Our History

Shabbat walk was founded by Eliezer Gilbert in November 2015. Eliezer had been visiting the Royal Free on a weekly basis. The idea emerged when a group of volunteers wanted to also visit the Royal Free hospital on a Shabbos afternoon. The search was on to find volunteering opportunities for young volunteers. This quickly expanded to include care homes and visiting many other hospitals across London. From this idea a concept was born – Using a time that teenagers are free to have them actively engaging in acts of Chessed whilst simultaneously helping those who are in need of visiting.

Avi Dubiner a volunteer for the Shabbat Walk (who was just 15 at the time) was instrumental in its growth. He encouraged over 200 young volunteers from his school and the community to get involved by volunteering regularly. This enabled the Shabbat Walk to expand its services into helping families on Shabbos afternoons and weekdays. Michal Morgenstern took charge of the girls side of the Shabbat Walk and coordinated over 200 female volunteers.

The Shabbat Walk then recruited more coordinators to match the increase in the number of volunteers and volunteering activity. There are now 17 teenage volunteer coordinators who have specific duties and responsibilities and without them none of the volunteering activity would be possible.

In April 2018 Chaya Hoff, a regular volunteer for the Shabbat Walk officially begun the Hospital project facilitating 100’s of volunteers 18+ to offer some respite and visiting of those in hospital.

In September 2018 Avi Dubiner launched Shabbat Walk Israel. Over 50 volunteers from yeshivas and seminaries volunteer their time at local families.

The Shabbat Walk also introduced regular Chaburah’s for the regular volunteers to learn about the torah values and concepts surrounding the topic of ‘giving’. This added the dimension of thought and intention behind the actions of volunteering.

We look forward to see what the future will bring……

Awards and Accolades

2016 – Eliezer Gilbert – Volunteer of the year – Jewish Volunteering Network
2017 – Eliezer Gilbert – Thirty under 30
Avi Dubiner and Michal Morgenstern – Eighteen under 18
Avi Dubiner – Awarded ‘ points of light’ award by the Prime Minister Theresa May.
2018 – Chaya Hoff – Rising Star award – Jewish Volunteering Network .