‘Sell-Out’ Crowd at First-Ever JSU Family Shabbat Dinner

Posted on March 11, 2024

Over 100 teens, parents and community members attended Minneapolis JSU’s first-ever JSU Shabbat Dinner on March 1, joining thousands of people across the country celebrating Shabbat as part of Shabbat Across America.

Preparations began Thursday evening, with teens and community members coming out to help prepare the food. On Friday night, the program kicked off with candle lighting and services at Knesseth Israel in St. Louis Park, followed by a traditional Shabbat meal.

For many, this was the first time teens and parents could experience JSU together.

“It was really fun with my family,” says Emily Ben-Ozilio, a sophomore at Edina High School, “because I could share the community and fun with my dad and also meet more Israelis.”

Ofer Ben-Ozilio, Emily’s father, agrees.

“It was very nice to see the community Emily is a part of, and I was very happy to meet everyone and join her,” Ofer says. He adds that he felt very welcomed and particularly enjoyed “the songs, the inclusive atmosphere, and the divrei Torah.”

Yana Latz, a sophomore at Minnetonka High School, said she also appreciated the opportunity to bring her parents to a JSU event.

“I was able to show my parents what the JSU dinners are like and why I love them,” she says.

Yana adds that the event was unique because it drew teens and parents from across Minneapolis JSU’s network of 18 clubs across the Twin Cities.

“[You] meet so many other Jewish teens and families and make more connections that wouldn’t otherwise have been made,” Yana says. “It was a very energetic and fun night with all the people who joined.”