This project went through two different phases: One year where I wrote about all my Shabbat meals (2011), and one year where I got other people to write about their meals (2012). Below are the two different”about” blurbs I wrote for each year.
Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here! Have a seat, and make yourself at home. That’s how I’d greet you if you came to Shabbat dinner at my house, so why should my blog be any different? (And if you haven’t been over for a meal, we should change that.)
My name is Miriam, I live in Philly with my husband Marc, and I spend a lot of time planning meals and menus for Shabbat. Professionally, I’m the director of the Jewish Graduate Student Network, so a lot of my Shabbat activities are centered around bringing grad students together to celebrate. Personally, I love to cook, and I love to entertain, and I love that people know they can call me if they need a place for a meal.
I’m also a founding member of Minyan Tikvah, a traditional egalitarian Saturday morning minyan (prayer community) in Center City Philadelphia. One goal of the minyan is to increase the Shabbat day community in Center City, and meals are a key way that we’re building that community.
I’ll be writing about meals: what I’m serving (or eating), who’s there, the energy in the room. I’ll share recipes, pictures, and my experiences of hosting, attending, and celebrating.
I’ll also be writing about Shabbat separate from the food (gasp!): what it means to have a Shabbat community, what it means to have some kind of Shabbat practice outside of a traditional understanding of Shabbat observance, and why keeping my computer turned off for 25 hours a week is the best thing that ever happened to me.
As 2011 started wrapping up, I started informally polling people to find out what I should do with this blog when the year ended. (I wrote about some of the options here.) My sense was it would be redundant to continue with exactly the same format (me, writing each week about my Shabbat meals, including a random picture of Aliza, and complaining about being tired).
Instead, each Shabbat of 2012, a different person is going to write about his or her Shabbat meals and experiences. I look forward to more voices, more recipes, and more restfulness, and I invite anyone who is interested to join in!
When I started this project for myself in January 2011, I truly had no expectation that people would read it, or talk about it, or, eventually, want to write for it themselves. I’m absolutely thrilled that my excitement about the project caught on, and that you, dear readers, want to see it continue in 2012.
So, rather than go on anymore about what it’s going to look like in the new year, I encourage you to help shape what’s it’s going to look like!