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Hosting an oneg or kiddush is an excellent way to share community with fellow congregants. Our community is built upon the ongoing contributions of all of our members. This yearly obligation, which is often shared by two member households, is just one way that you can contribute to the community. We look forward to your involvement in the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, hospitality.
An oneg or kiddush is the food put out after Shabbat services. Lingering, talking, and eating after services on Shabbat adds to the feeling of Shabbat being different from other days of the week when we rush to get to our next activity. It also lets us meet and greet other members of our community.
According to the prophet Isaiah, the Sabbath shall be a delight. By having something sweet to nosh on, delight is added to Shabbat. Abraham was known for his hospitality and Rabbis in the Talmud valued hospitality so highly they said it takes precedence over the house of study and welcoming the divine presence. (Shabbat 127a)
The food you provide for an oneg (Friday night) or kiddush (Saturday morning) can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. It should include at least:
If you would like to offer something more substantial, you could consider:
Usually 20 - 30 people attend services - fewer on a secular holiday weekend, more if there is a special event or speaker.
If there is to be a potluck meal, there will only be one host family. Your responsibility is to bring challah, grape juice/wine and a sweet treat. If you are staying for the potluck, please also bring a contribution to that meal. You are responsible for pouring the wine or juice and setting out the items you brought. Clean up on these occasions will most likely be handled by those who participate in the pot-luck meal and your help is welcome.
Congregation Beth Israel and its grounds, including the kitchens, are dairy/vegetarian facilities and may only be used to prepare dairy/vegetarian meals. All onegs, kiddushes and potluck dinners are dairy/vegetarian and foods containing meat or meat products may not be brought into the synagogue for these occasions. With the exception of kosher synagogue-sponsored meals, meat is not included at an oneg, kiddush or potluck. At certain times of the year (e.g., Passover), additional dietary laws will also be present. If you have any questions about food you would like to bring, please ask the Rabbi or Religious Practice Committee chair(s).
As oneg or kiddush host(s), you are responsible for setting up the food and drinks and cleaning up afterwards. Food and drinks should be set up on the tables in the back of the sanctuary.
You can share the responsibilities however you wish. As the date approaches, please contact each other to decide what you each will bring and do.
If you are unable to host for your date, please find an alternate host and notify the oneg coordinator, Laura Lee Blechner. If you are unable to do any part of the set up or clean up, you are responsible for finding someone to help out.
If you have further questions, please contact Laura Lee Blechner.