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Small Groups: Leading a Life of Significance

Click here for a PDF of the small group booklet:

“Leading a Life of Significance: Why Judaism Matters.”

Continue reading to learn more about small groups.


Last High Holydays we launched “small groups” for the first time. Over 85 groups came together, with over 350 people discussing last year’s theme, “Becoming Your Best.” The response of participants was enthusiastic. At the concluding event, people repeatedly said, “These meetings have deepened my friendships. Normally, when we get together we discuss movies, restaurants or our children. In our small group meetings we explored important themes and it felt good. We want to continue.” And continue we will with a new focus:
“Leading a Life of Significance: Why Judaism Matters?”
Among the topics are: What does it mean to lead a life of significance? What is the value of community? How is Torah relevant to our lives? What is the place of Israel in Jewish belonging? What role does Judaism serve in character development? How does Jewish worship and ritual elevate our lives? How does a stronger Jewish identity lead to greater care for the larger world?
The following questions and answers will help you get started.
What is a small group?
“Small groups” are friends who meet on a weekly basis for five conversations on pre-set topics. A group is as small as two people or as large as the group desires.
How does a group get formed?
A person volunteers to host. The role of the host is to choose a place to meet and to find a friend or a group of friends for five consecutive weeks of discussion. Each group chooses the weekly time during our collective campaign of learning, which this year is the period from Yom Kippur (October 12th) until
Thanksgiving (November 24th), with a communal wide concluding celebration on Sunday, November 20th.
How can I become a host?
Just notify the office that you want to be a host and ask a friend of group of friends to join you for five consecutive weekly conversations. The host will share with the synagogue office the names of their group members and we will provide materials for group participants, including a daily quote and suggested articles to read to enhance the group discussion. For many of the gatherings, we will also offer a youtube video as a prompt. It is gratifying to serve as a host, which entails four simple acts: H- Have a heart for people; O – Open your home; S– Serve a snack; T-Talk.
I want to participate, but not yet as the host. What do I do?
Ask friends if they are hosting. Also consider, contacting our office. We will match you with a group to enable you to expand your circle of friends by learning, listening, and speaking together.
The engine for the success of this engagement of learning and reflection is agreeing to host. Please sign up and get your friends to join you. The time frame is focused so as to build on the conversations. The time frame is limited, knowing that you are busy, but that if the goal is worthy you and your friends will prioritize the time.
At the end of the five conversations you will understand more fully the place of Judaism in your life and have added impetus to lead a “life of significance.”
Your rabbi,

Stay connected with your CBI community after Small Groups by participating in Shabbat ShaHome.