OneTable Launches in Toronto to Help Young Adults Experience Shabbat Dinners with Peers
New Offering Will Empower Young Adults to Create Shabbat Dinners That Build Connections and Add Meaning to Their Lives
OneTable, a non-profit organization that empowers people 21-39ish to build community through Shabbat dinner, is coming to Toronto in partnership with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
The launch of the OneTable Toronto hub will support post-undergraduate young adults to create strong Jewish networks through hosting and attending Shabbat dinners. It will encourage local events and partnerships, as well as the development of vibrant community life for this demographic. As part of these efforts, OneTable has hired a Toronto-based Shabbat community field manager and opened a dedicated platform page, which will make finding and organizing local dinners even easier.
With this expansion, Toronto becomes the first OneTable hub community outside of the United States.
“At a time when young people are increasingly seeking new ways to engage with their peers, community, and Jewish identities, we are extremely excited to partner with OneTable,” said Yael Bendat-Appell, UJA’s vice president of Jewish education and engagement. “Our hope is that this program will strengthen the sense of community among our young adults, anchored by Shabbat as a central Jewish practice. Ultimately, it will provide a ‘seat at the table’ for anyone seeking to participate, and empower young community members to become Shabbat dinner hosts for others.”
OneTable’s “do-it-yourself” approach allows hosts to create the Shabbat dinner experience that is most meaningful to them. This includes support and resources to make Shabbat rituals personally significant, plus financial boosts in the form of Nourishment credits which enable the host to add food, Judaica, or other elements to the evening.
Earlier this fall, team members from OneTable visited Toronto for a week of gatherings with community members across the city, to get to know Jewish Toronto and set the stage for the launch.
“We could not be more happy to launch our first international hub in Toronto,” noted OneTable Chief Advancement Officer and Acting CEO Irit Gross. “The city’s strong Jewish community has been incredibly welcoming to us and we’re thrilled to begin enabling Shabbat dinners for young Torontonians the way we have in cities and towns across the United States. It’s a real milestone for us and for the North American Jewish community.”
Since its founding in 2014, OneTable has enabled 105,000+ people to enjoy 215,000+ dinners in 600+ cities across the United States. This past Erev Rosh Hashanah, more than 7,000 participants took part in close to 700 Shabbat meals—a new OneTable record.
OneTable is a North American non-profit empowering people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. OneTable was initially funded to support people aged 21-39ish to find and share this powerful experience and is expanding to include those 55ish+ via Together @OneTable. Learn more at gettogether.onetable.org.