Chavurat Tikvah of Southern Westchester New York Synagogue
We were looking for a more intimate, participatory congregation. The regular synagogues seemed to big and impersonal. We were very much moved by the way the Chavurath took care of a member family when they were in need, and decided that this group was for us! Our lives have been enriched by sharing our life, calendar and Judaism with such an intimate, caring group.
Peter was inspired by his college Hillel experience and was looking to find something intimate, warm and welcoming of my interfaith background. We attended a morning service accompanied by a pancake breakfast and we were hooked! The people were wonderful and the music was beautiful. Being part of a small, active group requires participation and commitment. For all that we’ve put into the group and developing our Jewish identity, the Chavurah has given back to us in spades.
Our family joined the Chavurah shortly after 9/11, as we were seeking a spiritual community at that very confusing time. What we have gotten from the Chavurah over the past 15 years is almost indescribable. It is clearly the single best decision that we have made for our family, as we have found a comfortable, supportive, inspiring and encouraging environment to explore our own religious beliefs. We have bar/bat mitzvahed our three children within the Chavurah in very unique and rewarding fashions. We have also both participated in the Chavurah Choir at High Holidays, which has been very fulfilling and also fun. We feel like our Chavurah are family members that we never knew we had!
We joined the Chavurah because we were seeking a more personal experience focused on participation compared to the experiences we had at larger traditional synagogues. The close- knit relationships with other members has been gratifying, particularly when celebrating Jewish holidays.
April and I originally joined the Chavurah to find a more personal and communal sense of Judaism within a small group of soulful, thoughtful, musical, friendly, and committed reform Jews. April and I (and our children) and now Laurie and I have felt blessed to be part of this caring and meaningful community that has provided personal and spiritual nurturance and deep friendships.
We joined after attending our neighbor’s Bat Mitzvah. Hal was really taken by the level of understanding of rituals and parts of the service, which he never had as a member of the Orthodox community. Over the years what the Chavurah has given us has evolved and changed including educational, spiritual, celebration of life-events and holidays and more.
Our experiences with the local synagogue were not perfect. When, in 1978, our attention was grabbed by a piece in a local weekly inviting folks to the then infant Chavurat Tikvah' s High Holy Days Services, and we found ourselves sitting on the floor and singing to guitar accompaniment in a member family's home, we were hooked! As Roger later said, "The first positive Jewish experience I ever had was with the chavurah.....My recognition of myself as a member of the Jewish community has grown."