How to Sponsor an Oneg: There are 3 main tasks.
1. Buy or Prepare Foods and Beverages for the Oneg
• What you bring is up to you, but simple is fine. Here are some suggestions:
o Do not bring paper goods or beverages. Challah is optional, NOT required. Wine and juice will already be in the kitchen.
o Bring only vegetarian or dairy food. E.g., a great Oneg may consist of purchased cookies* and sliced fruit and/or cheeses. Of course, if you love to bake, please do!
* Baking? Buying baked goods? Avoid things with these meat-derived ingredients: lard, gelatin, animal shortening. (Vegetable shortening is fine!)
If you aren't sure, look for one of the following symbols showing that the food is kosher:
Of course, fruits and vegetables are wonderful for Onegs.
• How much to bring:
o We usually have between 40 and 60 people at Friday evening services and between 20 and 40 people on Saturday mornings with no Bar/t Mitzvah.
o If we expect the numbers to be different (like a Fifth Friday), the Oneg Calendar entry will note that in the last column.
2. Set Up the Oneg
• You should arrive at 7 pm for Friday night or 9:30 am for Saturday morning to get started.
A Board Member will act as Service Host. On a Friday night, s/he will meet you at 7pm to let you into the building. On a Saturday morning, the door will be open as of 9am when Torah Study begins.
• One of the jobs of the Service Host is to help you. If you need help, please ask!
• Two tables will be in the back of the Sanctuary to serve as Oneg Tables.
• Get supplies for the Oneg Tables from the kitchen. Each cabinet is labeled with a number and contents. Can't find something? Check the Kitchen Notebook (on the kitchen counter), which also lists where you'll find cooking/serving items, such as knives, cutting boards, etc.
Here's a brief list of key items and where to find them:
o A tablecloth for each Oneg table, plus an extra tablecloth to put on top of each table tocover the food during the service — color doesn't matter. Cabinet U-1 or L-15. (Children sometimes scoot around the sanctuary during services, so the cover keeps them from nibbling early!)
o Plates, platters or bowls for what you're serving. Cabinets U-11 & L-19.
(Hint: If you bring food on your own trays, set up & clean up may be faster!)
o Napkins and paper goods. Pantry closet, on left as you enter the kitchen.
o Water pitchers. Cabinet L-6.
o Big Kiddush cup and plastic sign-holder with Food Blessings. Cabinet U-12.
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• Prepare portions of kosher wine and grape juice: Fill the Big Kiddush cup with wine.
Place the small, plastic Kiddush cups (Bin F in Pantry Closet) on trays (L-19). Pour enough cups to have one for each person at the service.
o Kosher wine and grape juice may be in the refrigerator. If not, you'll find new bottles in Cabinet L-2. Corkscrew is in Drawer L-7 or L-11.
o Assume that more than half the people will prefer grape juice.
o Place a "Wine" sign and a "Grape Juice" sign (in Cabinet U-12) on the appropriate serving tray, so congregants can distinguish between the two.
o Hint: the most efficient way to fill the small Kiddush cups is to pour into a paper cup from the Pantry Closet, and pour from that paper cup to the small Kiddush cups — avoids spillage! Fill the small cups only about half-full.
o Bring the juice and wine out when the service ends. If you see teenagers at services, feel free to ask them to help you serve the wine and grape juice for Kiddush.
3. Clean Up after the Oneg (Oneg & kibitzing usually last ~30 min. Cleanup takes ~15 min.)
• The Service Host will help you—most Service Hosts also solicit help from congregants, and folks DO chip in. (If the Service Host forgets to ask, feel free to do so!)
If tablecloths are soiled, the Service Host will take them home to wash. If un-soiled, please work with the Service Host to shake out crumbs outside and put away the tablecloths.
Sweep up crumbs and clean up spills with paper towel from kitchen. (A broom and dust-pan are in the Janitor's Closet across the hall from the Kitchen. A key to the closet hangs on the Refrigerator's left side, or ask the Service Host to unlock it.)
Clean up and put everything back where it belongs in the kitchen. The Service Host can help you towel-dry things and put them away. (Dish towels are in Drawer L-3.)
Take home leftovers (plastic wrap and baggies are in Cabinet U-3 or Drawer L-5).
If you wish, non-perishable baked goods can be left (sealed!) in Cabinet U-8, our "Emergency Oneg Supplies." Please leave other leftovers in the refrigerator ONLY if it’s Friday before a non-Bar/t Mitzvah Saturday service —otherwise, your leftovers will likely sit until they go bad.
o The Service Host will stay with you until all is done. S/he will then lock up the building after s/he puts away prayerbooks, etc.
Other Questions? Email the Oneg Chair at OnegChair@etzchayim.org .