Havayah is Cincinnati’s only urban, egalitarian, intentional Jewish community.

Radical hospitality | Intentional community | All of the noshes | Connectivity


In the beginning…


In 2015, co-founders and friends Katie Vogel and Sam Berrin Shonkoff moved to Northside in Cincinnati from Chicago with their respective partners and quickly realized they needed a prayer community that didn’t exist in the Queen City.

They knew they wanted gorgeous music that inspired a connection to Jewish prayer. They wanted amazing food reflective of quality Jewish cuisine and time spent traveling and living (and noshing) in the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe.

And they wanted to build a community centered in a home with an open door and commitment to hachnassat orchim, literally welcoming guests.

So they built it.

Havayah slowly grew out of weekly Shabbat dinners fueled by ingredients from Findlay Market and the desire of rabbinic students and community members alike to gather to pray within the city limits.

Havayah’s first formal Shabbat was in the backyard of an apartment in Northside in August 2016. It’s since grown into a shtiebel and is located only a block away from where it was founded.

Havayah has grown up a bit, but it’s still driven by a communal commitment to learning, delicious, vegetarian kosher food, and an inspired, accessible prayer practice that welcomes anyone, regardless of where they’re at on their Jewish journey.

Are you in?

“Exciting, urban Jewish life can and should be a cornerstone of Cincinnati’s Jewish community.”

— Katie Vogel, Co-Founder


Whether you want an uplifting Shabbat service, to reclaim Jewish food, are exploring what it means to be Jewish, or just want to find a friend to learn with, chances are, Havayah has a program that fits your needs.

Shabbat →

Nourish →

Learning →

A view from inside Havayah’s community sukkah.

A view from inside Havayah’s community sukkah.


Why “do Jewish” in Cincinnati, much less Northside? Stay tuned for more about our vision for our community, why urban Jewish living matters, and why Cincinnati is a pretty swell place to call home.

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