A havurah (derived from the word for friend, connection, company) is a group bound together by a common interest. A havurah is a grassroots, non-hierarchical model of Jewish community. There are many, many Jewish communities in the US that function as havurot. Check out the National Havurah Committee for more.

Most often, though, a havurah is a group of individuals that are part of a Jewish community (e.g. TBS).

We have a thriving havurah at TBS called Secular Shmecular (as I am sure you are aware) that meets weekly. The friends of SecShmec have developed very strong bonds with each other and are some of the most active members of TBS. The founders of SecShmec are secular Jews, i.e. Jews who do not identify as religious. That said, both religious and non-religious Jews participate regularly.

Havurot are a very important means by which friendships can develop within the greater community of TBS which is absolutely essential for the vitality of the community as a whole.

So here I would like to share a list of the various havurot that are budding at TBS, along with the point person’s contact information, to help you plug in.

Secular Shmecular: Peter Simons, skisimons@gmail.com
Sewing Havurah: Come to share your expertise or learn a whole new skill. Julie Sudduth Klinger jnjsk@comcast.net
Writers Havurah: Are you a writer or an aspiring writer that would like to workshop your compositions? Contact Darren Howard darrenphoward@gmail.com
Conversational Hebrew: this group is for primarily people with some conversational proficiency already – not for beginners. However, beginners are welcome and the structure of the meetings may include material for beginners. Contact Francine Shetterly francine770@msn.com
Poetry Havurah: contact TBD (please let me know if you can be the point person for this havurah) This would be a place for poets and poetry lovers to share and workshop original poems or introduce favorite works.
Families and Friends Havurah: This group is primarily for families with children between the ages of 0-18 but anyone is welcome! Contact Rabbi Eli, rabbi@tbsholom.org We try to meet once or twice per month for havdalah and/or Shabbat lunch. Join the FB group.
TBS Talks Israel: This havurah was formed to create a supportive space for discussing, learning about, and deepening our connection to the Jewish state. Contact Bob Chodorker, bobthefish50@aol.com and join the FB group.
Teva Havurah: This group is all about outdoor outings. Contact Rabbi Eli, rabbi@tbsholom.org
ChaGaT: This is TBS’ social justice committee: Chinuch (education), Gemilut hasadim (acts of kindness) and Tikkun Olam. There are three subcommittees of ChaGaT:

1) Hunger and homelessness Laura Dawson m.laura.dawson@gmail.com and Shelley Kaplan shelleyjkaplan@yahoo.com

2) Refugees and Immigration, Alex Benenson sashazur@gmail.com

3) Environmental Justice, Elliot Maltz emaltz@willamette.edu

Please note: these havurot are for TBS members only. However, if you are not a member and want to participate in one of these groups, please contact Rabbi Eli.

While not formally connected to TBS, we also have a Hadassah book group. Contact Robin Ellison, ravshalom18@gmail.com

Are you interested in forming a TBS Havurah that you don’t see here? Please contact Rabbi Eli and let’s talk!

Another way you can create friendships is by volunteering to serve on one of TBS’ committees. Please see your newsletter for a list of committees and the contact information.