The word “Havurah” (havurot, plural) comes from the Hebrew word haver, which means friend. Each TBH Havurah consists of a small group (couples, individuals, or families) who meet socially and share common interests. Havurot generally meet once a month on a regular basis, but may meet more often to celebrate special occasions or to attend Temple events.
Who will belong to my Havurah?
Havurot may be formed by people who become acquainted through our schools, committees, long term Temple membership or other activities. Others are created by us from the list of people who express an interest in forming a new group. Havurot can be a group of individuals with many similarities, or can be people of mixed ages and backgrounds who seek the close-knit ties that the Havurah experience fosters.
What is the advantage of belonging to a Havurah?
It’s a big Temple and an even bigger Los Angeles! Think of a Havurah as a community within a community. Strangers become friends, and friends become extended family, as they enter each other’s homes and lives through shared experiences. As you become more familiar with the members of your Havurah, and perhaps have joint activities with other Havurot, you should feel more at home and part of the “TBH family.” Some groups become an extended family and others remain a more casual group of social friends. However yours develops over time, we are confident that being in a Havurah will make your Temple participation more comfortable, more meaningful, and more fulfilling.
What kinds of things does a Havurah do?
A Havurah’s activities are limited only by its members’ imagination! Each group plans its own programs depending on what its members’ desire. You can share Shabbat dinner, have a Chanukah party, go camping, or on outings like dinners, theater, museums, festivals and more. Havurahs attend Temple activities together, socialize in individual homes, and celebrate simchas – both joyous and difficult times. Depending on the make-up of your Havurah, children may be involved in some activities and not others. A member of our Membership Committee and I will meet with each new group to help it get started, but then the activities you plan will be up to you!
Being a Havurah member adds meaning to your Temple membership as you deepen your sense of belonging, not just to Temple Beth Hillel, but to the community of Jews everywhere who rejoice in the bonds we create when we touch soul to soul.