Havurah Initiative

The Havurah Initiative (HI) encourages and provides funding for the formation of ongoing, intimate, peer-led groups that share and explore a Jewish focus of their own choosing. Havurot bring a richness of Jewish experience, personal meaning and interpersonal connection to their members.

Independent havurot (connected to HGF) will follow these guidelines. Havurot that are part of a partnering organization will follow the guidelines specific to that organization.

Each havurah that forms as part of the HI program will have a Connector who brings people together based on shared Jewish interests.

What is the role of the Connector?

  • Reach out to individuals who are looking for a Jewish connection; listen to their interests and ideas.
  • Convene with prospective members and facilitate an initial meeting to discuss group goals, focus, and next steps.
  • Help the group develop expectations around scheduling, communication, and decision-making.
  • Facilitate the members of the group taking full ownership of all aspects of the havurah.
  • Bring the support and resources offered by the HGF HI to the attention of the havurah
  • Attend sessions with other connectors and HGF HI staff for training, workshops, and idea sharing.
  • Complete a brief trimester report highlighting havurah developments, progress, challenges, and successes.
  • Stay in regular contact with HI staff.
  • Background checks are a requirement to be a connector in the HI.

Who qualifies?

To be eligible for the role of a connector in the HI, the individual must

  • Be a resident of Franklin, Hampden, or Hampshire counties
  • Be Jewish
    • If there are co-connectors, at least one of the connectors must identify as Jewish
  • Help to initiate and guide a havurah in its formation stage

Havurot guidelines and expectations

For a havurah to qualify, it must

  • Have a minimum of seven people
  • Meet nine times a year or more
  • Have a Jewish focus
  • Share leadership among its members

What funding is available?

  • Connectors will receive $1,000 grant for participating in the HI for the first two years of the havurah in addition to up to $1,000 for program expenses.
  • Grant is paid in three trimester payments contingent upon completion of trimester reports and meeting expectations of HI.
  • Because of COVID-19, up to an additional $1,000 per year is available for program expenses and materials for Year 3 Liaisons.

How does funding work?

If approved for the role of a connector in the HI, grant payments will be issued three times per year ($333 per trimester) based on completion of required reports. The check will be made out to the Connector and mailed to the Connector’s address.

Additionally, Connectors will have up to $1,000 per year to use toward program expenses and materials. Receipts must be submitted with the report.

Havurot by Organization

Independent Havurot
  • Gardening
  • Holyoke Families with Teens
  • Yedidot - Jewish Women's Spirituality
  • Aging/Life Balance
  • Multi-Cultural Households
  • Jewish Creatives
  • Jewish Theatre Makers
  • Queeries
  • Momentum Moms
  • Grateful Dads


  • LGA Kita Bet
  • Israeli Dancing
  • Hebrew Chant
  • Families with Young Children
  • Hiking
  • Camp Ramah Families
Congregation B'nai Israel
  • First Friday
  • Caregivers
  • Hearing Our Voices
  • Shabbat Dinner
  • South Street
  • Ohel Minyan
  • Hilltowns
  • Israel Politics and Culture
  • Mah Jongg
  • Healing Circle
  • Jewish Veg Pod
  • Village Hill Havurah


  • Queer Torah
  • Shabbat Dinner For Families
  • New Member Shabbat Dinner
Jewish Community of Amherst
  • Recent Empty Nesters
  • Approaching Empty Nesters
  • Yiddish Readers
  • Hikers Havurah
  • Mah Jongg
  • Great Jewish Thinkers
  • Nosh & Natter
  • Group Art Making


  • Parent's Havurah
  • Jewish Women's Study
  • Baking
  • Multi-Racial Families
JCC Springfield
  • Civil Rights
  • Film
  • Hiking
  • Young Families
  • Teen
  • Book Club
  • Shabbat Dinners
  • Challah
  • Kindergarten
  • Westfield


  • Interracial Family Havurah
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
  • Minyanettes
  • Mitzvah Mamas Aleph
  • Farmington Valley Families with Young Children
  • Descendants of Holocost Survivors
  • Shevet LGBTQ+ Havurah
  • Brew Crew
  • Nafshenu


  • Schechter Families (Parents & Families)
  • JCC in Conjunction w/ PJ Library
  • Congregation Beth Israel
  • Beth El Temple
  • Yiddish Language & Culture
  • Jewish Young Professionals
  • Jewish Art
  • Feminism and the Talmud
  • Parents of Children with Special Needs
Jewish Federation of New york
  • Schenectady Young Families
  • Hebrewly
  • Active Empty Nesters
  • Mature Machers & Mavens
  • Mindfulness Havurah
  • Teva Trails


  • Settlers of Catan
  • Young Families of Clifton Park
  • Yarn mitzvah
  • Horei Olim
  • Second Schenectady Young Families
  • Parents of Bar/Bat/B'Nai Mitzvah Aged Children
  • Jews Of Color
  • Single Jewish Parents
Jewish Communities of Vermont
  • LGBTQ+
  • Monthly Shabbat Dinner
  • Jewish Outdoors


  • Young Adult Havurah
  • Parenting Havurah

Need help?

For any general questions about the HGF’s Havurah Initiative or for questions regarding the online grant system, please email grants@hgf.org.


The Harold Grinspoon Foundation reserves the right to decline any application.

Apply Here