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National Shabbat Service Held in Briarcliff

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The Pleasantville Community Synagogue will join thousands of congregations across the nation Friday night by participating in Shabbat Across America.

“This is a nationwide program so that synagogues can reach out to the community and celebrate the tradition of Shabbat,” said Sharon Friedman, a co-chair in organizing the event along with Ed Sperling. “So this is not just for members, it can be for people that don’t belong to a synagogue.”

The Shabbat service will be held Friday night at 6:30 at the Pleasantville Cottage School dining room at the Jewish Child Care Association campus in Pleasantville and will be followed by a traditional kosher dinner.

Shabbat Across America is a program put together by the National Jewish Outreach Program. Friedman said the Pleasantville synagogue has held the event every year for around the last decade and that it is a great way to welcome new members from across Westchester County into the synagogue and also those that are simply interested in learning a little more about the religion.

“We have people come who are not from Pleasantville and they’re not members of the synagogue and some members who are bringing friends who are not Jewish,” Friedman said. “So it’s very much a community program.”

Friedman and Sperling are a duo that has put together the event every year since its inception. However, Sperling was absent from last year’s event due to an injury he suffered in a bicycle accident in Israel. Rabbi Mark Sameth said he is looking forward to once again spending some quality time with Sperling.

“Ed is back in Pleasantville, working alongside Sharon again, and creating the event we have long associated with him,” Sameth said in an e-mail. “What am I looking forward to the most about Friday night? To eat, pray and share an evening of peace and love with one of my personal heroes.”

For Friedman, she said she’s most looking forward to everyone getting together during the event, which she does every year.

“All the energy and effort that we put into it is worth it when it turns out that everyone gets together and has a great time,” Friedman said.

The Shabbat Across America event in Pleasantville is open to the public and is $20 for adults and $8 for children. The event will also be held at Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff Manor, Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown and the Mount Kisco Hebrew Congregation.

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