So, you wanna plan a Shabbat dinner…
Your handy checklist for planning a stressless Shabbat dinner party.
3 Weeks Before
Decide what kind of Shabbat you want to host:
- Traditional, mindfulness-focused, potluck, crafting
- Check out OneTable’s resources for hosting inspo and tips
Post your dinner on the OneTable platform
- Or apply to become a Host if you haven’t yet
- Include accessibility information about the meal and set the tone for how you want the night to feel
- Pick your nourishment option and make a list of what else you’ll need.
Invite your guests
- Invite them right through the OneTable site, send the link in an email, and post in the OneTable Facebook group to find new friends
2 Weeks Before
Choose your music
- This can be a fun way to engage guests – ask them each to send you a song or two
- Or check out our OneTable team’s curated Shabbat playlists
Decide on rituals
- Which intentions do you want to bring into your space?
- Do you want to invite guests to lead ritual or bring some of their own ritual traditions to dinner? Make sure you ask ahead of time so people get a chance to think about it, say yes, or say no.
- Check out OneTable’s ritual guide, supplements, and recordings.
Pick your drinks
- If your dinner isn’t BYOB, what drink(s) are you offering? We have some ideas.
- Looking to create a sober friendly space? Check out this resource.
1 Week Before
Send out a reminder and encourage people to RSVP
- Make sure you’ve accepted or rejected everyone who has requested a seat.
- Tell them all the important stuff again: BYOB? Any tricks to finding the door?
- Still need volunteers to lead some rituals? Make sure you follow up!
4 Days Before
Make sure your nourishment is selected and the majority (hopefully all) of your guests are RSVP’d
- You need to have your guests RSVP’d in order to receive nourishment.
3 Days Before
Get your groceries
Plan out the tablescape
- What platters and bowls are you using? How will you arrange the seats?
2 Days Before
Make name tags or table tents
- Optional, but can really put people at ease! Guests can also choose to include their pronouns. You can also encourage workplaces or favorite books/shows to help spark conversation.
Clean the house
- A clean home is a space for people to take a deep breath. Guests will appreciate all of the work you’ve put in and will help them be fully present during the event.
Send out a reminder email to your guests!
- An informed guest is a happy guest, so make sure they have all the information they need!
1 Day Before
Prep any food that can be prepared or made in advance
- Salads without the dressing, cookie dough to be baked during the dinner, mix the batch cocktail, start making the challah if you’re that ambitious
If you’re ordering delivery, schedule it for delivery 30 minutes before your dinner start time
Grab any items you realized you forgot
Put white wine and nonalcoholic beverages in the fridge
Set the table
1 Hour Before
Put welcome signs on the door / entrance, let people know they’re in the right place
Put the food in the oven
Uncork the wine
- You’re hosting, so you’re sure to be busy even during the dinner. Wear something that makes you feel your best.
Just Before Guests Arrive
Turn on the music, set your ambient lighting
Leave 1-2 simple tasks undone so the first guests can be helpful, not awkward
- Things like: filling water glasses, setting out silverware, tossing the salad
- People always like to feel they can contribute, so why not give them something to do
During the Dinner
Tell people about OneTable and use it as a way to spark conversation
- How did guests find the dinner? Why were they interested in coming?
- Let guests know that they can become hosts too
The Day After
Send a note
- Thank people for coming, let them know if there are any lost and found items, ask them who is hosting next
- Send them a link to OneTable.org so they can find their next Shabbat or become a host
Plan your next Shabbat!
- OneTable can nourish hosts once per month, but you’re welcome to organize dinners on the site every week. Talk to your guests about rotating who hosts and create a dinner series!