Are you looking to meet new people and make friends at Temple Emanuel? Have you considered a chavurah? Do you know what a chavurah is and what it might offer you? Whether you’re new to Temple Emanuel or a long-time member, you may love it. Read below for more information.
What is a Chavurah?
The word chavurah comes from the Hebrew word “chaver”, meaning friend. A chavurah is a group of Temple members who gather regularly throughout the year to socialize, learn, and celebrate Jewish life together. The original chavurot (plural of chavurah) sprang up within some congregations in the 1960s as part of the counterculture of that era.
Chavurot are small groupings of Temple members who share Jewish experiences. They are a great way to meet other members in more personal and informal settings where new friendships can develop. Chavurah members may be linked by any number of factors, such as new congregants, parents of religious school students, young singles, and senior members. Each group decides to focus on Jewish themes and ideas that are interesting and meaningful to them.
Some of our Temple chavurot have been together through many years of shared experiences. Parents joined when their children were starting religious school, and the families grew close over the years – through b’nai mitzvot, confirmations, weddings and grandchildren. Members have celebrated simchas together, and they’ve comforted each other through illnesses and deaths.
What does a Chavurah do?
Among the joys of chavurah are sharing Shabbat, life cycle events, and the Jewish holidays, but chavurah members choose their own activities. They can be pot-luck dinners, building sukkot, attending services, discussing issues of faith, going apple picking, attending concerts or plays, or engaging in Tikkun Olam activities. It’s your choice!
How large is a Chavurah, how often does it meet?
Our Temple chavurot are usually made up of 6-8 families or 15-20 individuals. The number, frequency, and day and time of meetings are entirely decided by the group’s members. Most groups meet monthly or semi-monthly, in the homes of their members or wherever they choose for an activity.
How do I join a Chavurah?
The process of joining a chavurah is simple. Let us know of your interest and you will be contacted by our chavurah coordinator, Larry Hershman, who will use information you provide to make the best possible placement for you by matching interests, age groups, etc.
Maybe you’re new to the Temple. Maybe you have children in the religious school (in fact, your children are getting to know each other and would love fun get-togethers away from school). Maybe you’re a longtime member, and now that your children are grown, you’re looking to connect with other empty nesters. Maybe you’ve lost your spouse or partner and would like more companionship, more human contact. Joining a chavurah can give you a greater sense of community within the larger Temple Emanuel family – a feeling of an extended family. Like family, chavurah members form lasting bonds that play an important role during times of joy and sadness. These connections – this closeness – also contribute to Temple Emanuel’s vision of building and maintaining community.
Please contact our chavurah coordinator, Larry Hershman, or call the Temple office at (301) 942-2000 to let them know of your interest.