Friday, February 16, 2018

A Wendy's Shabbat for Seniors in Palm Desert


A short documentary film, Wendy's Shabbat, has been drawing attention at Jewish film festivals around the USA.

It's about a group of Jewish senior citizens in Palm Desert, California who celebrate the weekly Shabbat at the local Wendy’s fast food restaurant with Hebrew blessings over burgers and fries.

The friends usher in the Sabbath by candlelight, with challah bread and grape juice (no wine at Wendy's) to complement their chicken nuggets and fries. Shabbat is typically observed at home with family, but here these seniors share in the celebration of their religion at Wendy’s. The Wendy’s staff, somewhat tickled and honored to be the site of such ritual, arrange the restaurant tables into a long row and prepare milkshakes for each attendee.

This is a story of rediscovering the joys of community again in older age, and in the longing for ritual, however unorthodox and non-kosher it may be. There are themes of love, of ritual and of community -- all within the context of an adorable scene at Wendy’s.

The film will be shown at nine Jewish film festivals in 2018.

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom.

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