OneTable in the News
OneTable brings the magical + essential ritual of Shabbat to thousands of young adults every week — and people are taking notice.
“When Jeffrey Albaum, 25, who works in real estate investment, moved to Austin, Texas, a year ago, he decided to host Shabbat dinners using OneTable. ‘There are a lot of people who have recently moved here and are new to the city, so this was a great way to meet people,’ he said. A year ago, he would host five to 10 people. Now he’s hosting more than 50.
—From Shabbat is a Salve, and a Scene, 11/30/2022
“Shabbat is an exhale. We live in such a chaotic world, and we’re doing so many different things, and knowing that tomorrow I have 25 hours where I can release, calm down, and breathe, with people that I love and care about — everyone deserves that.” —OneTable Chicago Field Manager Leah Weinstein, from WBEZ Chicago’s Millennials are Finding Community, Belonging on Shabbat, 12/15/22
“For some, it is about ritual and prayer – but for many millennial Jews who see their Jewish identity as more cultural than religious, it’s also an important way to thwart loneliness in a bustling city like New York.” – From “The app keeping Friday night dinners alive”
“Ritual grounds us,” Aliza Kline said. “It connects us to something much bigger than ourselves. That humility can be a tremendous blessing, especially in such a frightening time as this. What’s amazing about the annual seder or weekly Shabbat service or Sunday church service or the Ramadan celebration is that we’re doing it together, and we yield to the ritual. When religion is at its best, that’s what it does: it brings us together.” From – ” ‘Ritual Grounds Us.’ Amid Coronavirus, Here’s How People Are Planning to Take the Passover Seder Experience Online”
“In cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, a new generation of Jewish millennials who get their meals from Sakara Life and and their aesthetic tastes from the Coveteur are on a quest for spiritual fulfillment.” – From “Are Ancient Jewish Traditions The Future Of The Wellness Industry?”
“Shabbat—the concept of spending quality time with friends and family while taking a break from scrolling on Instagram—is for everyone. It is an ancient antidote to our modern ailments.” – From “How to Host a Shabbat Dinner and Why You Should—Even if You Aren’t Celebrating”
“Kline runs a nonprofit called OneTable that has been organizing in-person and virtual Friday night Shabbat dinners to celebrate the Jewish sabbath since 2014. When the emergency was declared, she says, “the magnitude of the change in the world really hit us.” Her team decided to pivot from Shabbat to Passover with a new digital platform for Jews under lockdown who wanted to host or attend a virtual Seder.”- From “Recreating Passover rituals while locked down requires some improvising”
“How might we empower [millennials] to create a weekly in-person community that engages them and lets them unplug with intention, and how might we use technology to make it even easier? OneTable is designed to meet those exact needs. With the ritual of Shabbat…complete with multi-sensory rituals around candlelight, intention setting, gratitude, wine and delicious, sweet bread. Done right, it’s the perfect antidote to social isolation, with deep ties to an ancient practice that ground us, freeing us from pulls of technology and distraction.” – From- How Aliza Kline and OneTable are helping to create “a weekly in-person community that engages people and lets them unplug with intention”
““In these times when our virtual world has blurred the lines even more between work and rest, I think it’s important to recognize a sense of ritual,” says Hall-Tompkins, “to pause, regroup, and re-inspire.”” – From “Watch Tony Nominee Daniel J. Watts in This Exclusive Video From the New Series PAUSE”
“Jews from more liberal traditions have already prepared to host virtual seders on websites like OneTable, a nonprofit that connects Jews for communal gatherings on Shabbat and holy days.” … [OneTable] will host online 800 seders this year, said CEO and founder Aliza Kline, up from 200 last year. A few of the seders posted thus far: The Seder-in-Place, Sederstream, Pandemic Passover, May the Plague Passover Us, and, poignantly, the Orphan Seder.” – From “This Passover, the seders are virtual. The plague is real”
“Rosenberg says that celebrating Passover online can give people space to determine what their “adult version of Judaism looks like,” including “what rituals you want in your life and what you want your relationship to Judaism, spirituality, or wellness to look like on a larger scale.” – From “How To Have A Passover Seder Over Zoom, According To People Planning Them”
