Expert Interview Series: Aliza Kline of OneTable About the Formality, Fellowship, and Food at Modern Day Shabbat Dinners

FoodyDirect recently caught up with Aliza Kline, OneTable’s awesome founding executive director, for their Expert Interview Series to learn about the Shabbat tradition as well as the delicious foods which are often found at Friday night Shabbat dinners.

Check out their interview with Aliza below.

Tell us about your background. Why did you decide to create OneTable?

In my career, I have been the founding director of several programs and two organizations, especially in the realm of bringing rituals into our lives. Because I move fast, ritual helps me slow down and live more mindfully. For 10+ years, I worked with an incredible team to build Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh & Education Center in Boston, which reimagined the ancient ritual of immersion for contemporary times and needs. Now I am devoting my energy to OneTable, where I get to share my passion for the ritual of Friday night Shabbat dinner, an anchor in my life, with tens of thousands of people who are seeking a moment to slow down, connect with others, and enjoy good food and wine. What’s not to like?

What are some of the modern-day challenges associated with finding a Shabbat dinner to attend or today’s busy young professionals?

Millennials are constantly moving and investing their time in things they care about, and most are not seeking traditional Jewish community structures at this stage. Some may not even know about the ritual of Shabbat dinner; and for those who are familiar, it may feel like an afterthought or something that they may do when they have a family of their own. Or perhaps they live in areas that don’t have huge Jewish populations, so there aren’t many resources readily available for them. That’s where we come in. OneTable provides the platform for Jews in their 20s and 30s to find the right Friday night fit for them. They can choose a more traditional, religious dinner, or go to a karaoke Shabbat.

To become a OneTable host, apply here

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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