openShabbat at SXSW 2014

#openShabbat is an unplugged meal & networking event on March 7 during SXSW in Austin. Meet and eat with other Members of the Tribe - no experience required!
Mordechai Lightstone
Austin, Texas
United States
1 Team Member

What is #openShabbat?

#openShabbat is an unplugged meal and networking event for Jewish guests and locals of SXSW on the evening of March 7 in Austin.

In 2010 while attending SXSW for the first time, we hosted an ad-hoc kosher BBQ . Following the request for a meaningful un-networking experience, we returned in 2011 to host a communal Shabbat meal for some 50 people. #openShabbat was born. 

#openShabbat offers guests an island of serenity in the midst of a hyper-digital conference. With a focus on a sit-down meal, unplugged networking and face-to-face conversations, guests can meet one another in a democratized setting that encourages longform conversation. Discussions and activities create a powerful experiential learning environment. Regardless of background, knowledge or personal observance, we offer a literal seat at the table for everyone. 

#openShabbat has continued to grow by word of mouth, with attendance reaching 120 in 2013. We've been covered in various publications including The Verge and Tablet.

Our plans for 2014

This year we want to make #openShabbat even better!

We'll be hosting the meal at the Hilton, right in the heart of downtown Austin.

Every year we've grown and this year we expect nearly 200 people! In order to make sure our experience continues to grow, while retaining its unique and intimate atmosphere, we need to increase our budget. As #openShabbat is open to everyone, we need to secure our funding from outside sources. 

A full financial breakdown of costs and budget can be found on our website.

This year we're also partnering with Katsuji Tanabe, the rockstar chef of Mexikosher in Los Angeles and recent winner on the cooking show Chopped, to bring a Kosher taco-truck to Austin during the first week of SXSW! 

Help. Share. Join.

All donations towards #openShabbat are tax-deductible through our partnership with Lubavitch World Headquarters (Machane Israel) and will go directly to making the awesome #openShabbat experience in Austin. By contributing, we'll reserve a place for you by the table if you come, or say a l'chaim in your spirit if you remain abroad.

If we surpass our funding-goal, we're looking to bring #openShabbat to other conferences and communities around the world. After covering administrative costs, any additional funds will be set aside for future programming. We'll also roll over funds to a small Shabbat day meal for those interested.

We're offering a number of great perks, including our "I don't Roll on #openShabbat" t-shirt designed by Marc Lumer, a noted artist and former Visual Development Artist for Batman Beyond and other animated classics, tickets for an upcoming exclusive whiskey tasting event in New York City, and kosher tacos from our truck when it hits the streets of Austin! 

Even if you are unable to make a large donation, there are plenty of other ways to help:

  • Like #openShabbat on Facebook for future updates about the event.
  • Tweet about the campaign, Share it on Facebook. Get the word out wherever you like to connect!
  • Join us Friday, March 7 in Austin at the Hilton, 500 E 4th St, in downtown Austin for an amazing evening of unplugging and reconnecting!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 92 people in 2 months
55% funded
No time left
$11,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on February 22, 2014
In partnership with
Select a Perk
  • $5USD

    Get a drink at #openShabbat this year. Yeah we're giving 'em out to everyone else who comes as well, but you'll know that your beer was paid in full and with pride! As well, we'll give your righteous deed a shout-out on Twitter and Facebook!

    14 out of 200 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014

    The Tax Deductible Taco

    18 is a number long venerated by Jewish mystics and immortalized as the number of choice for giving Bar Mitzvah checks. It's also the price you'll pay to get a special taco at our foodtruck in Austin this year. (Details about when and where to get your Taco will be announced before SXSW)

    8 out of 8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014

    The Angeleno Taco

    So you want you "Tax Deductible Taco," but won't be in Austin? We'll miss you, but now you can have your cake... err taco, and eat it too! Pick up a Taco at Mexikosher in Los Angeles. We're not sure what Katsuji will do, but we're sure whatever he gives you will be magic.

    3 out of 3 claimed
  • $70USD
    #openShabbat Threads

    Claim not only the "I Don't Roll On #openShabbat tshirt," but a spiffy #openShabbat yarmulke for those special occasions as well!

    4 out of 200 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $125USD
    Whiskey Tasting Event

    Join other fans of #openShabbat for an exclusive single-malt Scotch and food pairing event hosted with the Jewish Whisky Company in NYC. It's going to be epic!

    4 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014

    Single Cask Nation Membership

    Get a complementary membership to the Single Cask Nation and enjoy some of the world's finest and rarest single cask whiskies. Learn more about the Single Cask Nation:

    2 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $300USD
    Scroll of Honor

    Let your name and the name of your illustrious household (or your brand) be remembered for generations, when it is entered in our "Scroll of Honor" to be distributed at #openShabbat. You'll also get your set of #openShabbat Threads.

    2 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $500USD
    Schmooze Tank

    Our Sharks don't bite, but they'd love a good nosh! Join Jeff Pulver, UC Berkeley Professor of Robotics Ken Goldberg, Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain and others for a special lunch and schmooze during SXSW!

    0 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Howdy Partner!

    You'll get a complete set of #openShabbat swag with our tshirt and yarmulke, your name will be entered in the "Scroll of Honor" and your start-up or brand will have its name featured on our #openShabbat banner and promotional material!

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $5,000USD

    You obviously understand the power behind bringing Jews from around the world together for a Shabbat experience! You'll get everything in the previous perk, as well as have the entire event (co)branded with your company or name.

    0 out of 2 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    The Boss

    You, sir or madam, are truly the boss of all things awesome! You'll get everything in the Howdy Partner Perk, have the event solely branded with your company or name, and we'll take you out to eat for an amazing dinner at the kosher restaurant of your choice in NYC!

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.