Our school has a long standing Shabbat Pak program. Shana Lee, our wonderful coordinator, puts together a "Shabbat in a bag" kit with everything from candles and challah to a CD with Shabbat songs. Every child in the preschool has a turn taking the Shabbat Pak home and celebrating with family and friends (sometimes two or more families with Shabbat Paks get together for dinner!).
Here is the Shabbat Pak experience from a non-Jewish family:
giuliana's first shabbat dinner
After sharing our first Shabbat dinner with our oldest daughter, Adriana, during her first year at Kaplan in Miss Nora's class; we were all very excited to share the experience with Giuliana.
For the meal we chose a wonderful Chicken in White Wine recipe from The New Jewish Table (written by Daddy's friends and owners of the Equinox Restaurant in Washington, DC). Daddy got home later than expected, so its was a bit of a rush to prepare the meal and set the table before sundown, but we managed.
Like her sister before her, Giuliana helped out preparing the ingredients (a lot less than for Adriana's Osso Buco meal). She did well and was able to get back to tickle-time with her sister while dinner finished cooking.
A little iPod and kitchen game later, Daddy called everyone to the table. Mammy had set the table nicely, with the challah covered, grape juice poured and the candles ready. Meanwhile, Adriana had sneaked into Daddy's spot at the head of the table.
We followed the Shabbat blessings in the folder point by point; blessing the girls, the wine and the bread. The blessings came in a combination of Hebrew and English, and we recited them as best we could, with Adriana and Giuliani repeating after Daddy and participating in every step.
After dinner we read the Shabbat story and sang the Dinosaur song, which was Adriana's favorite a few years ago. Giuliana knew the song the best thanks to her practice with Rabbi.
At the end, it was Giuliana's turn to pick her favorite part of Shabbat dinner, and she said "the wine". She loved the story and the song, but raising the kiddush cup following the blessing and drinking the "wine" was #1.
as told by Renata Lee