American family life, including American Jewish family life, has spun more and more out of control, with overscheduled kids and under-connected families. Dinnertime is a time when adults and children can come together after being apart throughout the day, a unique time for families to break bread, interact and reconnect.
Home for Dinner: Hazon’s Family Meals Initiative is a synagogue-based pilot program for late elementary to early middle school students and their parents. Programming at the synagogue allows families to explore together the dynamic interplay of Jews, food, and our complex family lives. As families make the commitment to eat one more meal together a week than they currently do. By engaging families in their home, students in the classroom, and the families as a community together at the synagogue, this multi-faceted approach seeks to re-connect children, parents, and their synagogue community.
Ty looked at the text and said he didn’t know what it was about. But he just needed to talk it through. Once he did, he was able to express on his own that food is important to survive, but meals are important to be together.
Home for Dinner Family Program Launch allows families to engage with the big idea that Jewish tradition, food, and family life are woven together. The program allows other big Jewish ideas like brachot: gratitude for what we have, not taking things for granted; L’Dor va Dor: Generation to generation: passing down of recipes, their stories; Shmirat haGuf: caring for your body, health, nutrition; Shmirat haAdama: taking care of the earth, sustainability; G’milut hasadim: acts of loving kindness like feeding the hungry to surface. These ideas will be further explored in subsequent Home for Dinner Family Programs. The Launch also introduces the idea that family meals can be the vehicle for transferring values and ethics and concludes with families signing a Family Meals Pledge to eat together one more meal a week than they currently do.
Download the Home for Dinner Family Program Launch.
Bring Home for Dinner to Your Community
Home for Dinner is currently a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information about bringing Home for Dinner to your community when it becomes available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a part of the Home for Dinner curriculum, we send a monthly email to Home for Dinner parents with program updates from across the country, recipe ideas, and local events in the programs’ communities. To see an archive of these emails, click below.
We are thrilled to have the following schools in the 2013-2014 cohort: Nevei Kodesh (Boulder, CO); Congregation Har Hashem (Boulder, CO); Congregation Bonai Shalom (Boulder, CO); Beth Evergreen (Denver, CO); B’nai Havurah (Denver, CO); Rodef Shalom (Denver, CO); Congregation Rodef Sholom (San Rafael, CA); Congregation Beth El (Berkeley, CA); Congregation Kol Shofar (Tiburon, CA); Congregation Beth Jacob (Redwood, CA); Temple Sinai (Oakland, CA); Congregation Etz Chayim (Palo Alto, CA); Edah Community (Berkeley, CA); Temple Beth Shalom (Mahopac, NY); Park Slope Jewish Center (Brooklyn, NY); Reform Temple of Forest Hills (Forest Hills, NY)
Past participating school: Netivot Shalom (Berkeley, CA)
The Covenant Foundation has provided generous support for the creation and implementation of Home for Dinner: Hazon’s Family Meals Initiative.