Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Largest Shabbat Dinner: Tel Aviv feast breaks Guinness World Records' record (VIDEO)
TEL AVIV, Israel -- 2,226 people gathered at the Tel Aviv Port for a sacred cause: breaking the Guinness World Record's record for the largest Shabbat Dinner; it took almost a year of preparation, 60 days of crowdsourced fundraising, 800 bottles of wine, 80 bottles of vodka, 50 bottles of whiskey, 2,000 challah rolls, 80 long tables, 1800 pieces of chicken, 1,000 pieces of beef, 250 vegetarian portions, 2,300 diners signed up and another 3,000 on the waiting list, according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: Two Thousand two hundred and twenty six people gathered for the Guinness World Records Largest Shabbat Dinner took place on Friday, June 13, 2014 at Hangar 11 in the Tel Aviv Namal and was organized by White City Shabbat. (enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records' record for the largest Shabbat dinner is 2,226 and was achieved by White City Shabbat (Israel) in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest iftar dinner at multiple venues; it involved 20,715 participants and was organized by Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. Istanbul (Turkey), in Turkey.
On Friday night June 13,.White City Shabbat set the Guinness World Record for the Largest Shabbat Dinner ever at the Hangar 11 in the port of Tel Aviv.
2,226 attendees were officially inscribed in the Guinness World Records for the Largest Shabbat Dinner, with notable diners including Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv Rav Yisrael Meir Lau, Professor Alan Dershowitz, Ambassador Michael Oren, Israeli basketball legend Tal Brody, Canadian MP Irwin Cotler, MK Elazar Stern, and Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Ron Huldai.
Guinness World Records demanded that a minimum of 1000 diners must be in attendance.
To make the Guinness World Record Largest Shabbat Dinner happen, it took almost a year of preparation, 60 days of crowdsourced fundraising, 800 bottles of wine, 80 bottles of vodka, 50 bottles of whiskey, 2,000 challah rolls, 80 long tables, 1800 pieces of chicken, 1,000 pieces of beef, 250 vegetarian portions, 2,300 diners signed up and another 3,000 on the waiting list.
In addition to organizing a dinner for over 2,000 people, White City Shabbat also had to contend with the laws of kashrut, Shabbat and of course, those of Guinness World Records itself.
Guinness World Records stipulated that all attendees must be seated and have had their first course served by the waiters all within five minutes, and thereafter must remain at the table for a full hour that it took to eat the traditional shabbat meal.
It was also important for the Guinness judge to know that the meal adhered to traditional Jewish customs for Shabbat, including the proper prayers, Kiddush, HaMotzei, (benedictions over wine and bread) and that the organizers weren't breaking any Jewish religious laws.
Once the meal was underway, organizers controlled the crowd by holding up large signs f at strategic times throughout the meal, including "Shalom Alechem", "Stand up", "Sit down". Many of the key prayers were projected along the inside walls of the venue.
White City Shabbat is a volunteer-run non-profit organization that acts as the portal for Jewish life in Tel Aviv. The organization serves as a matchmaker for Shabbat hospitality, connecting guests with hosts throughout the city each week in addition to hosting large young professional communal dinners each month, holiday celebrations, a Jewish learning series, beginners learning minyan, and inter-community programming.
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