DC, meet your new JOFEE Fellow: Amanda!
Amanda has been hosting with OneTable since they were called Startup Shabbat in NYC! She honed her hospitality skills while working at Hillel at Virginia Tech as they opened their new building and at Birthright NEXT, planning convenings for engagement professionals. Amanda is currently in a master’s degree program at GW for Jewish experiential education, and is passionate about sustainable, humane, and nourishing food that elevates Shabbat dinner, brings people together, and repairs our broken food systems. We are thrilled to have her join us and help you all create thoughtful and meaningful Friday nights. Reach out to say hi and get to know a little about her:
What will you be working on at OneTable?
I’ll be connecting the DC OneTable community to local sustainable food sources and producers. I’ll be planning Nosh:pitality events, adding new vendors as nourishment options, and helping our hosts bring intentional sourcing to their Shabbat dinner tables. I hope to take city-bound Shabbat hosts outside this summer to connect with nature and visit local farms!
How’d you end up at OneTable?
I worked at Hillel after college and loved planning exciting Shabbat dinners with unique themes and welcoming new students to the building each week. When I moved to New York, my partner and I were among the first users of OneTable (then Start Up Shabbat). We met amazing people and built a wonderful and extensive community through the the OneTable platform. Back in DC, we were already hosting when Marina came to officially open a hub here, and she asked me to become a Shabbat coach. I’ve been able to help new hosts find authentic and meaningful ways to welcome guests into their home and celebrate Shabbat their way. When the fellowship with JOFEE opened up it was my dream position, combining my love of food and Shabbat.
What are you looking forward to the most in your new position?
Meeting, supporting, and introducing the DC area’s amazing food producers to OneTable’s community. There are amazing farmers, butchers, and cheesemakers all over the DMV and when you get to connect with the source of your food and meet the people behind the production, it tastes better, and can bring a whole new level of meaning to your Jewish rituals.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Probably bread, I love everything about bread! The way the ingredients transform into something entirely new, and how so many communities have their unique bread intertwined with their history, it amazes me.
Favorite DC experience or place?
My favorite place in DC right now is my front porch. We bought a house in Northeast this year and I love that I can sit outside surrounded by my plants (and our chowchow, Bubbe) in the summer. I can see the metro going by, and chat with my neighbors, and truly feel like a part of this amazing crazy city.
What does Shabbat dinner mean to you?
I have a sticker on my car’s bumper that says “Shabbat Happens” it’s a reminder that every week, without fail, no matter how crazy or stressful or overwhelming, Shabbat is there at the end to welcome you. Shabbat dinner is how we reconnect to others on a personal level and take time to slow down and savor good food and conversation. Without Shabbat bookending each week, I don’t know how I’d find the motivation to tackle each week with renewed zest.
This position was made possible by a grant from The Morningstar Foundation and the United Jewish Endowment Fund of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, through Hazon’s JOFEE fellowship program.