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The focus of Panim Hadashot-New Faces is to support people who want to host a Shabbat gathering in their home or community room.  What is unique about us is that we have a talented team of Shabbat leaders, led by Rabbi Dov Gartenberg, who team up with with hosts to create beautiful Shabbat experiences for to share with guests and to encourage Shabbat hospitality.  We hope to convey our love of Shabbat and hospitality to you, so that Shabbat hosting becomes a joy for you as well.

Why Host a Shabbat Meal with Panim Hadashot?

  • Celebrate a milestone for a family member or a friend with joy.
  • Share a beautiful Jewish practice with family members and friends from other cultures and faiths.
  • Enjoy an opportunity to study Torah or to converse on a a topic you care about with family, friends, and guests.
  • Experience the unique joy of the tradition of singing together and learning about the rituals, the songs, and the foods of the Sabbath Seder.
  • As an act of kindness to invite others to share in the Sabbath rest and joy.

How Hosting Works

The hosts organize a meal (see below)  and invite guests to a Shabbat gathering at their home or community room.  Panim Hadashot provides a member of our team of Shabbat leaders to make your Shabbat gathering a special experience.

Hosts may choose to hold their Home Shabbat Experience on a Friday evening, a Saturday evening (includes Havdallah) or a Shabbat lunch.  Typical gatherings last about two and one half to three hours.  Friday evenings are the most popular, but Shabbat day is a great time to host. Everyone is less tired from the work week. It is also easier to host a kid friendly event on Saturday.

At every Home Shabbat Experience there is ample time for socializing.  Guests leave relaxed and happy- and many are inspired to host a Home Shabbat Experience themselves.

Learning to be a Shabbat Host

The best way to learn to host is to practice.  If you’re new to the home Shabbat traditions, teaming up with the Panim Hadashot team for a Home Shabbat Experience is an ideal opportunity to learn about Shabbat hosting. We will support you every step of the way, so you can experience a successful Shabbat gathering. You can also attend our monthly Community Shabbat Meal Gathering or read our blog to get a feel for what hosting is like.

For Experienced Shabbat Hosts

Our team offers experienced hosts a way to enhance and re energize your Shabbat table with incredibly rich group singing, Torah learning, and conversational experiences.

The Guests

Panim Hadashot Home Shabbat Experiences are designed for seven or more guests. We encourage you to invite family, friends, and new acquaintances to your gathering.  If you want to sing, you may give some thought to people you know who love to sing.  If you want to converse, you may want to think about people who have interesting viewpoints and enjoy discussion.

If you want to share Shabbat with those from other traditions, you might share with them that Panim Hadashot follows Jewish tradition and does not proselytize. We love to share Jewish tradition and learn from the traditions of others. We embrace pluralism passionately.

Inviting New Faces-Panim Hadashot

We also encourage all our hosts to invite at least two people to the Shabbat gathering who fall beyond their immediate circle of family and friends. These are the "panim hadashot", the name of our organization and the core to our approach to Jewish hospitality.  The mix of familiar and new faces makes for much more interesting gatherings and allows the hosts to create the uniquely welcoming feeling that is the loving kindness-chesed element of hospitality in Jewish tradition.

If you aren’t sure what “new faces” to invite, Panim Hadashot-New Faces maintains a "New Faces Guest List" of our subscribers who have expressed an interest in attending Home Shabbat Experiences. Our subscribers on the list have given us permission to share their name with hosts to be invited to Home Shabbat Gatherings.

What it Costs to Host a Home Shabbat Experience

Panim Hadashot-New Faces does not charge for our Home Shabbat Experiences in the spirit of Shabbat.

Instead, we recommend hosts make a donation to help sustain our organization's capacity to offer this special service to the community.  Below are suggested donation amounts for the three types of Home Shabbat Experiences.

Study and conversation formats:  $50 to $100

Music and singing formats:   Donations are recommended based on the size of the ensemble requested. Ensemble of 2-$200; 3-$300; 4-$400. Many of our hosts invite friends attending to contribute to the donation together.

Home Shabbat Experiences for your affinity or social group: $100 to $180.

Featured Monthly Home Shabbat Experiences: The recommended donation is listed for each.

Donations can be made  securely and easily online at Donate on our website HERE.

Options for Doing the Meal

We want to make sharing the meal as easy as possible for hosts. You can provide the meal in any way you like – make it yourself, order in, or potluck.. While you do not have to have a kosher home in order to host, we do ask in respect to tradition that your meal be vegetarian (including dairy, or vegan, or pescatarian (fish).

Vegetarian/Pescatarian Potluck

We call it a Shapotluck.  The host does not need to coordinate dishes with the invitees. All guests are invited to bring two dishes to share -- an entrée, a side or a dessert, enough to feed themselves and the household members of the host. The host supplies challot, drinks, and wine, and sets up the table or dining area.

For hosts who keep a kosher home, we honor your practice and will follow your guidelines on how to organize the meal according to your standards.

Are You Ready to Host? 

We would love to team up with your for your Home Shabbat Experience.  It's easy to set up. Send us a message on our Contact us page. Rabbi Dov Gartenberg will respond within 48 hours of receiving your message to help you personalize your Home Shabbat Experience and to set a date and time.