What is a Havurah?
A Havurah offers friendship, an extended family, and a great way to really get to know one another within the B’nai Shalom community. The word Havurah comes from the Hebrew word chaver, meaning “friend.” Our Havurah provides its members with an opportunity for a fun night out, interesting discussions, learning new things about each other, and enjoying different types of activities that the host chooses. This all comes about by socializing, and enjoying members, their families and friends in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.
How is a Havurah Formed?
Our Havurah will consist of B’nai Shalom members and guests that are interested in increasing their circle of friends, supporting the Temple by their $10.00 donations and looking forward to enjoying an entertaining evening of good food and camaraderie. Based on information provided by prospective Havurah members, the Havurah chair-person puts groups together, varying the attendees each time and helps organize each new Havurah and is available for ongoing advice.
Who runs the Havurah and plans events?
Every other month a new host or hostess will be selected to have the Havurah group meet at their home. The host will be given the guest information by the chair person and be responsible for confirming the guests, coordinating the theme, the dinner menu and a format for the evening. Successful groups choose a coordinator who ensures that member information is current and that events are being planned and attended, usually monthly. The coordinator is generally rotated annually.
Why join a Havurah?
Havurot offer a way for newcomers and members of long standing to be part of an intimate group setting within the larger temple family. In a small group the guests really come to know others and become known. Havurah members celebrate each other’s joys, special occasions and comfort each other during difficult times. Hopefully they create lasting friendships over the years.
What kinds of things does our Havurah do?
It varies with each hosts desires and could include topics such as: sharing holidays, Jewish life, memorable experiences, games, sharing information about various topics, dancing, viewing and discussing a great film etc. The most important rule to follow is to keep it light; no political or other topics that may cause arguments or be upsetting to any of the guests. Joining a Havurah allows you to develop close ties with other temple members and to have an” extended family” within the B’nai Shalom community. While B’nai Shalom leaders will provide ideas and support for Havurah actives, each Havurah evening is self-directed, so responsibility for activities rest with the host.
As a member of a Havurah, what do I need to do?
Be committed to the group and have fun, fun, fun! Each member should make attending Havurah events a priority. When it is you turn to host a Havurah, pick a subject to talk about or do. Mixing it up will always keep guests wanting to come back for more. The host will have a Sign-in Sheet and an envelope to collect the $10.00 fundraiser donation from each person. They will mail the sheet and funds to B’nai Shalom, P.O. Box 1438, Vista, CA 92085. The host is not required to prepare a dish. They are responsible for the theme, ambiance, set up, clean up, and coordination of the various dishes the guests are to bring. At the end of the night the host will ask for a volunteer or two to host the next get together at their residence and give the name(s) to the Havurah Chair Person. So open up your home, be creative and most of all, enjoy each other.