“Guess Who’s Coming To Shabbos” Guidelines For Hosts And Guests
The next "Guess" will be on Friday, May 8, 2015
We launched the program in 2013 and have learned a lot. These Guidelines are meant to share some of what we’ve learned with you, our generous hosts and lucky guests. Thanks for reading them and of course, be in touch if you have questions.
B’tei avon – enjoy!
What is Guess...
“Guess. . .” is a great, informal way to meet new people and re-connect with shul friends, too. Hosts are encouraged to invite people who they may not know well to share a Shabbos meal – that’s the idea, after all! It’s also great to invite ‘regulars’ to your table, or to have a balance of regulars and newbies. The mix is up to you, although we can help – a little! (See below for details.) Guests are encouraged to accept invitations as they’re offered – and to let the planners know if you’d like an invitation to a Shabbos meal. We can help – a little! (Details below.)
“Guess. . .” is an all-volunteer program, run by members of the community we share. That means that everyone who works on the program has lots of other real-life responsibilities. Our goal is that hosts, guests and program organizers will be patient in their communications – we’re all juggling plenty.
Be flexible, be gracious (aka, when in Rome…). Some people like to eat early on Shabbos, others eat late. Some attend services, others don’t. Some prefer to host dinner, others, Shabbos lunch. Some are vegetarian or vegan, others carnivores. Some Shabbos tables include children, others are adults-only. Whatever your personal custom, try to be open to different styles when you invite guests, or when you are invited. (Of course, dietary restrictions, from kashrut to food sensitivities/allergies, aren’t negotiable – but they’re easy enough to discuss up front, when the invitation is extended.) Hosts, please be open about your preferences with your prospective guests; Guests, if an invite can work for you – even if it’s a little different than your ordinary Shabbos meal – give it a try. It’s one meal, on one evening, and just might be something great.
Be responsible. Hosts, if you commit to hosting, please try to keep the date and put a table together. Guests, if you are invited and agree to attend, please do so. Your hosts have likely tried hard to prepare a meal they hope you will enjoy – and will be disappointed to miss you at their table. (Of course, unanticipated events can derail the best plans – nothing’s set in stone.)
Be realistic. Guests, if you’ve been a guest before, please either take the plunge and host your own table, or sit out for a round or two, so that new folks can be brought into “Guess. . .” dinners. Hosts, if you are uncomfortable celebrating Shabbos with people whose observance may not be in sync with your own, or if you prefer not to take a chance on new dinner partners, please think carefully about your participation. There are dozens of ways to help build the PSJC community; not every program is right for every member.
Match-making is minimal. Hosts, it’s your job to be brave and find someone new to invite. (Guests, it’s your job to say “yes.”) If you’re stuck without guests or without hosts, it is your responsibility to contact the planners, who will offer you one (1) suggested match, which you may accept or decline. The planners will do their best to offer you a good match – but there’s no harm (and no hurt feelings) in saying “no, thanks,” and either finding guests or a table on your own, or waiting for the next “Guess. . .” date. Again, this is an all-volunteer program – and the hosts and the guests are the most important volunteers!