Welcome to OneTable. Welcome to Better Fridays.
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 funded to support people (21-39ish) looking to find and share this powerful experience.
Our approach to Shabbat dinner is non-prescriptive. We encourage our participants to envision what their gathering might be, and we work alongside them to provide the support they need to create that result. OneTable’s primary goal is for emerging adults to become the producers of their own experiences, and for Shabbat dinner to become a platform for community building.
We envision a whole generation of millennials slowing down, joining together, unplugging from the week, creating intention in their lives, and building meaningful communities.
Friday Night Magic for the Burnout Generation
By now, you’ve probably read more articles on millennial burnout than you can remember. We know millennials are facing epidemic of loneliness, isolation, and addiction to technology. So what’s the solution? In 2014, OneTable, lead by Founding Executive Director Aliza Kline, dove deep into extensive research, looking for answers. Millennials needed tools to break down the barriers to hosting – access to education, financial resources, and each other. We learned that Shabbat has the power to become an antidote to loneliness, empowering millennials to find and build offline communities of their own.
The Most Ancient ~Wellness~ Ritual
Shabbat, much like yoga or meditation for some, is an act of rebellion against a constantly moving world. We bring ritual to the table not because we have to, but because disconnecting in order to intentionally connect, separate from the work week, and build community is holy – and really good for you.
Our work creates an opportunity for everyone to better engage in their own work. Taking intentional time each week to recharge means everyone can return to their work (whether corporate, justice-oriented, creative, or otherwise) with fresh energy and focus.
OneTable was created through an extensive design thinking process to help millennials connect – to find and host Shabbat dinners that are accessible and habitual. In just five years, OneTable has grown from a small startup into one of the largest, most successful interventions for young Jewish adults in America. This past fall we reached 100,000 unique participants in 185 cities. At our current growth rate, OneTable will surpass 250,000 unique participants by the end of 2021.
By investing seriously in research, personnel and technology, we ensure that users can experience the full beauty of Shabbat. We’re also leveraging mission and taste-aligned brands in the food and wellness worlds (like Winc, sweetgreen, Year & Day, CycleBar, multiple yoga studios) to bring relevant and customizable resources that add meaning to Shabbat meals.
The OneTable Menu:
- Local staff (in nine hub cities) and a national digital marketing team empower millennials to create a weekly Shabbat dinner practice that feels accessible and meaningful to them. They recruit hosts, build local partnerships, and cultivate an in-person community in their region.
- OneTable’s platform (onetable.org or iOS app) guides hosts through planning and promoting their dinner. Like AirBnB for Shabbat dinners, hosts create online profiles, post their dinners, and can share the dedicated link to socials. Guests can easily scroll through event descriptions to find the perfect dinner, then request a seat at their table.
- Nourishment Credit: Approved dinner hosts are eligible for credit to partnered companies for things like groceries, food delivery, books, and decor that help address concerns about the cost of hosting.
- Online Jewish resources: The site connects users with online resources like recordings, ritual guides, tips for hosting, guesting, blessing recordings, etc. created or curated by OneTable’s diverse content committee led by Rabbi Jessica Minnen.
- “Nosh:pitality” Gatherings: hands-on workshops focusing on hospitality skill-building, Jewish-learning and community creation that can be brought to the Shabbat table.
The Shabbat Movement
90% of our staff, including senior leadership, are part of the demographic we serve and are OneTable hosts and guests. OneTable’s education team is led by Rabbi Jessica Minnen and supported by the OneTable Editorial Committee, a dream team of experts from a variety of areas in the field who work to create, curate, and deliver diverse content based on our 7 Core Values.
OneTable has become a thought leader for millennial community experiences – organizations like REALITY and Birthright Israel are hiring OneTable to design their own Shabbat experiences.
The OneTable formula is simple, cost effective, and is having an impact. Survey respondents* say that because of OneTable:
- 87% find meaning in spending time with community on Shabbat
- 72% say Shabbat adds a spiritual dimension to their Friday night
- 65% try to pause and relax at the end of the week
- 53% feel Friday night is different from the rest of the week
Hearing about OneTable changed everything for me. Jessie D, 11 dinners hosted
Hosting Shabbat taught me hospitality on a deeper level than culinary school or any restaurant I’d ever worked in. Jake Cohen, 12 dinners hosted
OneTable has really helped me reframe emotionally, mentally, and physically around Shabbat. Jason Klinman, 13 dinners hosted
Trying to Get That Challah
Over the last five years our annual budget has grown from $870,000 to over $5,000,000, while our cost per participant has steadily declined. We are now at a turning point. With a strong presence in nine hub cities and participants in more than 185 cities, we are well-positioned to address the most pressing challenges facing this generation of young adults.
In 2018 we began fundraising from our participants and are seeking meaningful ways to create a community of mutuality. Currently, we are seeking new philanthropic and corporate partners to help us meet our ever-growing demand and to help us expand in mutually beneficial ways.