Finding My Friday with OneTable

A few years ago, I found myself reading a New York Times article that introduced me to OneTable. I immediately saw myself in the writer — in the way they described their incredibly meaningful Shabbat experience hosted in their home surrounded by new people — despite a few hiccups with the dinner itself.

I realized that what was holding me back from hosting my own Shabbat dinners and this leap into adulthood was a heartfelt fear that my attempt to host on my own might not live up to the memories and meaning I expected to be part of Shabbat from my upbringing. That article introducing me to OneTable was the impetus to get over my anxiety of perfection, and more profoundly, to see that other people my age were really just looking for intentional community, not a flawless production.

OneTable has shown me a more diverse array of Judaism than I ever knew was possible growing up, and I love that! It has been affirming to my own sense of self and identity to share Shabbat together with my guests, and hear their stories of belonging. OneTable has not only introduced me to new ways of doing Shabbat, but it has also held me accountable to follow through and not flake, even when life gets busy or work gets hectic.

Renewing my Shabbat practice was directly tied to the consistency of support I received from the Federation and OneTable.

I love that Jewish resources are available to me that have been thoughtfully curated to fit both ancient tradition and the changes and challenges of our current moment. The reason I have a vibrant Shabbat practice as a young adult is precisely because OneTable supported me during a time when I worried that my Jewish identity was becoming hollow.

This stage of life has its complications. This year has complications. And competing demands of time and resources can pull me in directions that don't always align with the values I hold in my heart. But being rooted in Shabbat inspires me to look ahead with cautious and hopeful optimism.

OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. The OneTable community is made up of young adults ages 21-39 looking to find and share this powerful experience. During COVID-19, they have offered resources for Solo Shabbat, Shelter-in-Place Shabbat (with or without roommates), and Virtual Shabbats (including OneTable Live). Learn More

The Federation has helped support and expand OneTable's innovative programming since it launched in the Bay Area in 2016. Most recently, OneTable was among five organizations that received funding to create a new Peer Connector position. In this role, Dyanna Loeb is thrilled to be supporting young adults in finding connection and community in local Jewish life, and in creating meaningful Shabbat dinner gatherings. Reach Out to Dyanna

Categories: Young Adults, Community


September 29, 2020


Naomi Haggerty