In conjunction with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York (JFNENY) is sponsoring 10 new community havurot. According to JFNENY, a havurah is an intimate community where deep, caring, supportive relationships are fostered between the members of the group as they share and explore a Jewish focus of their own choosing. The group sets its own agenda, is peer-led, and meets on an ongoing basis.

According to JFNENY, the concept of havurot has been around for generation and its goal of sponsoring new ones is to create lasting social groups whose members care for one another. Each of the Federation’s planned havurot are expected to ultimately have a minimum of seven people, meet at least nine times a year, and have a Jewish focus and shared leadership.

The new havurot sponsored by JFNENY are:
Stand Together – a group of Saratogians/North Country residents with a focus on intention in everyday living. Information on joining this havurah may be obtained from Bernice Moeller Bloom at standicsaratoga@gmail.com.

Schenectady Young Families Havurah – a group consisting of young fami- lies looking to connect within their community, Jewishly. Information on joining this havurah may be obtained from Ilene Freidman at Ilene_freidman@yahoo.com.

Hebrewly – a group of Hebrew-speak- ing individuals (ranging from beginner to advanced/fluent speaking) engaging in regular daily activities, from a Hebrew language lens. Information on joining this havurah may be obtained from Tsila Waldman at tsila37@gmail.com.

Teva Trails – a group designed for outdoor enthusiasts looking to participate in outdoor activities from a Jewish perspective. Information on joining this havurah may be obtained from Rabbi Yossi Rubin at rubin1234@earthlink.net.

Active Empty Nesters – a group de- signed and created for those members of the community whose children have “flown the nest.” Information on joining this havurah may be obtained from Paula Metzner at metzner.paula@gmail.com.

Horei Olim – a group intended for those parents whose children have made aliyah. Information on joining this havurah may be obtained from Susannah Levin at zuzana1200@gmail.com.

The Federation reports that the partnership with the Grinspoon Foundation ensures that each of the new havurot will receive up to $1,000 per year for program expenses and supplies and an additional $1,000 per year for each havurah’s connector from JFNENY. These sponsorship grants will be available for up to two years.

JFNENY still has four sponsorship spots open for those who wish to create their own particular havurah. Members of the community who are interested in starting a new havurah may find information and applications for the competitive process on JFNENY’s website, https://www.jewishfedny.org/services/havu-rah-initiative.

Rob Kovach at 518-526-6888, Amy Drucker at 518-859-4276, or KB Goodkin at 804-432-7179 are available to discuss ideas and concepts for new havurah groups.