Apparently I wasn’t the only one fed up after the High Holidays, because I received a nice “feelout” email a couple of weeks ago from Dan Chapman, who took it upon himself to invite anyone who wanted to come to a Shabbat gathering at his home to discuss the possible formation of a Savannah chavurah.
Helpfully, Dan also sent out the the Wikipedia entry for chavurah, defined as:
a small group of like-minded Jews who assemble for the purposes of facilitating Shabbat and holiday prayer services, sharing communal experiences such as lifecycle events, and Jewish learning. Chavurot usually provide autonomous alternatives to established Jewish institutions and Jewish denominations.
DIY Judaism, peeps. Dig it.
Friday evening marked the first meeting, and no one plotzed. The first we thing we did after Shabbat prayers and noshing is go around the room and talk a little about what we’re looking for in this “alternative Jewish experience”; some talked about social gatherings, some want activities for their kids, a few want Torah study and learning, me and Wendy Cohen want to rock some hippie Shekinah worship and at least one person wanted absolutely no religion at all.
It was quite excellent to establish right away that there really is no such thing as a group of like-minded Jews, so we all agreed to disagree about practically everything and go from there.
Here are a few photos I snapped on the iPhone; why the clever captions I wrote for them aren’t appearing is a question only the gnomes living inside this magic box can answer. As you can see, it was a happy, relaxed group of folks aged seven months to 70 and an AWESOME food spread, which is obviously a key piece to any successful Jewish gathering.
Next up for the Savannah Tribe: A beachside Havdalah dance party in November hosted by the Yentas! Email for details.