Create Your Community Within CBE
What’s a Chavurah? Fundamentally, a Chavurah is a group of friends. In fact, the name of these groups comes from “chaver” or friend. No doubt, you already have a few groups of friends in your life. But the Chavurah Program is designed to give you the connection, community, and intimacy that friendship provides right here at CBE, as part of your Jewish life. We all know that sometimes CBE can seem like a big place. Joining a Chavurah is a way to break apart the “bigness” of our synagogue, and give each of us a deeper experience of community within the congregation.
How is it structured? Ideally, a Chavurah is made up of approxiately 10 “families.” Family can be defined however you want: you could be single, you could have a boyfriend, you could have a life partner, you could have triplets in preschool, you could have children who have moved across the country and never call. Whatever your “family” design, the goal is to gather with other folks with similar interests or in similar life stages to celebrate Jewish holidays, attend temple events, visit interesting exhibits or explore the world in any way that appeals to your group.
You choose the design for your group: You can choose the families for your Chavurah, CBE can help choose some of the families, or CBE can place you in a Chavurah. Either way,your group will decide together what activities to undertake and how often to meet. Many chavurot meet monthly, but you can choose the frequency and events that work for you. You might want to organize a family visit to a matzah factory. You might arrange a Hanukkah party at someone’s home or to take a table together at the temple’s Seder. Or you might want to hire a babysitter and have an in-depth conversation with a member of the clery or discuss a recent film or book. You choose the activities so that you are sure they are ones that you will enjoy and will be meaningful for you. And CBE will provide support and ideas if you need them – both through the website and regular emails from the programming office.
Joining a Chavurah can be an incredible experience: Chavurah programs have been growing at temples around the country for the last 40 years and the impact has been extraordinary. 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 Yom Kippur break-fast is overflowing with food and warmth; that your kids grow up feeling deeply connected to other Jewish families and the temple; that the synagogue is a place where some of your most important friendships reside.
Want to learn more about how chavurot work? Join us on October 13th at 11 am for an informal discussion of the hows and whys of chavurot at CBE. If you can’t make, just let us know that you are interested and we will keep you in the loop, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Hurewitz, Chair of the Chavurah Committee