“But that’s what Judaism is all about: using your gifts to create an ideal world. And in my ideal world, Black people are free to voice our opinions, free to see ourselves in ancient biblical text, and free to be Jewish without recrimination. “Soul: A Black Jewish Dinner Series” was created to give us this sacred space in time, so that for at least a few hours at the end of the week we can enjoy Shabbat in all the glory of our Blackness.” – From Holding Space for Black Jews
“A week before the start of Passover, the couple had settled on hosting a Seder using the platform Seder2020.org. This year, there will still be a big Seder and a busy kitchen, but the living room won’t be full of furniture. Instead, it will be crowded with voices, beamed in from Passover tables near and far.” – From “This Passover Is Not Like Other Passovers”
“My life’s work has been to help people move from a place of being “outside” of the community, to finding and building deep, lifelong connections. Now, as the CEO and Co-Founder of OneTable, I’m focused on the power of ritual to mark time, to bring us closer together, and to build essential bonds. Our participants voice a growing need for opportunities to come together around a shared purpose.” – Aliza Kline in How to Build a Post-COVID-19 World
“We’ve been addressing issues of connection and social isolation since our founding and now, through COVID-19, this has been exacerbated,” said Aliza Kline, founding executive director of OneTable. “Now there’s no limit to the number of people who can join you virtually at your dining room table.”… “The key for us was to help people still maintain that feeling of connection and belonging while having tremendous empathy for people who are alone,” she said.” – From “Jews around the world prepare for a Passover different from any other”
“While OneTable typically hosts in-person Shabbat dinners in more than a dozen cities, the organization quickly pivoted to hosting virtual dinners in light of the social distancing required by the coronavirus pandemic…By leaning into the world’s new reality, OneTable has been able to offer connection to their users during an unprecedented time for celebrating.” – From “Brands Support Consumers With Virtual Passover And Easter Celebrations During Social Distancing”
“On a typical week, we are helping millennials across the country get together for a Shabbat dinner on Friday night — typically people who otherwise wouldn’t be doing Shabbat, who don’t have an existing Friday night dinner practice and are either have grown farther away from Judaism or investigating it for themselves or looking for community, any of those reasons. When shelter in place started, we had to really pivot very quickly into a virtual context rather than an in-person context, and we had a full team meeting and decided, what did we need to do? What resources do we need to create to make that possible for people so that those communities could thrive online the way that they had in person.” – From “For Ancient Spring Holidays Like Passover, COVID-19 Forces a Modern Twist”
“OneTable staffers call the high level of personal engagement the high-tech, high-touch approach. A large platform wouldn’t be able to cater to people without this high touch.” – from “This Shabbat dinner pairing app isn’t for everyone — and that’s the point” – From “This Shabbat dinner pairing app isn’t for everyone — and that’s the point”
“OneTable offers a slew of resources — from guidance on Jewish ritual and hospitality to recipes and cooking classes — and it subsidizes the cost. It even offers “Shabbat coaches” who will meet with hosts and ask questions such as: “What do you want your guests to walk away from the night feeling?”” – From “Bringing The Rap Battle To The Shabbat Table”
“The idea of Shabbat is good for everyone — taking that step back, taking that pause, having these moments of mindfulness on a Friday night after a long week of work, it’s good for anyone.” – From “Dinner party platform OneTable promises ‘a new way to Friday’”
“There’s something so special about coming into someone’s home for a meal instead of going out, especially on a Friday. There’s no reservations, no paying a check, you can linger longer and play games at the end. It encourages you to walk around and not just talk to the people across from you.” – From “This group wants Jewish millennials to connect over food and wine”
PODCAST | Stephanie talks with Aliza Kline and Zoe Plotsky of OneTable, a platform that helps millennials gather for Shabbat meals. They tell us about their new High Holiday initiative, HereFor, which offers a variety of resources and virtual gatherings to help Jews feel connected and engaged this holiday season.
PODCAST | OneTable CEO Aliza Kline spoke with The Jewish Views podcast, starting at 15:30.