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HEAConnect -

HEAConnect Groups are regular gatherings of five to fifteen members in people’s homes, offices, and other places that promote relationship building.  They are led by HEAConnect Group Leaders. Some HEAConnect Groups will connect around common interests and affinities. Other groups will gather to discuss topics of deep concern or importance to their lives. All will engage in meaningful conversations and learning through curriculum provided by HEA. 

For the last 18+ years, life has revolved around our kids. Suddenly, they are off to college or have FINALLY moved out! You may be learning what life is like when the role of parent is no longer your primary identifier. How do you spend your extra time? How do you find new friends who have arrived at this same exciting stage of life? Where do you fit in at HEA among all the families with school-age children? Enter "SLAK" (Social Life After Kids!). This HEAConnect group is for parents who have recently become empty nesters and are looking to meet new people and connect with HEA in a new way. If you have any questions regarding the SLAK group please email Leslie Levine at teachbeach@yahoo.com.
*Group is open to couples and singles alike who have children who have flown the coop in the last four years.

Gather online to choose a movie, watch it on your own, and get back together for a online discussion.

Do you enjoy reminiscing and reconnecting with childhood friends from the West Side. We would be delighted to have you become part of a newly formed connect group of West Siders of all generations.  Get acquainted with childhood friends and make new ones. 

HOPE TO HOME
We are a small, collaborative group of fellow congregants who answered the HEA Connect call to form a Tikkun Olam group. We chose to focus our repairing the world efforts at helping those in Denver’s unhoused community.

This group is for active grandparents of young children. Get together with other young grandparents to celebrate the best part of parenting, grand parenting! We will spend time getting to know each other, and learning together as we navigate this exciting chapter of Jewish, engaged grand parenting!
 

This group will explore what your best life might look like beyond your retirement. The right members for this group will be ready and willing to open up and think about what to do during your best years post career.
Led by Shelley Lazear

Wine is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy time in our beautiful state! Tasting wine is an art form in itself. If you know can describe the quality and quantity of tannins in a glass of wine, this HEAConnect group might be a good fit. Get together for monthly or more wine tastings virtually or socially distanced in person this fall, and meet other wine lovers. Make your way through Red and White wine varietals and regions.
Led by Ken Lazear

Are you just starting out a family and live in or near Parker? This group is for young couples with or without children who live in the Parker Area.
Led by Parker young families

Let’s build something special together! The Habitat Interfaith Alliance is a coalition of 6 synagogues (including the HEA) and 5 churches that raises money and build homes with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. The coalition began 18 years ago with HEA as a founding member. We are currently finishing our 19th home build in Denver. This HEAConnect group is to support the coalition and to learn more about housing issues and Jewish values. The first meeting will take place during Sukkot, probably as a Zoom meeting depending on weather.
Led by Naomi Kirshner

Curriculum -

On this page, you will find many different curricula for your small group to learn through. We hope that you begin with the Ask Big Questions series, but there are many more opportunities to learn through the wonderful resources below. This page is evolving, and we intend to continue to add to the resources below.

ASK BIG QUESTIONS
Ask Big Questions is an initiative of Hillel International as a way to bring the energy of students to a new kind of conversation about life’s Big Questions. What began as student conversations quickly morphed into something bigger when they realized this model would work for diverse participants in every stage of life, not just students.  Big Question conversations support and strengthen civic habits of listening, civility, and engaging diverse perspectives, which are important steps toward better problem solving.

THE BEN FRANKLIN CIRCLES
The Ben Franklin Circles (BFC) is a collaborative project of 92nd Street Y (92Y), the Hoover Institution, and Citizen University. BFC reflects a shared commitment to fostering civic participation, open dialogue, and ethics-based leadership. For more information, on BFC, click HERE. 

DEATH OVER DINNER
This adventure began when we learned that 75% of Americans want to die at home, yet only 25% of them do. When we learned that how we end our lives is the most important and costly conversation America is not having. And when we realized that a conversation among loved ones, friends, and even strangers could begin to change these numbers, and bring the conversation about death back into mainstream culture.

m2 - The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education - Value Sparks
Value Sparks are interactive educational resources designed with the signature M² approach: experiential activities using multiple modalities; stimulating values explorations through Jewish texts and ideas; presented in a beautiful, ready-to-use platform.

Each Spark contains multiple activities, exercises and discussion prompts. Use it in full, or choose a small piece to ignite learning (and fun!) among learners, family and friends.

