Orphan Shabbat

On Orphan Shabbat, the people of Hashem stand for the orphan. We are a people called to defend the fatherless…to care for the child that has no family…to visit orphans in their distress. Each event is locally-led by a congregation. Concerts and prayer gatherings, shared meals and youth activities—reminding us of Hashem’s call to care for the orphan, and what we can do in response. From many sources, one voice. Each November, thousands of events will echo across America and around the globe, all sharing a single goal: that Hashem’s great love for the orphan will find echo in our lives as well. Orphan Shabbat is your opportunity to join your synagogue, community and friends to Hashem’s call to pray for and care for the orphan.


While attending a church service in Zambia, an American visitor named Gary Schneider was struck by the pastor’s passionate call to care for orphans in the local community, which had been ravaged by AIDS and poverty. Members of the church faced deep need themselves. But as the service ended, one after another stepped forward with money, food and other goods-some even taking off their own shoes and placing them in the offering for orphans. The visitor was so impacted that he began to help leaders coordinate “Orphan Sunday” efforts across Zambia and beyond.

In 2016, a another man of Hashem from America, Bill Forster, discovered the concept of Orphan Sunday, and felt he should bring it to the Jewish community to continue his work with orphans in Israel.  He named this idea “Orphan Shabbat”.

In May of 2016, these two men met and decided to pray together in faith, joining both Orphan Shabbat and Orphan Sunday, to reach all of Hashem’s children.

We pray the people of Hashem of many faiths all over the world may be as faithful as our Zambian brothers and sisters to reflect Hashem’s heart for the orphan, both near and far.   To view the history of this movement, we invite you to watch “Zambia’s Gift to World” Zambia’s Gift to the World (32 minutes)

Fundraising through Orphan Shabbat

Can I support Orphan Shabbat Financially? Your gift to Orphan Shabbat helps fund Neve Michael, the first and longest serving orphan home in Israel.  We welcome you to be part of this high-leverage investment! You can give online HERE

Can I plan an event for our own orphan program with Orphan Shabbat? YES!  Orphan Shabbat is a gift from the Lord and so we encourage you to adapt any of our materials or ideas for your own orphan charities.



Jodi Jackson Tucker, International Director of Orphan Sunday, (www.orphansunday.org), an initiative of CAFO. Orphan Sunday began in a small church in Zambia in 2002, and now is observed in thousands of churches in 85 nations. She also serves on the Global Facilitation Team for World Without Orphans, a global movement to end the orphan crisis in this generation.  Jodi and her husband Jerry have nine children, six through adoption.

Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans (www.cafo.org).  CAFO unites a movement of organizations, churches, and individuals worldwide, representing over 200 organizations and over 650 churches across the U.S.  Prior to this role, Jedd served in the White House as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, leading the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.   Jedd and his wife Rachel have five children and are a licensed foster family.


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