Above: The initiative for Shabbat dinners provides funding for up to 10 people in their 20s and 30s to connect and talk. (Photo by Emily Goodstein, OneTable)
By Rachel Fayne Gruskin
Jewish millennials are feeling political divisions and tensions after the election, but several organizations are making it easier for Jews in their 20s and 30s to come together in a traditional way — over the Shabbat table.
Moishe House, OneTable, Repair the World and the Schusterman Foundation are working together on what is being called the Airbnb for Shabbat in Atlanta. They have curated a social dining platform that provides an opportunity for post-college and pre-family adults to host one another for the most sacred day of the week, Shabbat.
Shabbat dinner provides the opportunity to restore human connections frayed and torn by politics.
“Shabbat dinner has always offered an opportunity for meaningful conversation, personal connection and relaxation after a full and intense week,” said Aliza Kline, the founding executive director of OneTable. “Now, more than ever, we want to ensure that young people can access and personalize Shabbat dinner in a way that allows them to build community and feel a sense of belonging regardless of background and experience.”
Not sure how to begin a conversation? Repair the World has developed a conversation guide designed to help.
Do you cook or cater? OneTable works with on-demand services such as Instacart and Seamless that will bring you everything you need if you’d like to host others. OneTable focuses on what has been called “noshpitality” — ending the week with intention and giving young people a less traditional way to host.
Maybe you don’t want to host, you’re not sure what to do if someone comes but doesn’t RSVP, or you want to host but lack the money. OneTable’s site will help you find a dinner, give you some answers about how to handle uncomfortable situations and even pay for the dinner.
Anyone who applies to host is eligible for a nourishment credit that can be redeemed online. You can receive up to $150 for a table, or an average of $15 per person.
The project is helping millennials not only recover from the election, but also rediscover or find Jewish community. Talia Kula, 25, hosted a post-election Shabbat dinner in New York and said: “The Shabbat was wonderful. … As you might imagine, it has been a hard week for many of us, and it was really great to be able to come together as a community.”
More information on how to sign up to host or join a Shabbat dinner is available at onetable.org/conversation.