2018 Hebrew School Message

We look forward to seeing you and your children on the first day of class, Monday, September 24, 2018 at 3:30 pm.

Please return your Registration Forms by August 1.

Please submit your forms even if you cannot make a full payment at this time. Cost is never prohibitive at Havurah and anyone experiencing financial concerns should be in touch with Havurah Treasurer, Matt Utterback.

We believe that being a part of a Jewish community works to strengthen Jewish identity in our students. It is our hope that in our program they will have positive Jewish experiences while increasing their general knowledge and engagement with Jewish values, holidays and traditions, history, Israel, and Hebrew as a living language.

Class will continue to meet on Mondays from 3:30-5:15pm.

We will re-evaluate the Hebrew School schedule as our student body evolves. Thanks to all who provided feedback about best days and times to meet.

Since Havurah is a lay-led community that depends on the participation of its members,  all Hebrew School parents are asked to contribute at least 10 hours (per family) of their time over the course of the school year.

Opportunities for participation might include:

  1. Assembling and disassembling the Sukkah
  2. Volunteering at our Chanukah, Purim Carnival, and model Seder
  3. Clean-up and inventory at various times of the year
  4. Serve as classroom parent or chaperone

If you have a special skill or program idea, let Sarit know! While we believe that greater parental involvement benefits the whole school community, we recognize that not all members are able to volunteer their time. Therefore, each family has the option of paying $15 for each hour that they cannot contribute, so that we can hire additional classroom and school support.

There will be an online portal for homework and enrichment that students will work with throughout the year. It will allow students to engage with multimedia, games, songs, and more to supplement what they do in class. For our advanced students, in particular,  this will be a great tool to ensure they continue to be appropriately challenged!

We will also be setting out some learning objectives for each group of students and will work to balance academic materials with experiential learning.

Information about class structure and curriculum will be sent out in early September. We hope you are as excited as we are about the coming year, and about playing a part in making our Hebrew School a fulfilling and enjoyable experience for all.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
The Education Committee,
Sarit Katzew, Director of Education

Taste the Tradition Fundraiser

We’re raising money for our Capital Campaign and we need your help!

Come to Havurah for an evening of delicious food, drinks and fun.

For an interesting twist on a potluck we are asking you to bring your favorite family dish, the recipe, and perhaps tell its story with a note and/or photo to display. We will create a community cookbook (for sale) after the event.

Attendees will learn about each other’s family histories and ‘vote’ for different categories.


*Bring a dish and recipe you’ll get a free raffle ticket with your admission.

RSVP to HHEdDirector@gmail.com by April 20


*You do not need to be a Havurah member in order to attend this event.

In order to enable families to attend we will have some child friendly programming and a movie screening during the event.

$10/child gets them fed and entertained!

Hagbah Workshop (Lifting the Torah scroll)

Learn About Why We Lift the Torah Scroll

Monday, March 12 at 5:30pm

Rabbi Danielle Stillman (Middlebury College Associate Chaplain) will explain some of the reasons behind why we perform this ritual.

We have a few veteran lifters who will share their best tips and tricks. Attendees can try it out for themselves (with spotters of course).

Join us at Havurah House for this unique opportunity. We want everyone to feel comfortable and familiar with these customs and ritual objects.

photo credit: My Jewish Learning

Havurah Capital Campaign

As a small, unaffiliated, fairly isolated congregation, Havurah is truly fortunate.

Our Havurah home was a generous gift from the Lazarus family—probably Middlebury’s first Jewish family—who lived in it with love for many decades.

Because the house was a gift and because we have paid off extensive renovations, Havurah owns its home “free and clear.” As a religious organization we pay no property taxes and hence our only building expenses are utilities, insurance, and maintenance.

But like any house, Havurah House needs periodic repairs, some of which are now urgent.

We need to replace deteriorating shingles on the rear part of building with a long-lasting standing seam roof: $12,000; replace worn floor tiles and carpeting on the ground floor: $12,000 and repair the separation of roof fascia boards on the front porch where framing is now exposed to the elements: $6,000.

Our goal is to raise $30,000.

We continue to apply for available grants and loans, but we must count on our membership to donate generously to these essential projects.

Donate with PayPal

Send payments by check:

PO Box 823
56 North Pleasant Street
Middlebury, Vermont 05753

Thank you for your support. With warm regards for the new year and looking forward to a long and happy future for Havurah in Addison County.

