Shavous Potluck: Why It's a Must This Holiday

The Jewish holiday of Shavous, commemorating our receiving of the Torah, is approaching. Here is one new thing we did this past Pesach (Passover) that will become a regular tradition for the holidays because of how much we enjoyed it. And that, my friends, is THE POTLUCK.

In the past, I never understood potlucks. You were either a guest who still had to work or a host who just cooked a few fewer things, plus you had to coordinate everything. So what was the point?

Well, this past Pesach, many friends in our building decided to stay home for the holiday, so we all decided to have a meal together.

Originally, it was supposed to be outdoors in a common space, but it was very windy, so we quickly shifted to our place.

It was everyone's favorite meal. Between all four families, who had in-laws or parents home, we were close to 40 people, and the entire event just flowed.  Not everyone sat; there was no formal table, more of a buffet with chairs and couches, and the entire thing felt like a real party.

Here’s why we all loved it:

  • It creates a more casual vibe, and with so many meals on Shavous, Pesach, or Succos, it's a welcome change.
  • You have the benefit of socializing without all the work of hosting.
  • Since you're only making a few things, everyone brings their top dishes and goes all out. This turns into a meal of literally everyone's A-game; everything is super yummy.
  • Everyone feels included without burdening one person, bringing us closer as friends.
  • Spending the holiday with your friends or family you love is really fun.

Tips to make your next potluck a win:

  • Create a WhatsApp chat. It's my favorite way to plan anything.
  • Remember to plan for all the extras, such as napkins, benchers (after-meal prayers), chairs, etc.
  • Be flexible! Sometimes, you have to switch where you're doing it like we did. You can't plan for everything. Someone may bring their food on a massive serving tray, or someone may forget a serving piece at their house. This is a hard one for me, but it's so much more fun when you let go a little.
  • Be thoughtful of everyone's social needs. It took me a long time to realize I really enjoy having company when they are people I love shmoozing with (not just someone that needs a meal or we "owe" a meal to, etc.). Your kids also have a way better time having friends over on Yom Tov. Having a mix of people everyone loves to be with creates such a fun vibe.
  • CLEANING HELP! Whatever you think you need, double it. It has revolutionized Yom Tov for me, and I will gladly work extra hard to pay for it.

Ready to plan your next potluck?

Download our Shavous Printable now.

Also, our September Planners just launched, so here's a friendly reminder to buy one.