ISRAEL – The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is expected to attract over 10,000 international tourists between the 14th and 18th of May, and for many, this will be their first visit to Israel. The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality In collaboration with Eatwith would like to offer the incoming tourists of all backgrounds the unique experience of an authentic Shabbat meal at the home of host families in Tel Aviv.
Shabbat dinners, held at sunset on Fridays, are a cultural staple of many Israeli families – secular and religious. Most local families gather together with family and friends on a weekly basis. The Shabbat Dinner project will match tourists of any religion and cultural background with local host families for a meaningful night around a Shabbat dinner table. Tourists from around the world will take part in a unique immersive experience and will enjoy a home cooked meal while learning about Jewish traditions that have been observed for centuries. This project aligns with the growing travel trend of experiential tourism, where tourists seek to be immersed in the local culture and are on the lookout for authentic experiences.
Ron Huldai, The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo: “We are working hard in order to make sure that the Eurovision Song Contest will be an unforgettable experience for everyone, including the local residents who wish to be a part of this major tourism boom. The Shabbat Dinners Project is one of the many ways to connect the thousands of tourists to Tel Aviv families and introduce them to the wonderful Jewish tradition of Shabbat in Israel. By the way, I already told Yael, my wife, to not make plans on the Friday before the Eurovision final, because we will be cooking!”
International guests will be able to choose from three options:
1. Shabbat Dinner at a host family (up to 6 guests)
2. Proud Shabbat Dinner: Eatwith and the Tel Aviv Municipal LGBTQ Center invite guests to attend a LGBTQ friendly Shabbat dinner at a host family
3. Community Shabbat Dinner: Locals and tourists are invited to attend one of the communal potluck Shabbat dinners hosted at community centers around the city
Guests will be charged a small courtesy fee of 50NIS in order to secure their place; all proceeds will go to the hosts.
Guest registration will open at the end of the month via this link: Visit.Tel-Aviv.gov.il