Where to have Shabbat Dinner in Paris

Don’t miss Shabbat dinner just because you’re traveling!

parisians

There’s nothing worse than planning a vacation, when you suddenly realize that you hadn’t given much thought to how you would go about observing a religious feast, holiday, or just a regular moment of worship. Looks like you’d better cancel your trip…

Stop! What you’re doing! Don’t cancel your trip!

If you’re Jewish and want to participate in a Shabbat dinner, you’ve got plenty of options in Paris. There’s a huge community of Jewish people in Paris, and in fact, there are an estimated 480,000-550,000 Jews in France.

I’ve rounded up 4 different options sure to cater to all of your Shabbat dinner needs. Keep reading to learn more!

What is Shabbat dinner?

challah
Image: slgckgc on Flickr

For all of my non-Jewish readers that have stumbled across this article out of curiosity, I want to talk a bit about what Shabbat dinner is.

Before anything, in the Jewish faith, Shabbat is considered as a holy day of rest. It is the one day a week that you have official religious permission to take the day off! There are so many different ways that Jewish people celebrate the Shabbat, ranging from a day where literally nothing is to be done, to just taking extra time to spend with family.

The guys in charge, a.k.a., the rabbis, characterized 39 different categories of work that are not to be done on Shabbat. Again, there are some stricter Jewish people that follow this to a tee – meaning no cleaning, no spending money and no cooking. The only exception? If you need to save someone’s life! Yup.

Shabbat begins on Friday night, and can be observed at a synagogue or at home. If you go to the synagogue, you’ll receive kabbalat Shabbat and specific songs are sung. If you decide to celebrate at home, special candles are lit and blessed, and parents bless their children as well. On Saturday morning, there is another Shabbat service at the synagogue where the Torah is read and Shabbat prayers are said. Saturday night marks the end of the Shabbat, and at sundown includes the havdalah ceremony. This ceremony marks the transition from the Shabbat to the rest of the week.

Now that all of my gentiles know where we’re at, let’s move onto different options for Shabbat dinner in Paris!

1. Chabad Champs Élysées

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Image: Tim Sackton on Flickr

The Chabad Champs Élysées is run by the organization Chabad-Lubavitch. The organization began in the 1940s, and focuses on bringing programs and services to Jewish people across the world. According to their website, the organization is “dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people worldwide.”

Their Champs-Élysées location invites you to participate in their Shabbat dinner with them! According to their site, you’ll “You’ll hear insights into the weekly Torah portions, delightful Chassidic stories and an English explanation of the Sabbath traditions.”

If you decide to observe Shabbat at the Chabad Champs Élysées, on Friday, you’ll get to watch the lighting of the candles, take a class on the Torah, participate in the kabbalat Shabbat service and the Kiddush ceremony. Then…it’s time to eat!

The Chabad Champs Élysées also provides activities to do on Saturday. Torah classes, more Kiddush ceremonies, and of course, the havdalah ceremony at the end of the day.

Address: Beth Loubavitch • 122, avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
Price: 20-45 euros per person
Website for more information and to make a reservation

2. Grande Synagogue de Paris

synagogue
Image: WikiCommons

The Grande Synagogue de Paris is the largest synagogue in France! Since its inception in 1874, the synagogue has been welcoming Jews from all over the world to celebrate and worship together.

The synagogue has seen the major ups and downs of Jewish life in France, from the scandalous Dreyfus affair, to the deportation of thousands of Jews during World War II. If you’re looking for a place to worship in Paris, you’ve found it.

Since 2014, the synagogue has been putting on Friday night Shabbat dinners for members and tourists alike. The kabbalat Shabbat service starts at 6:30pm, and the Kiddush ceremony and a meal take place after.

Not only is the atmosphere great, the setting is beautiful!

Address: Synagogue de la Victoire 44, rue de la Victoire, 75009 Paris
Price: 20-30 euros per person
Website for more information and to make a reservation

3. Beth Loubavitch Bastille

challah
Image: Flickr

The Beth Loubavitch Bastille is an organization that specializes in many different things. They offer Torah classes, marriage preparation classes and they even have a Kosher cafeteria that is open Monday-Thursday from 11:30am-2pm! Talk about full service.

They also, of course, put on a Shabbat dinner every Friday night. You can expect to find locals, students and tourists alike, coming together to observe Shabbat.

Address: 19 Rue St Sabin, 75011 Paris
Price: 10-45 euros per person
Website for more information and to make a reservation

4. Le Box de Chabbat

le box
Image: WikiCommons

This option is a little less traditional than those mentioned above. Le Box de Chabbat is the brainchild of a pair of chefs that missed having their moms around to help them cook Shabbat dinner. They thought to themselves, “Man, other people must be feelin’ the same way!” and Le Box de Chabbat was born!

Le Box de Chabbat delivers anywhere in France (yeah!), if you order in advance. They can provide meals for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Each box contains enough food for two people, and includes two dishes, two sides, challah and a bottle of wine. Each box is big enough for two people, but can be changed for up to six people per box.

Their site is completely in French, so if you need any help figuring it out, don’t hesitate to send us a message!

As a special thanks for reading this article, you can also receive a discount of 5 euros off per person on any of our walking tours by using the discount code SHAB. Click here to learn more about our tours!

We have an amazing Jewish History of Le Marais tour that I think you would love. This 3-hour tour is not just for travelers of Jewish faith – it is for everyone (especially if you’re a fan of falafel, since our lunch break is at an Israeli restaurant famous for it)! The ultra-chic Marais district has some of the richest history in the city, and it is the premiere district for the Parisian Jewish population. We will show you the beauty of this area, take you into a synagogue or two (Karen has relationships with several Rabbis in the area), and tell you its stirring history. 11am start time Sunday-Friday. 60 €.

This is just one of our touring options. Click the link above to learn more!

Price: 55-130 euros
Website for more information and to order your box

Conclusion

If you’ve been curious about where to have Shabbat dinner in Paris…now you know! We get asked this question a lot here at Sight Seeker’s Delight, so I figured it was time to write a blog about it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and as usual, if you have any advice for observing Shabbat dinner in Paris, let me know in the comments below!

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