi Yossi Bodenheim. “To see how much the students appreciated the Shabbaton, it was very special. They enjoyed the family atmosphere and they said they hadn’t eaten a fleishig meal in ages.”
With a diminishing Jewish population, kosher meat is not readily available, and the food served on the shul premises is usually vegetarian.
Rebbetzin Bodenheim cooked a full Friday night dinner with chicken soup and chicken, as well as a beautiful Shabbos lunch for 30 people. This had involved taking all the food and provisions with them on the three-hour drive from their Glasgow home, together with their five children including their seven week-old son.
The meal-time guests included members of the local community as well as Jewish students from the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University. Afterwards, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Bodenheim received numerous messages of thanks from students for “the most amazing Shabbaton.” Others described it as their “best Shabbat experience ever.”
Sophie Dunoff, Chief Operating Officer of University Jewish Chaplaincy, said: “Our Chaplains support and empower Jewish students and offer warmth and hospitality whenever they can even in more
remote locations. We applaud Rabbi and Rebbetzin Bodenheim for their incredible efforts in organising this Shabbaton, which was greatly appreciated.”
Nicola Livingstone, Chair of Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland, added, “Aberdeen J-Soc is a vibrant and active society, and I am delighted to see that the Shabbaton arranged by Rabbi Yossi and Sarah Bodenheim was so eagerly anticipated and enjoyed by the students. There is a strong relationship between the students and the local Jewish community, with a number of joint events throughout the year.”