Hearth Group FAQs

Why should I join a Hearth Group?

There are several great reasons to join the Hearth Groups! These gatherings are a way to strengthen your connection to Temple Beth Am, to Judaism and to other congregants. Whether you’re a long-time member seeking meaningful connections, or you’re a brand-new member looking for a way to plug in, these groups are a perfect opportunity for you to get to know folks in a deep and authentic way.

Who can join a Hearth Group?

Any Temple Beth Am member can join our Hearth Groups. If you are not a member but have been attending services or events with us and are looking for a way to deepen your connection with Temple Beth Am, you may be able to join a group if there’s room. Please contact us for more information.

How often do the groups meet?

The frequency with which the groups meet will be determined by each group leader.  Some groups may meet every other week, other groups may meet once per month, etc. Please check the group descriptions to see what the cadence of each group will be.

What is the difference between a Hearth Group and an Elul Hearth Group?

Elul Hearth groups are designed specifically to help you prepare spiritually for the High Holy Days. Elul Hearth Groups use content provided by the clergy and the Hearth Committee, which is created to foster conversation and connection. Interest-based Hearth Groups (offered in the Fall & Spring) Hearth Groups cover a wide range of topics, from cooking or game nights to anti-racism or surviving cancer. The topic of each group is chosen by the group leader.

How many people can be in a Hearth Group?

We keep the Hearth Groups intentionally small so that people can really get to know each other. Therefore, participation is limited to no more than 8 people, including the leader.

Will the Hearth Groups be meeting in person?

We will have some groups meeting in person and others that will continue on Zoom.

What kind of topics do Hearth Groups cover?

Hearth Groups cover a wide range of topics, from cooking or game nights to anti-racism or surviving cancer. The topic of each group is chosen by the group leader, so if you don’t see an open group that interests you, consider leading your own! (Email us to find out how.) Please check out the sign-up page for all of the details!

What’s the difference between a Hearth Group and an Adult Education class?

Great question! Hearth Groups, by design, are not classes and the leaders are not teachers. Unlike a traditional class, where the goal is for a teacher to impart knowledge to the students, the goal of Hearth Groups is to build a network of connection and sharing among all the members of the group.

What if I know that I can’t make one or more of the scheduled meeting dates?

By being part of a Hearth Group, you’re making a commitment to others in the group that you will be present. If you know that you won’t be able to make one or more of a group’s scheduled dates, please select a different group to sign up for. We’ll be rolling out more groups, so there will be more opportunities to participate. And if none of the schedules work for you, e-mail us about how to become a group leader!

Some groups say they are launching TBD. What does that mean?

TBD (To Be Determined) means that we will launch the group once we have enough members to begin, so there is some flexibility as to what date the group will have its first meeting. For some groups that might occur quite quickly, for others it might mean a week or longer after the sign-ups have been made available to the community. Once the first meeting occurs the rest of the dates can be firmed up within the group.

Can I join a group after it has had its first meeting?

The first meeting of each Hearth Group will be an important first step in building trust and working together to create the social contract that will guide the group. For this reason, we will not be adding new members to groups after they have had their first meeting.

Something came up and I won’t be able to make the rest of the group meetings. What do I do?

Life happens. Please let your group leader and other group members know that you are unable to continue.

How do I sign up?

Our Fall Hearth Groups are currently in session. Join us for Adar Groups in the spring!

What if the group I’m interested in is full?

We’ll be launching new groups on a rolling basis, so check this site and the weekly e-mails for new offerings. We can also send you an e-mail when new groups launch. And if you’re interested in being a group leader, e-mail us for more information.

Will there be more groups forming?

Yes! We’re planning to launch new groups every few months.

Our group really clicked. Can we keep meeting?

If the group wants to continue, that’s fantastic! Have the group leader email us to talk about getting more content or other support for your group.

I’m interested in leading a group. What should I do?

E-mail us!