Social Connection Research
Join Our Study

*You are about to click to the study consent form. It’s long because we want you to know what you’re signing up for. We appreciate your participation!

Questions? Click here.

Note: There are a variety of incentives for study participants. All who submit a gathering will receive a $5 gift card, all who host a gathering will receive a $50 gift card, and all who submit a final survey will receive a $15 gift card. All participants will also be entered into a raffle to win one of three prizes with estimated values of approximately $400.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is this study about?

It’s an experiment, which means people who choose to participate will be randomly assigned to be part of a gathering that offers a variation on a typical OneTable Shabbat dinner.

When is this happening?

Sign up now for gatherings that run January 12 – May 31.

We will have “blackout dates” around Passover — no gatherings on April 19, 23, 26, or 30.

Your gathering can be on a Friday or the following Tuesday (four days later). We will let you know 2 – 3 weeks before your gathering so that you can update your schedule and let your guests know. You will be emailed to let you know which condition you’ve been placed in, and your dinner description will be updated on the backend so that you can keep track and your guests stay informed.

Why is OneTable involved in this study?

At OneTable, we care deeply about the well-being of our community. We want to understand how the work we do of making Shabbat dinner accessible to more people may or may not make a difference in everyday lives. This study will help us better understand how Shabbat dinner matters in your life. We will use what we learn to improve our program and share our learning with other Jewish, interfaith, and civic groups that care about building community.

Who else is involved in this study and part of the research team?

The study is a partnership between CASJE at George Washington University and OneTable. The research team is led by Dr Arielle Levites at George Washington University.

  • GW-affiliated team members include Dr. Jordan Lawson and Naomi Gamoran.
  • Julia Logan Labow, Pammie Shapiro, and Cora Torton, who are employees of OneTable, are also affiliates of George Washington University and are conducting research on behalf of the University.
  • Additionally, Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad (BYU), Dr Adam Cohen (ASU), Dr Gage Gorsky (Stanford), and Dr. Hollen Reischer (University of Buffalo) are part of the research team but will not have access to any individual or identifying data about you.
Who is funding this study?

This study is funded by Templeton World Charity Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation. Additional support for the project is provided by the Jewish Federations of North America’s BeWell Initiative.

If I decide to participate, what will I be asked to do?

This study involves an experiment, which means people who choose to participate will be randomly assigned to be part of a gathering that offers a variation on a typical OneTable Shabbat dinner. You can choose to participate as either a host or a guest. You can only participate in this experimental gathering once.

Some people will be asked to participate in a gathering that seems like a fairly ordinary OneTable Shabbat dinner. Some people will be asked to participate in a gathering that is more unusual and might include gathering on a Tuesday night and/or a gathering without any food served. Pretty weird, we know.

You won’t get to choose which variation you are part of, instead, your group will be assigned to one of the variations at random. You will be told one to two weeks in advance what kind of gathering you will be attending.

You will also be asked to fill in three surveys.

More details can be found in the consent form. You will need to submit a signed consent form to participate in the study.

Can I invite my regular guests or will I have to host strangers? And how many people do I need to have?

As the host, you will host as you normally would. So, if you’d like to host a private dinner and just have your regular guests, amazing. If you want to host a host approval dinner, also amazing, and, like usual, you’ll be able to say yes or no to folks.

Your guests must consent to be included in the experiment for the one gathering you’re hosting as part of the study.

A note — in order to host a gathering included in the study, it will need to be you + at least two guests (so a minimum of three people).

What kinds of information about me will the research team collect and what risks are there for privacy and confidentiality?

The research team will collect data using three short surveys that ask about you, your attitudes, well-being and relationship with others, and the gathering you participated in.

The research team will use your primary OneTable email to communicate with you and to link all of your information.

The information linked to your primary email includes: if you signed your consent form as host or guest, if you submitted your three survey responses, your group and the kind of gathering you participated in, OneTable participation, and if you received your incentives payments.

You can find out more important details about the data the research team will collect and what they will do to protect your privacy and confidentiality in the consent document. You must submit a signed consent document to participate.

Will I be paid?

Yes, if you choose to participate, you will receive two small incentive payments:

  • After you submit the second survey (48 hours before your gathering), you will receive a “Nourishment” payment through OneTable in the form of an emailed gift card from our nourishment catalog. Most participants will receive $5 Nourishment dollars, but if you were assigned to a variation with no food, you will receive $15 Nourishment dollars. (You know we don’t want you to go hungry!)
  • After you submit the third survey (48 hours after your gathering), you will receive a $15 Amazon gift card from the CASJE/GW research team. All participants who submit the third survey will receive the same amount, no matter which variation they were in.

Hosts who complete an experimental gathering by June 21 will receive an additional $50 after their gathering.

Once you’ve attended an experimental gathering and completed your post-gathering survey, you’ll be eligible to enter one of three raffles! The categories are:

  • Cooking: Rhone, 4.5 quart, Le Creuset ($390 total value)
  • Intention: Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin game and Where Should We Begin game, books including The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker, a one-year subscription to Headspace, and a one-year subscription + unplugging box, to Aro. ($360 total value)
  • Ritual: Shabbat ritual items from Oneg Shabbat Box and the Shabbat Set from Our Place ($395 total value)

Plus, as a token of our appreciation to everyone who consented to participate in this study, you will be invited to attend a free MasterClass-style Zoom event featuring a special guest chef! 100 lucky people will also win the chef’s cookbook. More details to follow in June.

Do I have to do this?

Nope. Not at all. Participating in this study is entirely voluntary. And, even if you start out in the study, you can decide to end your participation at any time

I want to participate: What do I need to do next?

If you would like to participate, you will need to carefully read the consent document from the research team and submit a signed consent form. The consent document includes important details about the study, what you will be asked to do, any risks to you, and who to speak with about questions or concerns. You will also let us know if you would like to participate as a host or guest and confirm your OneTable primary email address. Once the research team has your signed form, you will receive further instructions via your OneTable primary email.

I am interested, but I still have more questions. Who can I speak with?
  • If you have general questions about the study itself, you can reach out to either Julia Logan Labow ( or Arielle Levites (
  • If you have specific questions about privacy or confidentiality, please reach out to Arielle Levites (
  • If you have concerns about your rights as a human subject please be in touch with the IRB at George Washington University at telephone number 202-994-2715 or by email at