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This is “Shabatness,” an invite-only service that sets up young Jewish professionals over Shabbat dinners.
One night it was Magic and Macarons, where a Jewish magician performed and macarons were served for dessert.
Another called Shabbat in the Sky was held in a 52nd-floor penthouse in New York’s financial district.
Labe Eden, a committee member at Presen Tense who has attended a few Shabbatness dinners, says he was struck by Davis and her idea from the get go. The idea could seem old school—but each dinner has its own special twist.
He explains it as a more wholesome experience than dating at a bar. One dinner was called Bourbon and Beatbox, where contestant and special guest Jay Stone beatboxed the Shema, a prayer from the Torah.
“ And I realized it was an ideal environment for singles to meet each other.” She interviews singles and promises those selected for the dinner a potential partner, a night of unlimited alcohol and a meal, at her apartment or one of the guests’ who chooses to host, all for just $36—a division of 18, or chai in Hebrew, a lucky number in Judasim—The idea became a business when Davis applied and received a fellowship through Presen Tense, a social entrepreneurial program with a focus on the Jewish community.
Davis got access to mentors, donors and business classes to put her vision in place.
She started hosting at least one Shabbat dinner a month in 2013.
“I felt there was a void in the Jewish community of Shabbat dinners in intimate homes,” she says.
Aside from Davis’ Shabbat model, there are others trying to reinvent the process.