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Havurah groups. Closer connections.

A Havurah (from the Hebrew word haver, meaning friend) is an excellent way to get together and connect with other Beth El members with similar interests. A Havurah is a small group of 5-8 couples or families or up to 16 individuals who meet throughout the year to socialize (primarily). Many groups also get together to celebrate Jewish life & holidays, study, work on volunteer or social action projects, discuss books or films, or go on day trips.

A Havurah creates a smaller community within the larger congregation, allowing us to form deeper bonds, support one another during life’s important moments, and share experiences. For new members, a Havurah is a wonderful way to develop an extended family at Beth El Fairfield. And for established members, it can inject “new life” into your connection with Beth El.

To help facilitate the creation of new Havurah groups, and for further information, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions below, or contact Jane Hillman, Membership VP, at membership@bethelfairfield.org.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Havurah?

Havurot (plural of Havurah) are small groups of congregation members who share similar interests and meet regularly to create bonds and enrich their lives. A Havurah typically has 5-8 couples or families, or up to 16 individuals, who meet throughout the year. Each Havurah decides how often and where they meet. Havurot are a way for members to create deeper connections and relationships within the larger synagogue community.

A Havurah can take the “alone feeling” out of being a new 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 is based on the interests and similarities of congregants, including family orientation, age groups or activity types. With information provided by prospective Havurah members through the online profile, the Havurah committee puts the groups together, helps organize the new Havurot, and provides orientation at the first gathering of each Havurah.

Who runs the Havurah and plans events?

The group is self-directed and runs itself! A Havurah has no chairperson, no secretary, and no administration. Each Havurah is responsible for organizing and carrying out its own gatherings. Typically, each member takes a role in planning and hosting the Havurah’s meetings. Successful groups usually choose a coordinator who ensures the member information is current and that events are being planned and attended — usually monthly — but the group decides on frequency.

What kinds of things does a Havurah do?

It varies with each group’s desires and interests and could include sharing holiday celebrations and life cycle events, socializing, and sharing synagogue functions together. Your group could do community service projects, could go out to dinner together followed by a speaker in the host home, have a pot luck supper, attend a concert or do day trips, go on a hike, or have a discussion group on timely topics. It’s all up to YOU!

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. Some will involve couples-others will be for individuals. To get started, please submit the online profile above. Or to learn more, please contact Jane Hillman at membership@bethelfairfield.org.