The Great Esc: Ending Your Virtual Dinner

So, you’re hosting a virtual Shabbat dinner (oh hi 2020). You’ve read our guide to creating #Fridaynightmagic with virtual Shabbat, you’ve figured out your ritual, maybe picked a theme, and have done all of the planning for this to be a meaningful time with friends and community.

But in a time when we don’t have the physical cues of ending (finishing dessert or starting to clean the table) — how do people know when to ‘go home’? How do we end our Friday night experience intentionally?

GIF of Alexis Rose from Schitt's Creek winking with white letters at the bottom reading "Ending virtual hangouts with 'text me when you get home'"

End it with a toast:

To life, to life, L’CHAIM. Say something along the lines of “before we part– I’d like to make a toast to you all” and then wrap up your experience in a way that feels personal and personalized. 

End it with some warm fuzzy feelings:

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Ask everyone to share something they are thankful for in general or from your time spent on cam. 

May we find peace, a whole and complete peace. May we be fulfilled, not only by our food, but by our family and friends, by our actions and our words.

End it with a Jewish practice: 

Birkat Hamazon is a blessing to offer thanks after a meal. Find it on page 9 of our Shabbat Alone, Together guide, along with some other readings.

End it with a funny story: 

Laughter is crucial right now (and always). Try asking your guests to prepare a joke or share a funny moment from their lives, then, popcorn style, each person shares. Or step up yourself and have a funny story prepared to read to your (virtual) crew as the final piece of the evening. 

End it with a dance party:

Pick a song and invite your virtual guests to get up and dance.their.hearts.out. Great way to get the blood flowing and feel good before signing off.

There’s a million more ways to end your virtual Shabbat and we’d love to hear about the ideas you’re coming up with! The most important thing to focus on is how you want people to feel once they’ve signed off and closed their computer/phone.

Tori Greene runs all things OneTable in the 305 (aka Miami). She's big on community building and loves being a connector through music, events or just getting coffee with someone who's new in town and giving them the inside scoop.

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