OneTable Education Advisory Board Welcomes University of Virginia Professor Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, Ph.D.

University of Virginia Professor Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, Ph.D., 

Joins OneTable Education Advisory Board

(New York) – OneTable, a national non-profit that empowers young adults (21-29ish) to find, share, and enjoy Shabbat dinners, today announced the addition of University of Virginia Professor Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, Ph.D., to the OneTable Education Advisory Board.


Rabbi Vanessa Ochs PhD“At OneTable, we constantly seek new ideas, insights, and understandings to help young adults connect with Jewish tradition and ritual. Rabbi Ochs’ experience and expertise will be invaluable to our Education Advisory Board,” said Tirtzah Bassel, Vice President, Partnerships + Jewish Learning, OneTable. “We are extremely grateful to have her engage with our dynamic and engaging board as we lay the groundwork for meaningful, relevant Shabbat dinner experiences. 


The OneTable Education Advisory Board is a multi-disciplinary group of thought leaders who care deeply about how Jewish practice impacts the lives of young adults, and who bring a broad understanding of the field to bear as they think through the most challenging education issues facing OneTable as they grow. Read more about the Education Advisory Board.


I was drawn to engage with One Table because of my great interest in Jewish ritual innovation and OneTable’s approach to reframing Shabbat practice in meaningful and accessible ways for young adults,” said Rabbi Ochs. “Jewish experiences can be a source of great strength and inspiration for them. I am moved by how readily the OneTable community affirms that even the newest practitioners of the Shabbat dinner ritual can easily engage with joy and depth.” 


What appeals to me about the model is its stance: ‘This is easy, you can do it, here’s what you need, no strings attached,’ Rabbi Ochs continued. “It is perfect for young Jews who are not in a place to make long-range commitments to institutions or even to Jewish identities. It is for people who might see themselves unapologetically as works in progress.”


About Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, Ph.D.

Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, Ph.D., Professor in the University of Virginia Department of Religious Studies and a core member of the Jewish Studies Program since its inception, teaches such topics as Jewish feminism, Jewish weddings, the Passover Haggadah, spiritual writing, and ethnography. She is Chair of the Professional Consulting Committee: UVA Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education at the UVA Health System. She has been a faculty member of the Bronfman Youth Fellowship.


Her books include The Passover Haggadah: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2020),   Inventing Jewish Ritual (winner of a 2007 National Jewish Book Award), Sarah Laughed, The Jewish Dream Book (with Elizabeth Ochs), Words on Fire: One Woman’s Journey into the Sacred, and  Safe and Sound: Protecting Your Child In An Unpredictable World. For her writing, she was awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts.

About OneTable

OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. OneTable is a national nonprofit founded to support people (21-39ish) looking to find and share this powerful experience. We envision a whole generation slowing down, joining together, unplugging from the week, creating intention in their lives, and building meaningful communities.


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