I live in a city with a small frum community which happens to be located in a very popular location. We are constantly receiving requests for home hospitality, both for Shabbat/Yom Tov, and also for mid-week.
I'd like to go over a few suggestions on how to be a good guest, one that we're happy to host. I would really like parents to think about this and then discuss it with their kids as well.
What makes a good guest?
1. A good guest calls well in advance if possible. We are a small congregation, and when a group calls on a Thursday for 30 Shabbat places, someone has to spend the day calling people at work. Please remember to tell your hosts how many people you are. (Don't forget to mention your husband and children!)
2. A good guest is honest about dietary restrictions and physical limitations. We're happy to accommodate you, and don't want to make a fussy meal that you can't eat. We also don't want to place you with a family whose house is too far for you to walk.
3. Please don't leave stuff all over the place. We've had several teenage groups who seem to think we all have maid service. Strip your bed, and put trash in a trash can, not on the night table or the floor.
4. Get to shul on time, and behave!!
5. Bring your host family a little gift. It shows that you appreciate the effort. A kosher food item that is only available in your hometown makes a very nice impression for very little money. And please don't bake it yourself if they don't know you. It's embarrassing when they have no idea how strict your kashrut is because they have no idea who you are.
The guest who is begged to return: Helps out, plays with the kids,
compliments the shul, meal, city, rabbi. Sends a donation for their