The Guest Who Gets Invited Back

What’s it like to be a guest at a OneTable dinner? We’ll pose that question to some of our guests, so you can see the range of experiences that bring people to our table.

For Gil, Friday nights can be about putting together a dinner for friends or joining them where they are as a guest. This week he’s hosting to celebrate moving to a new apartment!

I grew up in Los Angeles going to the same synagogue with a big group of people, so I have this really great community that’s my age, and well keep in touch. So when I moved to New York for college – I went to a joint program at Columbia and the Jewish Theological Seminary – I hooked up with other friends who had moved. That was a no-brainer.”

Yet it was a newer college friend who introduced me to my frist OneTable dinner. She said there was this thing called the “Startup Shabbat,” which was what it was called at the time, and I was like,” What’s the catch? What Torah study are they going to make me do?” But it really was just that they wanted us to have dinner and enjoy each other’s presence. And that’s something I really appreciate. It builds community and there’s food. That’s never a bad thing.

I grew up Conservative, but we didn’t keep Shabbat. I kept it for about a year and a half during high school, all on my own. I mean, my parents are Israeli and wanted me to have some kind of Jewish education, but they had no idea I would become so involved. I did Camp Ramah, I was in (Jewish fraternity) AEPi, and the Jewish communal aspect was always important to me. And for me, OneTable was the perfect thing for that.

The first one I went to just felt like so nice! I had just graduated and hadn’t seen some of the people in a while, and it was the perfect way to reconnect. It was nice, we had common ground, and everything else just came naturally.

I don’t get nervous about them – the OneTable dinners are casual, fun and exciting. I don’t need to worry, I don’t need to stress, I just show up and have a good time. There’s not too much I can improve on from that. I’ll do it again, without a doubt. There’s no reason not to.

How you can get involved:

OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. The OneTable community is funded to support people (21-39ish), not in undergraduate studies, and without an existing weekly Shabbat practice, looking to find and share this powerful experience.

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