36 people, men and women from Glasgow, London, Manchester, New York’s Boro Park, and New Jersey attended a 2 – 4 day trip in Ayr Scotland.
The trip was geared for Jews of all religious standards, and organizers ensured that all participants felt at ease and at home.
Those coming from USA for a Thanksgiving Weekend break enjoyed a three day touring event plus Shabbos, those from London enjoyed a two day touring event plus Shabbos. Participants from Glasgow arrived Friday afternoon and left on Sunday lunchtime.
All attendees from out of town enjoyed a Scottish themed dinner on Thursday evening at the newly decorated L’Chaim’s Restaurant with a piper in attendance before checking in at the Mercure hotel in Ayr. The entire weekend was organized by Rabbi Chaim and Sora Jacobs of Lubavitch of Scotland and was “to say the least, a phenomenal success,” the Rabbi Jacobs said.
People were so happy to keep a Shabbos properly, for some it was the first time ever that they have had such an experience. It was 25 hours of no mobile phones, no driving, no shopping, it was just special and spiritual from candle lighting until Havdola.
Hotel staff were very helpful, constantly opening the electronic doors for the guests. The prayer services were led by Yaakov Schweibel of New York, David Clapham of Glasgow and Rabbi Chaim Jacobs who also read from the Torah. Haftorah was read by Rabbi Dr. Avi Kuperberg of New Jersey.
The Shabbos program included delicious meals prepared by L’Chaim’s Restaurant and organized entirely by Sora Jacobs, very lively singing and inspiring discussion throughout the Shabbos meals, an Ask the Rabbi and Rebbetzin session with Rabbi Chaim and Sora Jacobs, lively davening, a lavish kiddush, hot cholent, and a walk along the promenade on Shabbos afternoon. A musical Melave Malke after Shabbos was entertained by famous musician Benny Weisz from Manchester. The weekend ended with a brunch.
Participants raved about the weekend, thanking the Jacobs for a well-organized event.
“The Shabbat we spent at the Mercure Hotel was indeed memorable. We were with good friends and made new friends along the way,” wrote Ruth in an email.
“Chefs Peter and Alistair with waitress Pauline excelled themselves in the preparation and serving of our meals and care of the guests,” wrote the Kayes.
By public demand the date has already been set for a similar event next year 2015, last weekend in November to once again coincide with Thanksgiving weekend in the USA.