British newlyweds Ian and Janice Donoff sponsored a kiddush last Shabbat at London’s Stanmore Synagogue — but not for one of the usual reasons, like a bar mitzvah, aufruf, baby naming or birthday. Their celebration was to give thanks for surviving the recent Costa Concordia shipwreck off the coast of Italy.
As the couple was finishing their Shabbat dinner on January 13, they heard a loud crunching sound and the ship’s lights went out. Mr. Donoff, 62, told the Jewish Chronicle that when the ship came to a halt, they realized that something was wrong. “We decided something was amiss and that we should dress warmly,” he said. “We saw people were wearing life-jackets, so we took our passports and I stuffed my siddur and tefillin into my pocket.”