Get Connected: Join a Shir Tikvah Chavurah!

The word, “chavurah” comes from the Hebrew word “chaver” meaning friend, and refers to a movement in contemporary Judaism that brings families and individuals together to celebrate the joys of Jewish life. At Shir Tikvah, they are open to all members of any age or religion - new members, long time members, those currently in a chavurah, or previously in a chavurah.

Chavurot (plural of chavurah) have been active at Shir Tikvah for the past 20 years or so. Some are families with children, some are adults only.  People are matched based on their preferences and interests– ages, life stages, families with younger kids, families with older kids, adults only.

All are independent and self-directed. Each chavurah decides how frequently to meet, what they wish to do together, and how they will be structured. One active chavurah meets monthly and has a pot luck every six months to plan for the next half year. Another one has been meeting for 20+years, and now meets less often, usually around holidays and milestone events. Chavurot most often meet in homes, although at times they may meet at Shir Tikvah or in the community.

Some of the activities are related to holidays –dinner before Kol Nidre, breaking the fast, second night Seders, Saturday night Havdalah. Some are religious - studying with the rabbis. Some are cultural - theater, movies, museums, and art galleries. Some are service related - making food for the Tikkun Olam committee. Some are just fun - hiking, or game night. Of course, food and potlucks can always be part of the gathering. Whatever their frequency, the main goal is to socialize, enjoy Jewish life, create bonds of friendship and foster stronger connections to the congregation.

Chavurah members tell us that being in a chavurah can mean that walking into services has felt like coming to see old friends, that your kids grow up feeling deeply connected to other Jewish families and the synagogue, and that Shir Tikvah is a place where some of your most important friendships reside. For those of us who are new or don’t know many other members, or don’t have family in the area, it gives an instant family, as well as friendly faces at services. And we are there for each other in difficult times.

Joining our chavurah as new members made us feel welcome and gave us an instant community as we were trying to integrate into the larger congregation. It was an example of radical hospitality, although we didn’t have the words to describe it at the time.

We will match you with others who share your interests, and help your group get started, or you may decide to form your own group.

For an application, or more information, please contact Sara.

New Chavurah starting! Join Jo Carroll & Alfred Lewald at their Golden Valley home for a small informal planning session, Sunday, August 9, 6:30 pm.

"Everyone will have say in what we do, how often we meet and where we meet. It might be all parties and it might be all night study sessions, it’s up to you. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who is interested can join us!"  Light supper will be served. For additional details, home address and/or to RSVP, contact Jo Carrroll or Alfred.

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