Small Groups FAQ’s

Temple Beth El of South Orange County

Small Groups Initiative

FAQ’s

  • Why would I want to be in a Small Group if I’m already involved in the temple?
    • Small Groups are a great way to meet new friends or strengthen your existing relationships. In Small Group discussions, you have the opportunity to share thoughts and experiences in a safe, friendly environment.
  • How many people does it take to make a Small Group?
    • A Small Group can be as few as two people, but we find that the ideal number is around 6 – 8 people, which allows more sharing time for everyone. It’s whatever you feel comfortable with.
  • Can anyone join a Small Group? Is there a suggested age?
    • Yes, anyone can be part of a Small Group. A Small Group can even include non-TBE members. You can form a group with friends, co-workers or neighbors. It can be your Mahj group, your golf buddies, Religious School or ECC parents, etc. We would love to see anyone from teens, seniors, and everyone in-between, to be part of a Small Group.
  • What will my Small Group look like?
    • When you register online, you will be asked to answer a very short questionnaire which will help us place you in a group that is either geographically or demographically similar to you. If you have no preferences and would like to “mix it up a little,” just let us know that.
  • Do I have to be a very educated Jew to participate in a Small Group?
    • Absolutely not! Everyone brings their own knowledge and life experiences to share. There will not be a “test” of who knows the most in your group.
  • Can my friends and I make our own Small Group, or do we have to include other people?
    • It is completely up to you, although we hope you that if you have room, that you will be open to including new people.
  • Do you have to be Jewish or a TBE member to be in a Small Group?
    • Although the discussions will refer to Jewish texts, Small Group participation does not require a prior knowledge of Judaism. If you think it would be interesting to them, you can invite non-Jews or non-TBE members to join your group.
  • Are there any “rule” to how to run a Small Group discussion?
    • While there is a prescribed format to each session, the goals of the Small Groups are:
      • Opportunities to share and hear life stories
      • Reflect on the challenges and opportunities in relationships for growth through our Jewish heritage
      • The process should be easy and feel “organic.” Letting discussions follow their own path can often makes for an interesting sharing of experiences.
  • What do I do if I’m not comfortable leading a Small Group?
    • The leader of a Small Group can be the host, one of the group members, or can be rotated among group members. Your group can decide what works best for all of you.
    • There will be Community Leaders assigned to every Small Groups. The Community Leader’s job is to connect with the Small Groups and assist if needed.
  • How much time does it take to do a Small Group?
    • Small Groups will meet 4 times between November 1,, 2019 and February, 2020. At your first meeting, the group will decide what dates work best with everyone’s calendars.
    • Save the Date: Friday, February 21, 2020, there will be a Shabbat Dinner to culminate the Small Groups experience. We hope you will be able to join us then!
  • Can I change my Small Group if I don’t like the one I’m assigned to?
    • While this rarely happens, we understand that sometimes personalities don’t mix well. If that is the case, please contact Rabbi K’vod or Cantor Young and they will assist in getting you into another group.