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avatar for Ms. Debbie Albert

Ms. Debbie Albert

Guess Who’s Coming to Shabbas?®
Dresher, PA

Debbie Albert created “Guess Who’s Coming to Shabbas?®” as a living tribute to her father who died unexpectedly just a few hours before a Shabbat dinner in March, 2012.  As a lifelong member of Temple Sinai in Dresher, PA, the congregation wanted to honor his memory in a way that would pay tribute to the way he lived his life – committed to his family, the synagogue and Zionism. 

With a background in journalism and public relations, Debbie developed “Guess Who’s Coming to Shabbas®,” an initiative which encourages congregants to host others for Shabbat dinners in their homes, with guests then becoming hosts in subsequent months. The simplicity of the program speaks to both “audacious hospitality” and the concept of “paying it forward.”

The program’s goal – to strengthen synagogue communities by creating meaningful memories for families - has helped create new relationships both within that congregation and now, in dozens of others.

After two years, Temple Sinai had a participation rate of 90% and today, congregations across North America are replicating the program. A DIY kit allows synagogues and other organizations to use the name, logo, and marketing pieces that have helped make it so successful, and more importantly, which have helped create lasting relationships in the Jewish community.