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Havurot

A Havurah is a group of people from within the larger Temple community who gather together to form an extended ‘family’.  Temple Isaiah helps our members to form havurot and then they continue on their own. We do our best to maintain a database of active havurot, including those with any availability for new members. Once formed, members decide together on activities and how often to meet. Havurot (plural for Havurah) may celebrate holidays and life cycle events, learn more about Jewish topics of interest, and perform mitzvot together.

Havurah events can be social, service-oriented, spiritual, study-based, or a combination of activities. Groups meet regularly in members’ homes (often monthly) or at other places such as the Temple, movies, museums, parks, etc. Members usually form lasting bonds by creating a caring and close community within Temple Isaiah. People within the Havurah become extended families. Some havurot at Temple Isaiah have been meeting together for over 30 years, sharing the significant moments of life.

In a Havurah?

CLICK HERE to join the Havurah database.

Please keep in touch with the Temple office when your members change, especially if you have availability for others to join. Please share your milestones and contact us for support.

Here are some tips for success from other Havurot:
• Start with the holidays to kick things off right
• Set criteria for attendance and programming
• Set a regular monthly meeting date
• Vary activities
• Be consistent
• Remember that you’re not looking for your new best friends
• Plan out in advance many months of get togethers
• Make a commitment to attend every month
• Let it happen organically
• Keep an open mind about whether or not a family will “fit”
• Have the Rabbi there for the first meeting and invite them to provide resources and learning
• Have fun together. Do both family and adult only activities!
• Allow evolution over time to different formats
• Be very accepting and non-judgmental of your members
• Be flexible
• As with families, havurot change over time. Embrace the change

Sample Activities
• Get together for holidays
• Attend Shabbat services as a group - whether Friday night, Saturday morning, Mussar & Meditation, Tot Shabbat, or Shabbatarama
• Attend upcoming events at Temple together (see weekly enewsletter)
• Go to a sporting event together (basketball game, baseball game, etc.)
• Gather in the park for a picnic (if the weather is good)
• Volunteer with Jewish Family and Community Services - see http://jfcs-eastbay.org/getting-started/ or contact Temple Isaiah member Kathryn Winogura, who is the volunteer coordinator for JFCS, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
• Consider family-friendly volunteer opportunities with Give Together
• Harvest fruit to donate with Urban Farmers
• Go on a Shabbat walk or hike or bike ride as a group
• Do a ‘movie night’ with a Jewish-themed film
• Plan a study session with one of Temple Isaiah’s rabbis on the topic of your choosing

Interested in joining a Havurah?

CLICK HERE to share your interest in joining a Havurah

We will contact you if a havurah opportunity becomes available.

Questions? Please contact the Temple office at (925) 283-8575.