“ I lit Shabbat candles on both visits, something I don't usually do but always find very moving.” -Allyna S .
I stayed at the shore house for one weekend this summer. Not only was it the best weekend of my summer, but it was the most meaningful Shabbat experience I have had in many years. Singing Kabbalat Shabbat prayers and doing Havdalah on the beach immediately come to mind as two of the most poignant and memorable experiences I have had since my days at Camp Ramah 15 years ago. I really hope that the opportunity to create meaningful and lasting Jewish memories and build Jewish community at the shore house will continue to be available to others in the future, as it was for me. -- Julie A.
Participants from a May Birthright Israel trip meets up for a reunion at the shore house
Kabbalat Shabbat on the Beach – led by a different person each week. Everyone is invited to wear white to greet the Shabbat. “ Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach was breath-taking. I wish I could do that every weekend.” --Talia M.
Havdallah Service on the beach on Saturday Night The Birthright Israel NEXT Shore House provided me an opportunity to experience an entire Shabbat, from start to finish - something I have never done before. I had never celebrated Havalah [sic], and being able to do so on the beach, with people I respected and looked up to made it a memory I will carry with me, always. -- Cody G.
Weekly Shabbat dinner and Sunday barbecue, open and free to all, not just shore house guests
“ Aside from the Birthright trip itself, my experience at the shore house was the experience that made me most proud to be a Jew, most interested in Jewish tradition and history, and most passionate about Israel's importance as our people's national homeland and place of refuge.” -- Max S.
The best part of the weekend was the discussions Saturday morning when we ate Adam's delicious Chulent. We each shared something we experienced in Israel. -- Alex G. Weekly discussion over Shabbat lunch, with rotating hosts leading discussions relating to Israel From shabbat dinner to havdallah on the beach to lunch with the former Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan...the weekend was incredible both spiritually and culturally. -- Gabrielle G.
Trip participants from the RAJE (Russian American Jewish Experience) trip to Ukraine and Israel meet up for a weekend at the shore
The house is run by “Squires”, Jewish young adults who live in the house full-time on the weekends and run programming, deal with logistics, and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for weekend guests .
There isn't one specific experience that I can say is better than any other at the Birthright Next Shore House. I remember the minute I walked in during my first visit: the house was beaming with life. Jews of all facets were together preparing for Shabbat and congregating around the kitchen and living room socializing. The camaraderie interlaced with Jewish culture and lasted throughout the weekend. The energy at the house brings people not only together, but also closer to Judaism. Through various conversations that I had with people throughout the weekend, I noticed a change in their mentality. Many people who had loose connections to Judaism became more connected and at the end of the weekend surprised themselves on how much they changed and wanted to reconnect with Judaism, in whichever way suited them. -Michael
Besides the good times, beautiful beach, and all else I was surprised to find myself in meaningful conversations about Judaism, marrying Jewish, and Israel, often outside the moderated discussions by the hosts. I personally have had these discussions before, but I heard others say this was the first time they had even thought about such things as being Jewish being more than just an inconsequential detail of their ancestry, and pondering the possibility of restricting themselves to a Jewish mate. -- Isaac T.
“ I've been to the shore house for 3 weekends and each weekend, I had an amazing, spiritual time. Religion is not forced, just presented and I love how the house manages to do that. I've met some fantastic people from Philly and NY that I would not have met otherwise. I'm sad summer is coming to an end, but I'm excited for next year's Birthright Next Shore house already!” --Kira, guest testimonial
“ The setting allowed individuals to associate their experiences with a fun time; in other words, Jewish observance doesn't have to be boring and dull.” -- Joshua B.
Together, we have run a shorehouse for two summers so far under the auspices of Birthright Israel NEXT. That organization is no longer functioning in our community, so a dedicated group of past leaders have met and decided to take on the task of reinventing the shorehouse in Summer 2011. We hope to continue hosting:
A Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service on the beach
A Friday night dinner
A Saturday lunch-and-learn
A Saturday night Havdallah service
A Sunday barbeque
… and to continue to find new ways to infuse the shorehouse with Jewish connection, inspiration and fun. We thank you for your time and consideration. Danielle Selber Roey Wieser Ben Berliner Adam Brenner Daniel Verbit