...Community and Families...Social Action and Tzedakah...Classes...Membership...FAQ...
Founded in 1968, Havurat Shalom is an egalitarian Jewish community in Somerville, Massachusetts where women and men come to pray and learn; explore, celebrate and grapple with Jewish tradition; work for social justice; and discuss a variety of Jewish concerns. This page offers some more details about the workings of the Havurah and a Frequently Asked Questions List.
Havurat Shalom is a community where people celebrate with each other in good times and support each other in hard times. We have danced at Jewish weddings and commitment ceremonies, watched the naming of babies, and rejoiced over each other's accomplishments. We also have come together for Kaddish minyans, visited each other during illness, and helped each other in times of need.
The Havurah is a welcoming place for families of all kinds. We welcome singles, families of all configurations and interfaith families. We sometimes offer Shabbat childcare. There are children's play rooms on the second floor and a play structure in the back yard. Please see our services and events page for more information about this programming.
Havurat Shalom and its members have been involved with many kinds of social action over the years, including the sanctuary movement, helping homeless people, and the disability rights movement. Our Tzedakah Fund helps further the cause of tikkun olam (repairing the world) by making annual donations to various organizations.
Havurat Shalom periodically offers public classes on a wide variety of topics of interest to the community. Please see our calendar of events for a listing of our upcoming classes.
Havurat Shalom has two levels of membership, and we're actively looking for people to join at either level.
Here are some questions we often get asked about the Havurah:
Yes, that's us (or at least a very young us)!
Havurat Shalom is not affiliated with any of these movements. The Havurah tends to be hard to label.
Services at Havurat Shalom are led by Havurah members. We have no clergy leadership positions.
No, no one lives in the Havurah at this time. Both members and non-members have lived at the Havurah.
Havurat Shalom members make decisions about the functioning of the community at monthly business meetings. The decisions made at the meetings are made using a consensus process (vs. other methods such as a 2/3 majority vote, etc.). Consensus decision-making means (at least theoretically) that we have a non-hierarchical power structure: every person's opinion is as important as everyone else's. We have a rotating co-ordinatorship to insure that multiple members lead the group during the course of the calendar year.
Sorry, but we use retreats for community building among the members.
We don't have a dress code at the Havurah. You should wear what feels comfortable and respectful to you. At the Havurah you will see people in jeans and you will see people in suits.
At the Havurah we want our prayers to reflect our values of egalitarianism. Therefore, we use both feminine and masculine language to refer G-d and to people. We also use a wider variety of names for G-d than are found in traditional texts. These are some of the changes found in the egalitarian siddur we've been working on for quite some time. Changes like this can be exciting and often disconcerting at first, but many of us have found that in time they feel natural.
No need! Our High Holiday services are free and open to all. Please see our Holiday information for more details.
We gratefully accept donations sent to our mailing address. Havurat Shalom is an IRS 501 (c)(3) charitable organization so your donations may be tax-deductible. You are also welcome to use Paypal or a credit card to send a donation:Thanks for your contribution.
last modified: 2016-08-22