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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 is the program going to work?

  • Once we receive all the registrations, we will group participants into Havurot.
  • Every month, one or two members of each Havurah will host the other members of their Havurah for a potluck Shabbat dinner. Additionally, Rabbi and Adira will host two or three Havurot each month on a scheduled Friday for Shabbat dinner, and they will also host an Opening Kick-Off Shabbat Dinner and an End-of the-Year Shabbat 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”. You should take the days following your Havurah assignment to develop a “hosting schedule” for your Havurah (your date with the Rabbi and Adira will be pre-assigned), determining who will host each month’s meal, as well as discussing issues like the dietary needs of people in your group.

How many people will there be per Havurah?

Each Havurah will have between 8-12 individuals (i.e., a couple counts as 2 individuals, and a family of 4 counts as 4).

When are the monthly Shabbat dinners?

On Fridays, once a month.  Generally between September and May each year.

What type of Shabbat meal will I be expected to serve?

Any kind you want! We are encouraging all Havurot to do all 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! All you need to do to make it a Shabbat dinner is to have your Havurah over and do the traditional Shabbat prayers.

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

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

Are there other requirements for the Shabbat dinners?

Not really. You can choose to host your dinner at any time of the evening 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!

Can I be assigned to a Havurah with friends?

Yes! Simply make a note of your request on your registration. Keep in mind, though, that we are trying with this project to do some deliberate demographic mixing and enable people within the congregation who wouldn't otherwise know each other to interact. We'll do our very best to honor requests and, generally, to put you in a group that is a good fit.

What is the expected time commitment if I join?

Our expectation is that all participants attend their Havurah's monthly Shabbat dinner and participate in other Project programs (like our Kick-off and Closing Shabbat dinners).

What if I know I won't be able to attend one or more of my Havurah's Shabbat dinners 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 dinners and programs, you are still good by us. We recognize that life sometimes gets in the way, and that not every member of every Havurah will be able to attend every Shabbat dinner.

What if my home is not big enough to host?

If you can't host, it's no problem, so long as there are 6 other people in your Havurah who can (or fewer, if someone is willing to host more than once). Make a note on your registration that you can't host in your home, 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! Simply speak with the other members of your Havurah and arrange to have someone pick you up and take you home. 

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 


Wed, October 20 2021 14 Cheshvan 5782