As a member of Adat Chaverim, we hope that you will consider joining a Havurah.

What is a Havurah?

Havurot (plural of Havurah) are small groups of congregation members, which meet regularly, usually in each other’s homes, to create bonds of friendship. Members decide how often they meet and where. They are a way for members to create a small community of friends by socializing, learning, doing Mitzvot and celebrating Jewish life together. Havurot may act as extended family with the sharing of lifecycle events and holidays and may create the beginnings of lifelong friendships.

A Havurah can take the “alone feeling” out of being a new congregation member.
It can inject “new life” into being an established member. And it can put “this is where I belong” in every member’s heart.

How is a Havurah formed?

A Havurah may be based on the interests and similarities of congregants, including family orientation, age groups or geography. With information provided by prospective Havurah members, the Havurah congregational liaison puts groups together, helps organize each new Havurah and is available for ongoing advice.

Who runs the Havurah and plans events?

The group runs itself. A Havurah has no chairperson, no secretary, and no administration. Successful groups choose a coordinator who ensures that member information is current and that events are being planned and attended, usually monthly. Members usually take turns planning events, and the coordinator is usually rotated annually.

Why join a Havurah?

Havurot offer a way for newcomers and members of long standing to be part of an intimate group setting within the larger congregational family. In a small group you really come to know others and become known. Havurah members celebrate each other’s joys and comfort each other during difficult times.

What kinds of things does a Havurah do?

It varies with each group’s desires and could include sharing holiday celebrations and life cycle events, socializing and attending synagogue functions together. Your group can enjoy Shabbat dinner together, have a Hanukkah party, do community service projects. A Havurah can go out to dinner followed by a speaker in the host home, have a pot luck supper, attend a concert, go on a hike or even spend a weekend out of town. An idea manual is given to each Havurah to get it started.

A good Havurah is a work in progress. As time goes on, some groups will change their emphasis, others will expand their scope. It is the group’s decision which way the Havurah goes.

Responsibility for activities rests with the Havurah, as each Havurah is self-directed.

As a member of a Havurah, what do I need to do?

Be committed to the group and have fun! Each member should make attending Havurah events a priority.

How can I start the process of joining a Havurah?

Havurah groups will be formed for congregation members of all ages and interests. Some will involve children--others will not. We can help you form a new group and will continue to match people with Havurahs that have space available.

Please complete our survey of interests form and return it to Adat Chaverim.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact congregational liaisons:

Marilyn Gray and Sharyn Diamond
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