Open Table Judaism attempts to develop a cogent, 21st-century Judaism as a spirituality and identity that isn’t limited to Zionism and/or cultural Judaism.
It’s a vision of Judaism as a spiritual path of kindness, justice, and openness to others and the world. It’s a Judaism rooted in liberal observance, Torah, prayer, meditation, ritual, hospitality, holy days, and the best of modern philosophy and theology.
An Open Table
Central to this vision is the practice of an Open Table – a fundamental attitude of welcoming and hospitality that invites others to have a seat at the table, invites others to join the discussion, and includes, rather than excludes others from the community.
The table is a metaphor for community where people are engaged, fed, and sustained.
Humans are social animals who can only thrive when lovingly connected with others. We crave to be known and involved. Many also yearn for spiritual intimacy – a place to connect with others and deeper realities, a place to talk about our deepest held convictions, a place to be fully ourselves.
An Open Table is also a concrete personal practice.
To sit at table and share a meal is an innately human act. Something sacred happens at the table – people share food, ideas, and open their hearts.
The table has deep cultural significance. Throughout history, who you dined with, who you allowed in your home, who was part of your social circle – was highly symbolic, scripted, and meaningful. Cultural and religious convention was strong – certain people simply did not mix with, no less dine with, certain others.
The Open Table is a vision of egalitarianism, of radical hospitality, of a willingness to challenge social, economic, and even religious conventions.
The vision of Open Table Judaism is one where everyone is welcome at the table – everyone is invited to be nourished – everyone is invited to share.