Why Be Jewish? Conversation Resources

Why “Why Be Jewish?” We believe that conversation is as important to Friday night as elevated ritual and delicious food, yet it often gets the least amount of attention as we prepare for Shabbat. Asking this question Why Be Jewish? can be a revelatory opportunity to go deeper, learn more, and leave the table not only full, but fulfilled.

It is our deepest wish that your conversation each Friday night be a source of blessing, that you conclude with a richer sense of self, and a deeper connection to each other and the Jewish world.

Resources generously supported by The Lisa and Michael Leffell Foundation & created by OneTable

Why Be Jewish in A Time of Crisis?

Driven by current events, Why Be Jewish in a Time of Crisis? is the most topical of the guides, designed to evolve over time. What will not change is its focus on elevating learning and ritual to imbue even the most challenging moments with Jewish meaning.

There will be as many answers to Why Be Jewish? as there are guests, and that’s exactly as it should be. Our strength, as individuals and as a Jewish community, is in our willingness to ask the question.

Why Be Jewish: A Personal Response

“As a Jew, the collective story of the Jewish people becomes my personal story, and my own life’s story contributes to the collective memory of the Jewish people.” — Rabbi Kerry Olitzky

This guide is the second in a series that invites you to explore the question Why Be Jewish? Explore your individual lived experience as a Jewish adult by elevating your family and personal narratives.

This guide is an invitation to tell your story, to listen to the stories of others, and to add these narratives to the ongoing discourse of the Jewish people.

Why Be Jewish: A Communal Response

This guide is the third in a series that invites you to explore the question Why Be Jewish?
Explore the tension between the universal and the particular, by breaking down the false dichotomy of competing communal allegiances.

“Two truisms must be balanced both in education and in understanding the world: one is that everything is different from everything else; the other is that, in some way, everything is similar to everything else.”
— Robert Audi, On the Ethics of Teaching and the Ideals of Learning