Haverut is a cross-communal grassroots network of young Jews, especially students, building friendships and vibrant young Jewish communities. Based on the value of hospitality, the goal is to connect Jews to Judaism through peer-to-peer relationships, thereby building a strong young Jewish community. The means are endless, but often start with a welcoming smile, a friendly greeting, and an invaluable invite to a Shabbat meal.
In September 2014, The Shabbat Project rebranded as Haverut in order to place emphasis on the organisation’s goal of building friendships and young Jewish communities.
Haverut hosts come from a variety of backgrounds, from Orthodox to progressive and secular, but are all actively involved with their Judaism and Jewish community, and share our values. Haverut hosts also invite their under-involved guests to future Haverut or Jewish Society Shabbat meals or events, in order to better integrate them with their young Jewish communities.
Student Hosting Programme
Haverut’s flagship Student Hosting Programme is modeled on Heart to Heart. In campuses across the UK, Haverut encourages, supports and funds actively involved Jewish students to host their peers for Shabbat meals, mostly in their own flats or student accommodation. At hosted meals, many of the guests either do not usually attend Shabbat meals or are underinvolved with Jewish student activities, especially with J-Soc. Our student hosts help create a warm culture of hosting on campus, allowing under-involved Jewish students the space to feel comfortable in their Jewish student community.
In keeping with our goal of connecting Jewish students and building Jewish communities on various university campuses, Haverut helps facilitate Shabbat weekends (Shabbatons), focusing on campuses with small Jewish communities, where Shabbat meals and events do not regular happen. The purpose is to foster grassroots Jewish experiences and connections, allowing students to bond with each other over the timeless gathering of Shabbat. Shabbatons consist of social, educational, and religious programming, tailored to the needs and desires of the participants and the campus’s Jewish Society. All students will be made to feel welcome in the shared Jewish experiences, taking into account each individual’s level of comfort. The hope is that such experiences, networking, and inclusion will encourage and strengthen all participants’ connections and commitments to Jewish life, whilst strengthing the university’s small but developing Jewish Society.
Haverut Shabbatons work by bringing actively involved and knowledgable Jewish students from London and other large Jewish communities and bringing them, together with kosher food and resources, to campuses around the UK.
So far, we have run Shabbatons at: The University of Reading and Goldsmiths, University of London.
Expanding on our successes whilst working with students and university campuses, Haverut is now expanding and working with young professionals. Once Jewish students graduate from university, they often find it difficult to coalesce around a young Jewish community, as the typical features of Jewish student life no longer exist. This results in a large drop in Jewish engagement and involvement post-university.
Our young professionals programme involves a mix of typical features of Haverut, including Shabbat meal hosting, but also a couple differences including potluck Shabbat dinners and larger events. Watch this space!