A family gets ready to begin Shabbat.

Each Friday evening, families around the world begin the celebration of Shabbat. For many, the evening includes favorite foods, company for dinner, special songs, and blessings. On Shabbat, families take a break and spend time together and with community. An erev Shabbat (Friday evening) ritual that is both simple and beautiful is to light candles to “usher in” the Sabbath and set it apart from the weekday world. Immediately after lighting candles, special blessings are said over the wine or grapejuice, the challah, and in many families, over the children as well.

Learn the blessings, sing songs, find un-plugged activities, story ideas, and more, in the sections below. 


What is Shabbat all about? How do you say the blessings? Watch these short videos to learn more:


How to Do Shabbat via
Do you want to start observing Shabbat but you're not sure how or where to start? Keep things simple with this sweet video.


Grover's First Shabbat via Shalom Sesame
Grover is enjoying his first trip to Israel. On Friday evening, he can't understand why the nice candlesticks or bread are laid out on the table. Luckily Shoshana is there to teach him everything he needs to know.


The Blessings

How to Bless the Candles via BimBam
Sing along with the video to learn how to wave in the light and sing the blessing.


How to Bless the Wine or Grape Juice, Make Kiddush via BimBam
Sing along with the video to learn how to bless the grape juice or wine on Shabbat.


How to Bless the Challah via BimBam
Follow along to learn the blessing, or bracha, over challah that Jewish families say on Shabbat


How to Say the Blessing Over Children via BimBam
On Friday nights before Shabbat, it’s customary for parents to bless their children. Many parents also say this blessing, or one of their own making, to mark milestones in their children's lives.




Reading a book on Shabbat

See the full list of PJ Library titles about Shabbat here.

Baxter: The Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher by Laurel Snyder

Recommended for children 6 to 7 years old

Upon hearing of the joys and sweetness of Shabbat and, especially, of Shabbat dinner, Baxter the Pig sets out to understand what it means to be kosher.

Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff 

Recommended for children 6 to 7 years old

Everyone in Goldie Simcha’s apartment building knows it’s Friday night when they smell her delicious Shabbat cholent. But one Friday night, Goldie doesn’t feel well enough to cook. Her neighbors step up to make an unusual cholent for Shabbat -- andsoon Goldie will feel much better.

Fridays Are Special by Chris Barash

Recommended for children 2 to 3 years old

For this child’s family, Fridays aren’t like other days. On Fridays, the hustle and bustle is a little different. Everyone seems to be getting ready for something special -- something cozy and wonderful. What could it be? .

Lights Out Shabbat by Sarene Shulimson

Recommended for children 3 to 4 years old

A young boy visiting his grandparents for Shabbat has a wonderful time despite (or maybe, in part, because of) a rare Georgia snowstorm that causes the power to go out.

One, Two, Three, Shabbat! by Naomi Shulman

Recommended for children 6 months to 2 years old

Shabbat rituals are filled with rich sensory experiences. When babies and toddlers take part, it’s as easy and fun as 1, 2, 3!

Shabbat Shalom, Hey! by Ann Koffsky

Recommended for children 6 months to 2 years old

Sing along with the lion, monkey, and toucan as they get everything ready for Friday night dinner. Shabbat Shalom!


Scroll down to find the PJ Library Shabbat playlist as well as a special challah-themed playlist to listen to while making dinner or when you're feeling silly.


Challah Songs

Download the PJ Library Radio app for more music and playlists.