Havurah Initiative

The Havurah Initiative (HI) encourages and provides funding for the formation of ongoing, intimate, peer-led communities that share and explore a Jewish focus of their own choosing.

Independent havurot (connected to HGF) will follow these guidelines. Havurot that are part of a partnering organization (Congregation B’nai Israel, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, or the Springfield Jewish Community Center) will follow the guidelines of that organization.

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

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 quarterly report highlighting havurah developments, progress, challenges, and successes.
  • Stay in regular email and phone 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 a $1,000 grant for participating as a connector in the HI. This grant will be paid in four payments, contingent upon completion of quarterly reports and continual meeting of HI expectations
    The HGF will also provide up to $1,000 in funding to each connector for program expenses and materials to be used for the havurah.

What is the timeline for applying and reporting?

There will be quarterly rounds of acceptances for connectors. For a more detailed list of dates and deadlines, please see the TIMELINE for applying and reporting.

How does funding work?

If approved for the role of a connector in the HI, grant payments will be issued quarterly ($250 per quarter) based on completion of required reports. The check will be made out to the connector and mailed to the connector’s address.

Connectors will have $1,000 to use towards program expenses and materials, which will be issued in the form of a prepaid debit card. If accepted into the program, a prepaid card with $250 loaded onto it will be mailed to the connector at their permanent address. Additional funds ($250 per quarter) will be loaded onto the card upon completion of quarterly program and expense reports.

Connectors are required to complete a training on the use of the prepaid card.

If the havurah plans to incur program expenses beyond $250, the connector must submit a request to Elizabeth Korelitz at [email protected]. The request will receive a response within three to five business days.

Need help?

For any general questions about the HGF’s Havurah Initiative or for questions regarding the online grant system, please contact us at [email protected].


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

Apply Here