What is a Havurah?

Havurah (plural: havurot) comes from the Hebrew word haver, which means “friend” or “fellowship.” When people talk about “my Havurah,” being “in a Havurah,” the word refers to a small group that gathers together to socialize, celebrate holidays, or learn more about Jewish topics. They may study, worship, celebrate, and eat together. The focus is entirely up to the group itself. For many, the Havurah is an extended family.

Why join a Havurah?

CBB is a large and vibrant community of more than 800 households. Our congregation includes many ages, stages, viewpoints, and interests. Belonging to a Havurah helps members connect with others who have similar interests, to explore a connection to Judaism in a group, and to develop a community for sharing life cycle events.

What does a Havurah do?

Each Havurah creates their own experience based on its members interests and priorities. The most successful Havurot start each year with a planning meeting to set up dates and event ideas for the entire year. Activities can include holiday or personal milestone observances, Jewish educational programs, Temple activities, and also social outings, community service, and whatever else your group wants to do together. Volunteering as a group is another great way to establish closeness and practice Jewish values.

What if the dynamics of the group change or we are not getting along?

Imagine that, ten Jews and eleven opinions! Although this rarely happens, it does. The best thing to do is stick with it and work it out, just as a caring family would. Reviewing the group’s goals and expectations on a regular basis to make sure everyone’s needs are being met should help prevent this. Being effective communicators, practicing cooperation, tolerance, flexibility, and conflict resolution all lead to a more cohesive group in the long run. If there are still issues the Havurah Coordinators can also help.

Questions? Want to Join a Havurah?

Please Contact CBB’s Havurah Coordinators
Elaine Rudin at elainerudin@me.com, or
Beth Katz at brkatzsb@aol.com; or
Community Engagement Coordinator Mariela Socolovsky
at (805) 964-7869, ext. 104 or mariela@cbbsb.org

For a PDF of
CBB’s Havurah Booklet
Click Here