Notes from our founder

“I love that Terumah is the Torah portion around my birthday, and for my own bat mitzvah so many years ago."

Jeanie Milbauer February 21, 2024 •

Oneg isn’t work I do, it is who I am and what I believe in. This week’s Torah portion is Terumah, about the building of the Mishkan. We learn that the Israelites, after their liberation from slavery in Egypt, spent more time complaining as they wandered the desert, than appreciating their gift of freedom. Slavery was predictable, freedom was not. Freedom takes intention.

Once their attention was put towards building the Mishkan, their traveling sanctuary, with offerings they could "give" according to their means, things changed. The details of the Mishkan were as beautiful as they were meaningful – purple linens, copper curtain hooks, acacia wood tables, a gold oil lamp, and turquoise wool. These design elements are a source of inspiration for Oneg, especially as we prepare to unveil our new spring collection, including a lavender-colored challah cover that echoes the vibrancy of the Mishkan.

As we learn in Terumah, service and focusing on giving outside ourselves is good for our souls. It is its own source of freedom from what some days can feel like the shackles of our personal day-to-day worries and complaints.

I love that Terumah is the Torah portion around my birthday, and for my own bat mitzvah so many years ago. It is about building something beautiful and holy. Shabbat is beautiful. It is holy, it is healthy, and it is healing. Shabbat is given to us to use, to remind us to stop, to put down our phones, to recharge. Life takes elbow grease. Shabbat is the antidote.

The transformation of the Israelites from complaints to service in Terumah teaches that it's in the giving, that we receive. It is in contributing to the world around us that we find our truest freedom, our flow and fulfillment. I think of Oneg as a gift. A gift of connection and community and a little piece of me inviting people to take a deep breath with friends and loved ones. It’s hard to put your heart out into the world. Whenever someone tells us how beautiful they think our Shabbat box is or how their Shabbat dinner felt elevated or different using our conversation cards, for example, I feel different.

Today, on my birthday, I’m grateful for the enormous gifts of time, talents, and resources so many have contributed to Oneg’s mission and that in turn has shaped the story of Oneg, helping to transform each home into a mini-Mishkan, a sacred space for coming together with family and friends and for Jewish ritual. Our products, from candlesticks to kiddush cups, are designed to bring this magic into your home, making every Shabbat an extraordinary experience.

What’s your take on the power of contribution?

Have you experienced a moment where giving back has transformed your flow in the world? Or perspectives? Share your stories, and let's continue to build a community of givers, one act of kindness at a time.

Shabbat Shalom!

With love,






“To be spiritual is to be amazed.”– Abraham Joshua Heschel