SEATTLE, WA — Leaders of several Jewish movements announced a new partnership with Starbucks this week that will see eco-friendly, vente-sized mugs welcomed into Shabbat services nationwide. Coupled with the expansion of drive-thru Starbucks into many communities, Rabbis and company executives believe this move will provide synergies for both the retailer and local synagogues.
We are thrilled at the partnership with conservative and reform synagogues and are looking forward to the day when coffee-drinkers will be welcome in all houses of worship,” said Aaron Schwartz, VP Marketing, Starbucks Corporation. “We will be selling a special size reusable cup — the ‘Vayahavta Vente’ — that will convey to the drive-up baristas to please hurry, the driver is on the way to prayer. Profits from the mug sales will be split between Starbucks and the synagogue of the purchaser’s choice, so everyone wins.”
The synagogues have agreed to welcome all worshippers who arrive with the special Starbucks mug. It is expected that some synagogues will undertake enhancement projects to add cupholders to their seats, in order to add convenience during the service (and minimize spills).
For our part, we believe that this will make a lasting mark on Jewish continuity. Our outreach efforts to the coffee-drinking community have been neglected in recent years, and we want all to know they are welcome in our synagogues, regardless of whichever brand they were raised drinking,” said Rabbi Joshua Peaberry, of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
We know that morning coffee is an important ritual which complicates attendance at synagogue. We think this effect is seen in the large influx of people who arrive just in time for the Torah service, rather than on time for Shacharit. By inviting those who are thirsty to bring their latte with them, we believe Shabbat mornings will go more smoothly and we’ll all get to Kiddush sooner.”
Announcement of similar agreements with Chabad and the Orthodox Union have been delayed over their requirements to add a Mashgiach barista to each drive-thru location, and negotiations over actually including a Starbucks outlet in shuls with over 500 families.
Look for the new mugs, as well as a special “He-Brew” blend at Starbucks locations and sisterhood giftshops shortly after April 1.
*April 1. Need we say more?