Jewish young professionals to gather in Central Park for Shabbat

The annual event is hosted by JNFuture, Jewish National Fund-USA's community of young philanthropists ages 22-40.

Some of the 450 young Jewish philanthropists at JNFuture's 2022 Shabbat in the Park. Credit: Courtesy of Jewish National Fund-USA.
Some of the 450 young Jewish philanthropists at JNFuture's 2022 Shabbat in the Park. Credit: Courtesy of Jewish National Fund-USA.

On New York City’s Upper East Side, young Jewish professionals from across the tri-state area will unite on June 7 at 6 p.m., for JNFuture’s annual “Shabbat in the Park” event. In addition to the celebration of Judaism’s age-old Shabbat tradition, the event is a powerful display of solidarity with the people of Israel, more important than ever in a post-Oct. 7 world.

“Shabbat in the Park,” co-chaired by Alex Szikla and Sierra Stone, is poised to be the largest gathering of Jewish young professionals in the city with more than 500 expected to attend.

Despite growing antisemitism worldwide, including multiple pro-Palestinian rallies in the middle of Times Square, the spirit of resilience among New York’s young Jewish professionals remains unyielding.

And JNFuture, known for its vibrant community of 22- to 40-year-olds, is leading the charge. With a mission to support Israel while fostering connections among like-minded individuals, JNFuture has become the fastest-growing demographic within Jewish National Fund-USA.

JNFuture “Shabbat in the Park” event in 2023. Credit: Courtesy of Jewish National Fund-USA.

“The event holds profound significance for the Jewish National Fund-USA’s New York community as well as for the broader spectrum of all Jewish young professionals living throughout the tri-state area,” said event co-chair Alex Szikla. “The evening is a celebration and reflection on all that Israel has done in just 76 short years and the incredible support that Jewish National Fund-USA has provided to the land and people of Israel. As co-chair, I am dedicated to ensuring that the event fosters unity, growth, and meaningful connections among attendees.”

In the wake of the devastating attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, in Israel’s southern communities, the need for solidarity and support has never been greater. JNFuture is closing in on $4 million raised to date to aid these affected communities through Jewish National Fund-USA’s Israel Resilience Campaign (jnf.org/supportisrael), supporting the evacuation and support of tens of thousands of residents in Israel’s north and south and now the Build Together campaign, a comprehensive, strategic initiative to rebuild Israeli communities in the Israel Envelope, communities on the border with Gaza, and provide the infrastructure and quality of life needed to allow residents to feel safe coming home.

Hundreds of Young Jewish Philanthropists at JNFuture’s Shabbat in the Park. Credit: Courtesy of Jewish National Fund-USA.

“ ‘Shabbat in the Park’ is a celebration of Jewish unity, resilience and joy,” said event co-chair Sierra Stone. “I am immensely proud to contribute to this remarkable organization that is dedicated to building a strong and vibrant future for the land and people of Israel. Since October 7, my pride in Jewish National Fund-USA has deepened as I’ve observed its emergence as the leading force in the restoration of lands, communities, and homes that were tragically impacted. Witnessing Jewish communities grow stronger amid considerable challenges is a powerful testament to our collective identity and strength.”

In addition to the networking opportunities and show of solidarity, attendees will also enjoy a special candle-lighting ceremony and catered Shabbat meal.

For more information about Jewish National Fund-USA or to register, visit: jnf.org/sitp or contact Sophie Rubin at srubin@jnf.org or 212-879-9305, Ext. 504.

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Jewish National Fund-USA builds a strong, vibrant future for the land and people of Israel through bold initiatives and Zionist education. As a leading philanthropic movement, the organization supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south as it develops new communities in the Negev and Galilee, connects the next generation to Israel, and creates infrastructure and programs that support ecology, people with disabilities, and heritage site preservation, all while running a fully accredited study abroad experience through its Alexander Muss High School in Israel.
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