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 a grant of up to $1000 for participating in the HI for each of the first two years of the havurah.
  • Havurot will also be reimbursed up to $1000 per year for the first two years for program expenses and materials. Receipts must be submitted with the report.
  • Grant is paid in three trimester payments contingent upon completion of trimester reports and meeting expectations of HI. The check will be made out to the Connector and mailed to the Connector’s address.

Havurot by Organization

Independent Havurot
  • CT-Gimel Girls
  • CT-Legacy of Light
  • CT-Minyanettes
  • Grateful Dads
  • Holyoke Families with Teens
  • Jewish Creatives
  • Jewish Theater Makers
  • Jewish Women’s Spirituality/Yedidot
  • LGA Kitah 2027
  • Momentum Moms
  • Multi-Cultural Households
  • Queeries


  • Camp Ramah Families
  • CT-Mitzvah Mamas
  • Hebrew Chanting
  • Jewish Ancestral Practice
  • Jewish Song, Nigun, Yiddish & More
Congregation B'nai Israel
  • Am Yisrael
  • Avodat Lev
  • Caregivers
  • Creative Writing
  • Documentary Films
  • Exploring Aging
  • Family Havdalah and Holidays
  • Healing Circle
  • Hearing Our Voices
  • Helping Victims of Anti-Semitism
  • Israeli Politics and Culture
  • Jewish and Interfaith Families
  • Jewish Cultural Arts
  • Jewish History and Life
  • Jews of Color
  • Ladyslipper Shtetl
  • Life Legacy Writing
  • Madrichim
  • Mah Jongg
  • Mazel Tots
  • Men’s Group
  • Ohel Minyan
  • Shabbat Dinner
  • Shoah
  • South Street Neighborhood
  • Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Traveling song
  • Ukelele
  • Veg Pod
  • Wounds into Wisdom


  • Jewish Music/Guitar
Jewish Community of Amherst
  • Approaching Empty Nesters
  • Great Jewish Thinkers
  • Havurah Yitzirah/Art Making
  • Hikers
  • Mah Jongg
  • Recent Empty Nesters
  • Yiddish Readers


  • Bereavement Havurah

Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY
  • Active Empty Nesters
  • Clifton Park Young Families
  • Hebrewly
  • Mature Machers and Mavens
  • Mindfulness
  • Schenectady Young Families
  • Teva Trails


  • Crafts
  • Horei/Parents of Olim
  • Recovering Jewish Addicts
  • Settlers of Catan
Jewish Communities of Vermont (JCVT)
  • Empty Nesters
  • Gathering with the Seasons Intergenerational Havurah
  • Hands-on-Holidays
  • Jewish Justice Journal
  • Knit, Crochet…Handwork
  • Mindful Parenting


  • Zoom Havurah
Springfield Jewish Community Center
  • Book Club
  • Civil Rights
  • Film
  • Hiking
  • Jewish Doctors
  • Jews and Brews
  • Melava Malka
  • Shabbat Dinners
  • Westfield
  • Young Families


  • Family
  • Senior Singles

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