Idea of the Day: Shared Shabbat meals

JTA is soliciting readers’ ideas for reversing the tide of Jewish assimilation in America. Here’s today’s featured idea:

The synagogue is where we practice Judaism, but the Shabbat table is where we live Judaism. It is at the Friday night table that Jews are made.

Time after time, we hear about Chabad winning over teens, collegiates and young families with a Friday night dinner and some zealous singing at the Shabbos table. Yet we don’t seem interested in emulating them.

The chavurah movement of the 1970s got it right by focusing on building communities. Rabbis, especially Reform and Conservative ones, need to create communities via mini-chavurot, where congregants and potential congregants share a Shabbat meal and — who knows? — maybe talk a little Torah. It should start at the rabbi’s table.Norman Levin
Teaneck, New Jersey

Read more ideas for stemming the tide of American Jewish disengagement here.

To share your idea, send an email describing one concrete idea in 200 words or less to jewishfuture@jta.org (include your full name, city, and state or country). Our favorites will be featured online.

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