Taking care of families. In big ways. In little ways. That’s what Federation does.

In the season of thanks and holiday cheer, it’s all too easy to take the blessings of family for granted. For single-parent families in particular, even the simplest joy of sharing a traditional Shabbat dinner can present a challenge.

Better than chicken soup for the soul, there’s SPARC, Federation’s Single Parent Alliance & Resource Connection.

With the goal to help families connect through a meaningful Jewish experience and to deliver a Shabbat dinner with all the fixings to single parent families in the community, SPARC has launched a new initiative called Shabbat on the Spot.

A carefree Shabbat and all the ingredients of fun

Shabbat on the Spot is a free catered meal provided by Federation in partnership with Daniel Kohn of Kravings Restaurant for any single Jewish parent who is registered with SPARC and signs up for this program.

Shabbat on the Spot

Shabbat on the Spot is a full-course traditional Shabbat meal

Serving families up to six members, Shabbat on the Spot is a full-course traditional Shabbat dinner featuring chicken, beef, fish or vegetarian options, and including challah, chicken soup with matzo balls, a side dish and dessert. Accompanying the meal, SPARC sends the family a gift bag that includes candles, a Kiddush cup, grape juice, a Shabbat guide, a PJ Library book appropriate to the age of the children in the household, a CD and other delights.

Can you feel the love?

“Shabbat on the Spot is just one of the many ways SPARC aims to support single Jewish parents in our Metro Detroit Jewish community,” says Jill Schumacher, co-chair of the program along with Michelle Segal. “We hope families will feel the love that comes with the gift of this meal and continue to reach out and make the connections with other families in the community.”

In November, SPARC launched its first of three Shabbat on the Spot meals planned for the year. Dinners scheduled for Friday, January 23, 2015, and Friday, March 20, 2015, are available on a first-come, first-served basis per date to the first 25 families to sign up online. As an additional service, families may choose to have their dinner and gift bag delivered to their home (within a 15 mile radius from Kravings in Oak Park) or to be picked up from Kravings Restaurant located at 25270 Greenfield Road, Oak Park, MI 48237, between 11 am and  3 pm, on their designated Friday.

Kravings

Kravings delivers 25 free Shabbat meals three times per year.

“Shabbat is so much at the heart of who we are as a family and as a community,” says Lynda Giles, SPARC Chair. “Given the kind of intensity and pressures that single parent families are under to keep the family unit together, to do all the things they have to do – here is something we can do to help keep families connected to the Jewish community. What could be more welcoming than the delivery of a Shabbat meal to their door?”

“My twin sons, Zachary and Daniel, my daughter Raquel and I used to go to my mother’s home for Shabbat dinner on most Friday nights. Mom was a wonderful cook. Since mom’s passing in March of this year we have not enjoyed a Shabbat dinner at home. Thanks for the opportunity to resume my family’s Shabbat tradition in honor of my mother and father of blessed memory.”
Joel Borsa, SPARC Dad

To Lynda Giles, the idea of Shabbat on the Spot is not new. As Chair of the Federation’s Single Jewish Parent Network, an initiative of the Jewish Alliance for Education launched more than 20 years ago, Lynda was a passionate advocate for outreach programs geared to single-parent families. She recalls, “It was always there in the back of my mind and heart that I would one day love to have the opportunity to offer a Shabbat program. Thanks to generous sponsors and the Hermelin Davidson Center for Congregation Excellence, we have the opportunity today.”

PJ Library Books

Included with the Shabbat dinner is a selection of age-appropriate books courtesy of PJ LIbrary. Find out more at pjlibrary.org

About SPARC

SPARC is a network for single Jewish parents in Metro Detroit, and their children of all ages. Its purpose is to connect families to one another and to the Detroit Jewish community and all of its resources.

SPARC is available to all members of the Jewish community who are single parents – divorced, widowed or never married — regardless of affiliation to a synagogue. The program staff can help families identify the best options for them with regard to synagogues, Jewish education, camps, youth groups and mitzvah projects, along with scholarship opportunities where they are needed.

If you are a Jewish single parent and interested in SPARC, please fill out our online intake form. Questions? Contact Amy Newman, 248-502-2867 or anewman@jfmd.org

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