Film screening: Seeing Through the Wall

Please join us for a special screening:

Seeing Through the Wall: Meeting Ourselves in Palestine & Israel
A film by Old Dog Documentaries

SUNDAY, MARCH 4th at 3:00PM
Havurah House
56 North Pleasant St. Middlebury.

This film follows a group of Americans who traveled to Israel and Palestine in 2016 seeking to see what life is like for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and in East Jerusalem.

Seeing through the Wall invites and challenges viewers to question their own assumptions and prejudices.

After the screening we will have a Q&A and unique opportunity to learn from those who were involved in the making of this important film: Rabbi Dov Taylor, Filmmaker, Anne Macksoud, and Special Guest, Palestinian Mohsen Mehdawi.

Please RSVP (clicking will launch your email application)
This event is free and open to the public.

Annual Purim Carnival

Scroll of Esther, Italy, 1616

Monday, February 26th

Join us for a fun filled Purim Carnival with lots of games, crafts, delicious food and best of all, prizes!

Win prize tickets to trade in at our prize booth and buy raffle tickets to win bigger prizes!

There will also be a peer voted costume contest (with prizes!) so don’t forget to dress up!

Come as your favorite movie character, a clever play on words or hero from the Purim Megillah. This event is family friendly and open to the public.

RSVP or volunteer for this event (select links to open an email)

Hamantaschen Baking Class

Sunday, February 18th 3-5pm

Have you ever wanted to try an outside-of-the-box hamantaschen filling?
Can’t get your corners to stay together?

Join us for a fun, hands on afternoon making different types of hamantaschen.

We will try both sweet and savory fillings and work with a few different types of cookie dough. No experience necessary.

$18 covers the cost of recipe packet, ingredients, materials and a few treats to take home! Bring your favorite recipe and/or filling to share! Reminder: Havurah is nut free!

Havurah membership not required. Register here (this link will open an email).

© Copyright image Katz Gluten Free

Tu B’Shevat Seder & Kabbalat Shabbat Potluck

February 10 at 6:15pm
Havurah House, 56 N. Pleasant St.

Join us at 6:15 pm, Friday Feb. 10th, 2018 to celebrate both Kabbalat Shabbat and Tu b’Shevat with a brief seder of wine, chanting, poetry, and song to celebrate our spiritual connection to nature and one another.

Come unwind from the week and start Shabbat off right! We’ll have fresh baked challah, delicious dishes to share and a special booklet to guide us through the evening with prayers, readings, chanting and more. Services will be led by Rabbi David Edleson.

Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect and let us know if you’re able to bring fruit (in addition to potluck items).

We need: Grapes, raisins, oranges, dates, apricots, etc. especially oranges (fruit with peel), dates, peach, or avocado (fruit with pit), and grapes (fruit that is entirely edible).

To comply with Havurah’s Allergy and Kashrut policies please make sure that dishes contain NO Tree nuts or peanuts, NO shellfish or pork and do not mix meat and milk in the same dish. 

Kabbalat Shabbat Led by Rabbi David Edleson, Friday, Dec. 1st

Kabbalat Shabbat Led by Rabbi David Edleson

Friday, December 1st at 6:30pm
David will be leading a song-filled and song-centered Kabbalat Shabbat service.  We will sing some familiar favorites,  and some great new upbeat tunes from groups like Nava Tehila.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the Hebrew – David will go over them and teach the tunes so everyone can participate.  Singing in groups is an ancient human technology for creating joy in life, or what Emile Durkheim called ‘collective effervescence.”
As the days get darker, and the news gets darker, we all need to make time for joy, for honoring our core values, and for community.  If there is a song you would like to share or teach, let David know.
Services will be followed by a small potluck oneg so please let us know what you can bring to share.

Chanukah Mini Session Sunday, Dec. 3rd

Chanukah Mini Session

Sunday, December 3rd 2:30-3:15pm
Our next mini session will meet Sunday afternoon December 3rd for fun activities, music and learning based around the upcoming Chanukah holiday. Our sessions are led by a Middlebury College/Hillel student and our Director of Education.

Mini Sessions are $18 each or $95 for enrollment in all sessions. Attendance at previous sessions is not required in order to participate.

Sessions are geared at 3-5 year olds and a parent/guardian must attend as well. We use a family learning model to explore Jewish holidays and themes in a fun, hands on way.
To register or for more information please contact Director of Education, Sarit Katzew.