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SHABBAT HAVURAH FAQ

 
 
What is the new Shabbat Havurah program? 
The new Shabbat Havurah program is an effort to form connections within our Beth El community. As we return to shul, to normalcy, and to each other, we will focus on nurturing new or deeper relationships through welcoming Shabbat together in small groups. Every month, one member of each Havurah will host their group to welcome Shabbat on Friday night with blessings, songs, and Shabbat dinner. This program will run for one year. If all goes well, we’re looking forward to offering this program again in future years, and giving you an opportunity to participate in several Havurot.  
 
Who can join a Shabbat Havurah? 
All Beth El members are welcome!  
 
How are the Shabbat Havurot grouped? 
Registration will be open until September 24, 2021, at which point we will group Havurot based on the preferences you provide! Shabbat Havurot are open to those of every age and stage of life. Whether you would like to be in a group with a similar age/stage demographic or a mixed age/stage, we will do our best to find you a Havurah home. Be sure to fill out the registration form here fully with all of your preferences.  
 
When your Havurah is formed, you will be given a contact list of the people in your group, and instructions for making initial contact. You should take the days following your Havurah assignment to develop a “hosting schedule” for your Havurah, determining who will host each month’s meal, as well as discussing issues like the dietary needs of people in your group. 
 
Can I be assigned to a Havurah with friends? 
Yes! Simply make a note of your request on your registration form. Keep in mind that this is an opportunity for you to get to know new people in the congregation. We'll do our very best to honor requests and, generally, to put you in a group that is a good fit. 
 
How many people will there be per Havurah? 
Each Havurah will have between 8-12 individuals (a couple counts as 2 individuals, and a family of 4 counts as 4). 
 
When will I know who’s in my group? 
We will announce the Havurot at the Kick-Off event on Sunday, October 17, 2021. (more details will be emailed to you later) 
 
How much does it cost to join a Shabbat Havurah? 
It is free to join a Shabbat Havurah. All that is required is a desire to form meaningful relationships and a commitment to participate in monthly gatherings.   
 
What are my obligations as a member of a Shabbat Havurah
As a member of a Shabbat Havurah, you commit to attending monthly Shabbat dinners, and to host once over the course of the year. We understand that conflicts come up sometimes, but in general, please make yourself available for these monthly dinners.  
 
If you are unable to host at your home, that’s ok! We will be sure to add you to a Havurah with people than can host repeatedly.  
 
When does my Shabbat Havurah meet? 
We will have a kick-off event on Sunday, October 17, 2021 to welcome you to the Shabbat Havurah program and go over some details. We suggest the dates below for your Shabbat Havurah gatherings. We will not have other Beth El programming on these evenings. If your Havurah chooses a different date each month, that’s fine too. The time of each dinner is up to your Havurah as well.  
  
Here are the suggested Shabbat Havurah dates: 
November 12, 2021 
December 10, 2021 
January 14, 2022 
February 11, 2022 
March 11, 2022 
April 8, 2022 
May 13, 2022 
June 10, 2022 
 
Additionally, Rabbi and Robin Shulman will host several Havurot throughout the year for a Shabbat lunch in the park so each Havurah will have a chance to enjoy a Shabbat meal with the Shulman family and get to know other Havurot. Your date with the Shulman family will be preassigned and your Havurah will work it into the hosting schedule you create. Your Havurah may choose to skip that Friday night in lieu of the Shabbat lunch, but it’s up to you!  
 
What type of Shabbat meal will I be expected to serve? 
Any kind you want! We suggest serving dairy/vegetarian meals. Just be sure to check dietary requirements & allergies with your Havurah. The host will determine whether they will provide the entire meal, or whether it will be potluck. 
 
What if I don’t feel comfortable with the Shabbat dinner blessings when I’m hosting? 
We will provide resources with the blessings, songs, and Jewish text-based discussion material. You may also invite another member of the Havurah to recite the blessings. You will be inviting the Havurah into your home, make it your own and share your family’s traditions.   
 
Are there other requirements for the Shabbat dinners? 
Not really. You can choose to host your dinner at any time of the evening that works for you and the other members of your Havurah. Your meals can be as short or as long, as casual or as formal, as kid-friendly or as adult-centric as you want. It's really up to you! 
 
What about Covid-19? 
We hope that by November 2021, it will be safe to gather in small groups. Your Havurah may meet outside or via Zoom, if you so choose. If we are unable to safely gather, we will inform you of alternate plans.  
  
Sounds great! Sign me up! Is there a registration deadline? 
Yes! The deadline for registration for 2021-22 Shabbat Havurah program is September 24, 2021. Click here to sign up 
 
Who can I reach out to for more information? 
Reach out to Dvora Vinick if you have any questions. 
Thu, December 2 2021 28 Kislev 5782