Congregation B'nai Israel

2710 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 | (203) 336-1858 | |

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Special Events

At B’nai Israel we have many special events, such as social/community building events, fundraisers and galas, to name a few. Our congregation welcomes the opportunity to celebrate our temple in many ways. Visit this page to view recaps of our past events and information on upcoming events.

Upcoming event:

Sign-up for an intimate Shabbat dinner with new and old B’nai Israel friends.

On Friday, November 10th, Congregation B’nai Israel members will gather for casual Shabbat dinners at homes across our community – share in a meal, enjoy Shabbat and meet new friends.

Sign up to be a guest or be a host; we will match you with fellow congregants that, ideally, live near you and ensure that everyone has a home for this special evening.  We welcome all congregants to participate.  There is no charge for this event.

Be a Guest! Enjoy a casual Shabbat dinner at a fellow congregant’s home. Your host will contact you with the evening details.

Be a Host! Open your home to congregants and serve a Shabbat meal. Dinner time and menu are up to you. If you like, we will provide you with a helpful “Shabbat kit” to help you plan the evening.

RSVP! To sign up as either a Host or Guest please fill out the form linked If you have any questions, please refer to the FAQ’s below or feel free to contact Susan Walden at

Reservations must be made by Friday, October 27, 2017.

Shabbat About Town Frequently Asked Questions

What is this event all about?

We will gather as neighbors, friends, and temple members in small groups across the Greater Bridgeport area.  The cornerstone of Shabbat About Town is to connect with new and old friends, in the comfort of congregants’ homes, to enjoy each others’ company and Shabbat dinner together!  Whether you commemorate Shabbat every week or never have, everyone is welcome to take part in this special evening of community.

When is this happening?

This event will take place on Friday evening, November 10, 2017.

Is this event at the temple?

No – Shabbat About Town will be held in congregant’s homes in our area.  Sign up to be a host and you won’t have a very long commute at all.  Sign up to be a guest and feel free to indicate if there is a town that you would like to be assigned to.  If possible, we will try to accommodate.

Will there be services that night?

Yes, there will be regular 6:00 p.m. Shabbat Worship that evening at B’nai Israel.  Services will end by 7:00.  We encourage everyone to attend services but understand that some of our hosts and guests may not be able that evening.   

What’s special about Shabbat dinner?

Shabbat dinner is traditionally a time for families and friends to share a special meal together, beginning with the Jewish rituals of lighting Shabbat candles, drinking wine or grape juice, and eating challah. Each family may have customs or favorite foods they have served for generations, but many do not, so any meal on Friday night can be a special Shabbat experience thanks to great company.

When is the deadline for signing up?

You must register by Friday, October 27, 2017 to allow coordination of guests and hosts and to allow hosts enough time to prepare.

How do I sign up as a guest OR a host?

Please sign up


How will I know where to go and what time?

Your host will contact you by either phone or email and let you know what time and where your dinner will be held.

Are we supposed to go Shabbat Services at the Temple first?

You are encouraged to attend services first, but this is not a requirement.  If you plan on attending services, please indicate this when you hear from your host.

Can I bring anything to help my host out?

You can ask your host when they call you what, if anything, they would like you to bring.

Is there a cost for this event?


Can I bring guests to my Host’s house?

Please ask your host if it is ok if you bring guest and be sure to give them an exact count so they know how many people to expect.

I have young children.  Will I be placed in another house with the same?

Yes.  We will place families with young children together.

I forgot, where do I RSVP?

Fill out the form here. If you have any questions email Susan Walden at


I have never hosted a Shabbat and am not sure what to do?  Can I still be a host?

Yes!  The evening should be fun and causal; we will supply you with a challah and if you like, a “Shabbat kit” (candlesticks, candles, Shabbat blessing sheet).  We want you to enjoy the evening worry free!

What is my responsibility as a host?

As a host, you are responsible for creating a welcoming environment. Guests may not know anyone in attendance, but they are excited to participate in Shabbat About Town. We ask that you communicate with your guests about a week in advance of the dinner to talk about allergies, directions, parking, and dinner time. You will be in charge of cooking (or catering!) a meal, and we’d love for you to bring a little flavor of Shabbat by lighting candles, drinking wine or grape juice, and reading a few short prayers. Lastly, we would love all hosts to arrange a photo of the group – that means get a tripod, ask a neighbor, or take a selfie!

I have a small space but would like to host is that ok?

Yes!  Just tell us how many guests you would like to have and we will do the rest.

I am not a great cook but would still like to host, can I order in food?

Yes!  The menu is up to you.  You can cook or bring in whatever you would like to make the evening fun.

Can I choose my own menu?

Yes, you can serve anything you’d like.  We mentioned some traditional Shabbat foods but please feel free to serve anything you like- mac and cheese, BBQ burgers, Chinese food, or your favorite dish would all work great.  We will do our best to collect information about allergies and food preferences but we recommend reaching out to the guests who will be coming to your home directly to ask about allergies and dietary preferences. You will be sent the attendance list, complete with contact information, a week before the event.

Are we supposed to go Shabbat Services at the Temple first?

You and your guests are encouraged to attend services first and then meet back at your home, but this is not a requirement.  Timing is up to you.  Please just check with your guests to see if they will be attending services.

How will I know who is coming to my house?

You will be given a guest list ahead of time with emails and phone numbers.  Please call your guests and introduce yourself and let them know the timing of your dinner and if you would like them to bring anything.

Can I invite outside guests?

We would love for you to invite guests, especially other congregants that live in your area who have not signed up!  Please ask them to sign up through the link, so we know who is participating!

I no longer have young children at home.  Can I have an adult only dinner?

We encourage families to celebrate Shabbat together, however, if you prefer to have an adult only dinner that is completely fine.  Just indicate this on your RSVP.


Past Events:

Spring Gala 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017
We celebrated four of B’nai Israel’s Everyday Heroes – Anne and Mark Kirsch and Susan and Richard Walden.  

Spring Gala 2016
Thursday, May 26, 2016
In honor of three very distinguished congregants, Edward Burger, Philip Eliasoph and Karen Ferleger, for their service to the community.

100 Years of Confirmation


Special Event Information