Shabbat Havurot

We want everyone to get in on the Shabbat magic, so this year we’re helping BJ members form havurot (small groups) to celebrate Shabbat in an intimate setting.  Shabbat Havurot are cohorts of BJ members who will meet periodically throughout the year to build relationships and celebrate Shabbat together.  Please fill out the form to tell us about yourself and your interest in a Shabbat havurah.  Because space is limited in the havurot, we may not be able to match everyone who expresses interest at this time, but this is only the beginning of our havurah initiative, and more opportunities are on the horizon!

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Have an idea for a havurah that you’d like to lead?  Contact Laura Markowitz.

"The Heights" Shabbat Havurah

Fridays, Every Other Month Beginning November 30 | Various Times | Washington Heights, Rotating in People’s Homes ​and/or Community Rooms 

This is a neighborhood-based havurah to bring the BJ “Heights” community together. We will celebrate Shabbat ​on Fridays and lead each other in prayer. This havurah will meet ​every other month on Friday nights. All ages welcome.

Group Leader: Mandy Braun

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Daven and Dine (FULL)

Fridays Monthly, Start Date TBD | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes

Note: This havurah has reached capacity. See below for a complete list of other havurot options.

This havurah will bring adults of all ages together for monthly Friday night gatherings that include davening (Kabbalat Shabbat services) and potluck dinners themed around Jewish holidays, customs, foods, and countries. This havurah is geared towards adults only.

Group Leaders: Galit Lopatin-Bordereau, Melanie Sherman, and Ellen Bender

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Downtown Shabbat Havurah

Fridays, Quarterly Beginning November 16 | Various Times | Downtown Manhattan, Rotating in People’s Homes

This havurah will meet quarterly on Friday nights for Shabbat dinner and celebration. It is geared towards BJ members who live in downtown Manhattan—though Brooklynites, or others who have a hard time getting to the Upper West Side, are also welcome to join. All ages are welcome.

Group Leader: Marcy Einhorn

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Food and Wine Fridays

Fridays, Every Two-Three Months Beginning November 2 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes 

Is Top Chef your favorite TV show? Does your bedtime reading consist of cookbooks or food magazines? Food and Wine Fridays will bring together a group of foodies sharing their favorite dishes for an epicurean Shabbat potluck.

If you are comfortable hosting, the group can meet in different homes. If you just adore cooking, but feel your home is too small to host, a space can be provided for you. The “host” will be responsible for the main course and theme of the dinner. The rest of the members will cook different courses that are compatible with the theme.

Group Leader: Carol Gelles

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Havdalah and a Bike Ride

Various Saturdays and Sundays, Beginning October 27 | Various Times | Upper West Side (Havdalah), Bike Route Locations TBD

Love to bike? Want to explore local places of interest with other BJ bikers? This havurah will meet several times throughout the year, sometimes for havdalah and sometimes on Sunday mornings, for a bike ride. Please note that while the riding is not intensive, riders must be comfortable navigating city streets and traffic. Rides will take place within the five boroughs and other local routes; location, length, and duration of the bike rides will be determined by the group. Subsequent dates for both havdalah and ride to be determined by havurah members’ schedules and the weather.

Group Leader: Lester Schwalb

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Havdalah Tastings

Various Saturdays, Beginning November 10 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes 

Do you ever wonder about the difference between the dozens of types of olive oil? How does one type of balsamic vinegar differ from another? Can there really be so many different flavors of honey?  Explore the variety of some standard pantry items in this havurah, which will begin by bidding farewell to Shabbat with havdalah, and then proceed to tastings of different types of foods and/or beverages.  Enjoy an evening of culinary exploration, end-of-shabbat celebration, and good cheer. Open to all.

Group Leader: Carol Gelles

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Heschel Study Group (FULL)

Saturdays, Monthly Beginning October 27 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes 

Note: This havurah has reached capacity. See below for a complete list of other havurot options.

This group will meet monthly on Shabbat afternoon to study the writings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and other Jewish resources on the topic of Shabbat. Bring your favorite Heschel piece to the first meeting. All ages are welcome.

Group Leader: Bernice Todres

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Northern New Jersey Shabbat Havurah

Saturdays Monthly, Start Date TBD | Various Times | New Jersey, Rotating in People’s Homes

This havurah will give BJ members who live in Northern New Jersey an opportunity to meet each other and build community. We will meet monthly on Shabbat afternoons to study texts and resources related to Shabbat. All ages are welcome.

Group Leaders: Howard Perlman and Phyllis Hirsch

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Shabbat Together (FULL)

Fridays Monthly, Beginning November 16 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes 

Note: This havurah has reached capacity. See below for a complete list of other havurot options.

We’re a group of 60s+ enjoying the company of others on Shabbat. We’ll take turns hosting, providing the food (cook or order in), and preparing brief Jewish content for so we can have meaningful discussion along with a delicious dinner. Friday night dinners and is geared towards people in their 60s and older.

Group Leader: Carol Dikman and Leslie Verter

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Smoothies and Single Malt

Fridays Beginning November 9 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes

A Shabbat havurah for divorced parents, their kids, and blended/pureed families. Come meet, support, and celebrate with other families who might not look like the ones in picture books. We’ll start with Friday nights, but might evolve to Saturday havdalah, or whatever makes sense for this group’s complicated schedules.

Group Leader: Elle Melaver

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Wake Up Your Senses with a Shabbat Nature Connection

Saturdays, Monthly Beginning November 17 | Various Times | Central Park (Exact Location Varies Each Time) This havurah will meet monthly on Shabbat afternoons for guided nature walks led by certified Forest Therapy guide Nancy Kopans. Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote “our goal should be to live life in radical amazement.” We can awaken this perspective through gentle, sensory-focused immersion in nature right here in our city. This havurah also offers an opportunity to build community with other BJ members. All are welcome. Specific walks can be tailored to families with children under 13 and individuals with mobility constraints. Group Leaders: Nancy Kopans and Toni Siegel Read more »

What Does Judaism Have to Say? Havurah Study on Practical Issues (FULL)

Saturdays, Monthly Beginning November 17 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes  Note: This havurah has reached capacity. See below for a complete list of other havurot options. An opportunity to explore, discuss, and debate everyday issues in small groups using ancient Jewish texts and modern source materials from the Limmud Havruta series. Possible topics include money, food, time, and more. This havurah is geared toward Boomers and Gen Xers, and will meet monthly on Shabbat afternoons. Group Leader:Karen Radkowsky Read more »

Young Couples Shabbat Dinner Havurah

TBD | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes Get to know other young couples in the BJ community through this monthly Shabbat potluck dinner group. As the year progresses, these dinners will help establish a small community of young couples at BJ who can continue to build their Jewish homes together. Location will rotate among group members, with the menu designed by the host and group leader. This havurah is geared toward couples ages 25-40. Group Leaders: Moshe Samuels Read more »

Young Families Shabbat Lunch Havurah

Saturdays, Every 4-6 Weeks Beginning November 10 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes

Families with young children (up to age 6) will come together every 4-6 weeks to connect and build community over shabbat lunch. Havurah members will rotate hosting, and can either provide the meal or organize a potluck style lunch.

Group Leaders: Michael Bar and Gabe Katz

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