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Havurah FAQ

What is a Havurah?

Havurah is the Hebrew word for a small group of friends. The plural of havurah is havurot.


How does the program work?

  • Once we receive all the registrations, we group participants into Havurot.
  • Every month, depending on the havurah you are in, one or two members of each Havurah will host the other members of their Havurah for a potluck Shabbat dinner or lunch.  Additionally, Rabbi Michael and Adira Knopf will host two or three Havurot groups each month for a Shabbat gathering. There will be an Opening Kick-Off event and an End-of the-Year celebration for all program participants.
  • When your Havurah is formed, you will be given a contact list of the people in your group, and instructions for making initial contact. You will also be given a “Shabbat Tool Kit” packet.  Following your Havurah assignment, your group should connect and develop a hosting schedule (your date with the Rabbi and Adira will be pre-assigned),  determining who will host each month.

How many people are there in each Havurah?

Each Havurah has between 10-14 individuals on average.

When are the monthly Shabbat dinners?

On Friday evenings and Saturday lunch/afternoons (Havurah Alef and ShaTOTS), generally between October and June each year.

What type of Shabbat meal will I be expected to serve (for Friday night and Sat. day)?

Any kind you want! We are encouraging all Havurot to do their meals as dairy/vegetarian potlucks. That will help keep the cost and stress level at a minimum for hosts; contribute to a more DIY, casual communal atmosphere for each meal; facilitate group bonding; and accommodate most peoples' kosher and/or diet needs. Of course, if you're the host, you can serve any kind of meal you want! Want to have a treifa banquet? Go right ahead (assuming the others in your Havurah are cool with it)! Want to do a traditional meal with matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, roast chicken and kugel? Have at it, Hebrew! Want to order a bunch of pizzas? No problem!

Are there other requirements for the Shabbat meals (for Friday night and Sat. day)?

Not really.  You can choose to host your meal at a time that works for you and the other members of your Havurah. Your meals can be as short or as long, as casual or as formal, as kid-friendly or as adult-centric as you want. It's really up to you!

What if I don’t know the traditional Shabbat prayers?

Those “Shabbat Tool Kits” mentioned above (including scripts, blessings, songs, and Jewish text-based discussion material) will give you the skills you need to confidently host a beautiful Shabbat experience.

What are my havurah options and can I be assigned with friends?

You have a choice of joining a Friday night Shabbat dinner havurah or a Saturday Shabbat morning havurah (for families with babies/toddlers or friends that prefer daytime driving/walking). For the Friday night havurot,  you can be in a group with the same age/stages, or mixed age/stages. If you would like to be with a friend, simply make a note of your request on your registration. We'll do our very best to honor requests and to put you in a group that is a good fit.

What is a B'nai Mitzvah Havurah?

B'nai Mitzvah families (The whole family? Just the Bat/Bar Mitzvah and parent(s)? You decide!) will meet as a group at shul once a month, on a scheduled Friday night or a Saturday morning, for Shabbat services in preparation for their Mitzvah celebrations. Your family can choose to come for all or part of the services. In addition, there will be a social/food component that will happen either before (Friday night Pre-neg) or after (Saturday Kiddush lunch). When a Bat/Bar Mitzvah or multiple B'nai Mitzvah occur in a month, the havurah gathering for that month will be to support those classmates on their simcha weekends!  Click here for details and schedule

What is the expected time commitment if I join?

Our expectation is that all participants attend monthly home-hosted Shabbat dinners and participate in other Project programs (like our Kick-off and Closing celebrations).

What if I know I won't be able to attend one or more of my Havurah's get-togethers and/or some of the year's programming?  

Not a problem. As long as you make a concerted effort to show up to most of the meals and programs, you are still good by us. We recognize that life sometimes gets in the way.

What if my home is not big enough to host?

If you can't host, make a note on your registration, and we'll do what we can to put you in a Havurah with others who can.

What if I have young children? Can our whole family participate?

Absolutely! We want people of all ages to enjoy this program, and for families to be able to participate together!

When will I know who’s in my group?

You will be notified when you have been placed in a group.

What if I don't drive?

You can still participate in the program! Make a note on your registration, and we'll do what we can to put you in a Havurah with others who are able to drive.

Sounds great! Sign me up! Is there a registration deadline?

No!  You can sign up any time throughout the year.
Click here for the sign-up form.


Other questions?  Contact the co-chairs: or 


Sun, May 19 2024 11 Iyyar 5784