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.

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 Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) HI to the attention of the havurah.
  • Attend sessions with other connectors and the HGF HI staff for training, workshops, and idea sharing.
  • Complete a brief monthly summary highlighting havurah developments, progress, challenges, and successes.
  • Stay in regular email and phone contact with HI staff.

Submit a semi-annual summary of best practices, learnings, and recommendations to the HI staff that will help shape future efforts of the initiative.

Who qualifies?

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

  • Be a resident of Western Massachusetts or Southern Vermont
  • Be Jewish
  • Help to initiate and guide a havurah in its formation stage

What types of havurot qualify?

For a havurah to qualify, it must

  • Have a minimum of seven people
  • Meet nine times a year or more
  • Have a Jewish focus, broadly defined
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In addition to program expenses, each havurah will have a total of $1,000 available to use towards conferences, workshops, retreats, and/or havurah development.

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 do I get paid?

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.

If the havurah wants to purchase something over $250, the connector must submit a request to Shay at [email protected]. The request will receive a response within three to five business days.

Development opportunities for havurot

The connector must apply here for conferences, workshops, and/or havurah development. It is up to the havurah to determine the ways in which they would like to utilize their funding for development opportunities.

Applications to attend conferences, workshops, and/or havurah development must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of the program. If approved, a check will be mailed to the permanent address of the connector.

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