Shabbat Goes Mobileby Natalie Jacobs July 21, 2017
It’s Friday. What are you doing for Shabbat dinner? The web platform, and now free iOS app OneTable wants to help you answer that question before sundown. The “social dining” platform is geared for people in their 20s and 30s, those who are familiar with swiping, chatting, and showing up new places to hang out with strangers. This time, the platform is for connecting young Jews to Shabbat dinners in their area. Someone decides to host, puts their information on the platform, and the guests gather from there.
OneTable is based in New York and it looks like the main cities they’re focusing on are New York, Chicago, Boston, Colorado (yeah, not a city), DC metro, Atlanta and Boston. San Diego is lumped into the “other cities” category for now, but the organization says 14 Shabbat dinners in San Diego have been posted on the platform since January of this year. Across the country, they report 2,700 Shabbat dinners have happened in the same time period. Most dinners cap at 10 guests, and details like wheelchair accessibility, what to bring, when to R.S.V.P. and where to park are added by the host. Guests must request a seat at the table.
OneTable also provides “nourishment credits” at $15 per person to help fund the gatherings, but they must be used through specified channels like Seamless, Whole Foods, Fresh Direct and others. There are other ways the organization supports hosts, especially those who wish to gather in “welcoming spaces” outside the home.
The San Diego Jewish Journal is interested in covering any Shabbat dinners you host through OneTable, not just because we’re hungry journalists but because we’ve heard that Shabbat dinners are major entry points for young people into the organized Jewish community. We’d like to bear witness and share the story. Invite us through firstname.lastname@example.org.