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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.
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There’s also premiered in December thinks that Davis is on to something as “religion is the number one deal breaker” in relationships.
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 the recent rise of anti-Semitism across Europe is especially troubling to her, even thought it’s not prevalent in New York.
“It’s a huge passion of mine to take a direct role in stopping [anti-Semitism,]” she says. It’s inspired me to do whatever I can to continue the tradition and to modernize Shabbats to make them for the times today.
Davis incorporates bits of tradition into each dinner she hosts, whether it’s a group of modern Orthodox Jews or, what’s more common, a group of Secular ones.
(At the dinner I attended, fewer than half the group could read Hebrew.) There are small touches of Jewish customs like her logo, a heart-shaped Challah bread, and the business’ name, “Shabbatness.” Nes means miracle in Hebrew, Davis says.
“So my mom said: ‘What about the miracle of Shabbat?