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The Jewish Heritage Project is hosting their annual Shabbat for 2,000 on Friday night. 

Credit: Ryan Jones

On Friday night, many Penn students will take part in a tradition that will fill campus with fresh challah and make their Jewish grandmas' proud. 

The Jewish Heritage Programs, a student group that according to its website tries to “cultivate Jewish leaders to create viable Jewish communities,” is hosting its annual "Shabbat for 2,000," where they try to get 2,000 Penn students to simultaneously sit down across campus for Shabbat dinners.

“The goal of the event is to get as many people as possible to come together for a shabbat dinner,” College and Wharton sophomore and event coordinator Kacy Fishman said.

The event provides free food and wine to any Penn student hosting a Shabbat dinner. To host a dinner, students need to simply respond to a form on the Shabbat for 2,000 Facebook page, indicating how many people they will be hosting and what type of food they want. JHP will then assemble their order for pickup at the Chabad house, located on Spruce Street between 40th and 41st streets. JHP operates fully on donations, so all the funding for the 2,000-plus meals and glasses of wine was raised from alumni and other donors.

College Senior Eliza Rothstein, who is hosting a Shabbat dinner, is especially excited about the opportunity to have a family style meal. "I have roommates and we always plan to have family dinners, but we never actually do, so I figured it would be a good way for everyone take an hour to just eat and not be on the run," she said.

"It's fun to host something, but it's hard to host a big dinner and have to cover the cost for all the food and the wine, so it's really amazing to have an organization that's willing to support a dinner like this," Rothstein added.  

While Shabbat for 2,000 has existed for a number of years, it was not until last year that it succeeded in reaching its goal.

“A lot of the time college students don't have that chance to have a dinner and just sit at a table and relax,” Fishman said.

A previous version of this article referred to the Jewish Heritage Programs as the Jewish Heritage Project. The DP regrets the error. 

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