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Tel Aviv Shabbat dinner sets Guinness mark

TEL AVIV (JTA) — More than 2,000 people in Tel Aviv set the Guinness World Record for largest Shabbat dinner.

At an event Friday evening hosted by White City Shabbat, a Tel Aviv organization that hosts and coordinates Shabbat meals, and co-sponsored by Chabad-Lubavitch, 2,226 people gathered for what was billed as the largest Shabbat dinner ever. An official representative of Guinness World Records present at the event certified that the dinner had set the mark.

The organizers for the dinner — held in a large atrium at the Tel Aviv Port — purchased 800 bottles of wine, 80 bottles of vodka, 50 bottles of whiskey, 2,000 challah rolls, 1,800 pieces of chicken, 1,000 pieces of beef and 250 vegetarian meals. Attendees also ate rice, peas, a range of Israeli appetizers and cake.

Chabad representatives led Orthodox services before the dinner, which was dedicated to the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher rebbe who died in 1994.

Among those on hand were Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren and former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.

“The jubilation in the room when Guinness World Records announced the official results was palpable,” White City Shabbat co-director Deborah Danan said in a statement. “We are witnessing the transition of Tel Aviv as being the new capital for Jews — not just for those with professional impetuses but also for those who want to see the revival in Jewish life continue.”

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