All Ages, Hosts and Participants Can Get Creative and Find Inspiration Through Virtual Platforms
OneTable, an organization that empowers people to envision new rituals and build community through Shabbat dinner experiences, is helping make the 2021 Passover Seder possible. At a time when people are feeling isolated and in need of meaningful connection, OneTable is supporting people of all ages interested in hosting or attending virtual, household-based, or outdoor socially-distanced Passover gatherings.
“Passover is such a communal holiday experience filled with meaning and memories,” says Al Rosenberg, Chief Strategy Officer of OneTable. “We learned a lot last year about the ways people can be creative and adapt ritual to make meaning in these times of distance. People may not gather together this year, but we can help create those personal connections and interactions that make Passover special, memorable, and resonant today.”
Young adults (20s-30s) can turn to OneTable.org/passover if they’re interested in hosting or attending virtual, household-based, or outdoor socially-distanced Passover gatherings. Through Herefor.com, OneTable extends this support to people of all ages interested in finding new ways of making the holidays feel holy this year. These platforms offer financial and creative support for Passover gatherings, a way to connect with others interested in hosting or attending a seder (the Passover meal), and a place to share photos of and reflect on celebration. Passover resources include guides to group, solo, and Shabbat seders, Haggadot (prayer guides), recipes, playlists, and inspiration boards.
The Seder 2021 Guide reminds users that, although Passover is traditionally associated with performance and participation, “meaning can be made virtually and in small groups with the right intention and the right tools.”
“To move half the country away from my family and friends, to start to build a community for ourselves from scratch, it hasn’t always been easy or fun,” says Eli Cohn-Wein, who hosted a Seder with the support of OneTable in 2020. “But as I looked over our seder table to see friends new and old, I felt nothing but unyielding gratitude for all of these people in this community…During a holiday that commands us to study our history and act to improve our future, I can’t help but see where we’ve been and feel incredibly excited about where we are heading.”
In the second year of pandemic the need for meaningful connection and ritual is greater than ever. Last year, OneTable and Seder2020 (now Herefor.org) supported over 38,000 virtual Passover participants, building on a long history of facilitating meaningful engagements through its Shabbat dinner program. A recent impact study on how the OneTable young adult community is coping during this crisis showed that participants are feeling anxious, lonely, and stressed; they miss their communities and routines. In response, they are celebrating Shabbat more than before the pandemic – OneTable’s resource usage increased by 52% from 2019 to 2020 – to connect to their communities, rituals, and Jewish identities.