Thursday, May 24, 2012

Our TBS Chavurah

The mail just came. Our wait was over finally. We matched! A month earlier I had completed a simple survey sent out by Temple Beth Shalom looking for those interested in joining a chavurah*. My husband, Jeff, and I had one young child and already knew many people in town but thought it would be a great opportunity to meet even more local families. We were setup with 3 other families with children around the same age. The mailing contained a packet of information including phone numbers and emails. I hopped on the computer right away to email our new friends and organize a “first date.” We decided to meet as couples only for a dessert and wine at one of our homes so we could really get to know each other without interruptions. It was amazing how well we all hit it off from the start.

Our chavurah tries to meet every other month and it could be in any combination; a couples dinner, last minute pizza party for the families, Ladies night out, pool parties and Sisterhood/ Brotherhood events. Our next outing is usually determined at the end of each get together. We rotate who takes the lead on organizing the event.

At the beginning of the 2nd year we added 2 new families who were interested in joining a chavurah. It appeared to me like a seamless transition even though the 3 original families had already been together a year. We are a big group at family events and they can be a little chaotic at times. We don’t stand on ceremony with anyone and all believe more the merrier. Paper plates, plastic silverware and take-in are totally acceptable.

My parents who are in the 60-70 year old demographic also decided to join a chavurah after hearing my success story. They had been temple members for over 20 years but were at the stage in their life where retirement had just set in and their social calendar was more open than usual. Theirs is an adult only group of 5 couples who attend Shabbat services, plays, museum exhibits and many other social events together. I know they have thoroughly enjoyed their group and always look forward to their next get together.

I was asked to write about my chavurah experience as the next enrollment will be this fall. I encourage you to consider this great opportunity to connect with other temple members. You can decide the time commitment that works for you and what you hope to get out of it. Remember it’s not always possible for everyone’s schedules to line up so if you miss one event, you’ll just make the next one. Jeff my kids and I are looking forward to the 3rd year with our extended temple family. (For more information about the chavurah program, contact Jenny Small, Co-Chair of Member Relations, 781-559-3153 or

Lauren Greenstein

*The word chavurah means a group of friends. In this program, people that sign up are matched to other families/couples from the temple to spend time with, either at temple programs or outside of the temple. It's a way to make the community smaller and more friendly.

Lynne Dockser Cornell, Lauren Greenstein, Dana Lewis, and Tricia Sherman at Taste of the Town May 2012


  1. What a nice story. Thanks for sharing it, Lauren. Hopefully others will sign up and have similar nice experiences next year.

  2. LOVE the chavurah experience! Thanks, Lauren, for inspiring others to explore, discover, and enjoy!!