Havayah seeks to provide an environment for communal Jewish practice that is at once inclusive and immersive. We recognize that this is a rare and somewhat challenging balance, but we feel that the combo offers a very powerful cocktail for the soul.
Inclusive: shlichei tsibbur (prayer leaders) take occasional moments to help everyone feel welcome in our community regardless of backgrounds and prior experiences, make sure to announce page numbers with some regularity, perhaps offer some (brief and only occasional!) words to explain/illuminate parts of the service, and so on.
Immersive: shlichei tsibbur enable the rhythms and energies of the service to speak for themselves, as it were, so that Havayah participants are far more submerged in their singing/meditating/davening than in any particular personality driving the service. In other words, Havayah nourishes an immersion in the joy and depths of communal practice far more than an immersion in any particular leader.
Want to learn to lead davening? Already have the chops to lead services? We have davening mentors who can help you build the skills you need and who can help you understand our community’s nusach. Get in touch with us to understand more of what we’re about.
We believe that everyone has Torah to bring to the table. Not comfortable leading services? Giving a drash is open to all members of the community.
Because we do not believe in reinventing the wheel, we subscribe to Kehilat Hadar’s guidelines for a drash. In a nutshell a drash for Havayah should be:
Five minutes or less.
Relevant to a given week’s parashah.
Under no circumstances include the words or sentiment “There’s a lot to talk about in this week’s parashah.” We get it. There’s a lot going on. Don’t waste your time or the community’s time.
Prepared in advance. Please don’t “wing it.” If it’s your first time drash-ing at Havayah, know that a member of the leadership team will check in with you about a week out in order to make sure that you’re comfortable and prepared.
Email us at email@example.com to volunteer and pitch us your drash.
We open our services with an optional 30 minute mindfulness meditation practice. We think we can find holiness in centering ourselves as a community as we enter Shabbat.
If leading mindfulness meditation is your skillset, or you want it to be, we’re here to facilitate you leading our communal practice.