Value Sparks

Relational Judaism Question Bank -

Looking for a question that will get a conversation going?  Use one of the following questions to start a memorable and transformative conversation: 

QUESTIONS THAT ARE ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL

  • What is your story?
  • What is one of your most powerful memories?
  • What is your most impactful Jewish memory?
  • What is your favorite Jewish holiday and why?
  • What is one of your favorite family traditions and why?
  • What absolutely excites you right now?
  • What motivates you to live life to its fullest?
  • What book has influenced you the most?
  • If you could do anything you wanted tonight (anywhere, for any amount of money), what would you do and why?
  • If you had the opportunity to meet one person you have not met who would it be, why and what would you talk about?
  • What’s the most important thing I should know about you?
  • What do you value more, intelligence or common sense?
  • What movie or television series is your favorite guilty pleasure, and why?
  • You are stuck on a deserted island, and you can only take three things. What would they be?
  • When and where were you happiest in your life?
  • What do you think is the driving force in your life?
  • What is something positive that happened to you this past week/month?
  • What have you read or learned recently that energized you?
  • If you could go back to any age, which would you choose and why?
  • If you could have dinner with a deceased family member, who would it be and why?
  • Where did you grow up and what was it like to grow up there?
  • How did you come to be a part of Hebrew Educational Alliance and why?
  • What is one thing you are excited about right now and why?
  • What do you love most about your life and love sharing with others?
  • When you think about the impact Judaism has had on your life, how would you describe it?
  • What are the greatest opportunities we have to impact lives?
  • What is your greatest concern or worry in your life?
  • What brings you joy? Peace? Equanimity? Anxiety?
  • What nourishes you in your life?
  • How do you spend time with your family?
  • What is a story from your life, the results of which has come to define who you are?

QUESTIONS THAT ARE JEWISH CALENDAR RELATED
As we begin to think about the New Year, what do you hope your Jewish community will gift you this year? What do you expect to gift back?

We start the Torah again this month and we reread the story in Genesis about the Creation story. Even though it is forbidden in the Talmud for Jews to speculate about the time before Creation, they do anyway, as they want to know the reasons that God decided to create the world. One understanding they propose is simple: God was lonely and the only cure was to be in relationship. We were made in God’s image (or we made God in our image) so we know that this is a fundamental need for humans as well – to know we are not alone. Please discuss as a group: When do we need each other?

As the darkest part of the year is upon us, tell a story about something that brings light into your life?

In what ways do you connect to nature? How does it feed you?

Torah teaches: “V’ahavta l’re’echa kamocha,” love your neighbor as yourself. Share a story of when you’ve done this well in your life over the past few months. How was that experience for you? What did you learn about yourself and the other person?

Purim is about turning things in our lives on their head. What are some places in your life that you take very seriously? What are other parts that you hold more lightly? What would it look like to switch them every now and again? What kinds of joy might you discover?

Have you ever noticed that there are five questions in the 4 Questions during the Passover Seder? For some reason, our sages also made the first, most famous line, “Mah Nishtanah..”, into a question. But we know that Torah and our ancient texts didn’t have punctuation. The first question could really be a statement of delight, of noticing. How different this night is from all other nights!! Passover, in this light, comes to teach us about awareness and paying attention to the changes as our lives evolve and as we grow. In your daily life right now, share a story with your group about something you’ve noticed lately, something different than the norm.

The month often corresponds with the Jewish holidays of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day), and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). No matter your political views on Israel, we can all agree that these holidays orient us towards a deep awareness of our peoplehood – the idea that wherever Jews live, we are responsible to care for one another. Jews across the globe need each other. Share with your group about a time when you had a real sense of caring for/being cared for by the greater Jewish community, whether in Israel or abroad.

Soon, we’ll celebrate Shavuot, the moment when God gave the Jewish people the Torah at Mt. Sinai. This was the first moment of revelation, the decoding of the meaning of life and our role in this world. But many rabbis and Jewish scholars for thousands of years have argued that revelation may have begun there but did not end there. Revelation is continuous; we are privy to these messages in many moments throughout our lives. Tell a story of time when you felt that something important was revealed to you about your role in this world or the meaning of your life. How did it affect your relationships? Your job? Your down time?

This Shabbat, we’ll read the often overlooked Parashat Balak. It comes in the summer, so it goes unstudied by many, and yet it’s an amazing story about a talking donkey that reprimands a priest who comes to curse the people of Israel. He is so moved by this miracle that he cannot but bless the people with the words you will know from our morning tefillot (prayers): “Mah tovu ohalecha Ya’akov. How lovely are your tents, O Jacob…” He sees the beauty in the people of Israel. Tell a story of a time when you were proud to be a Jew, and would have been prompted into singing Israel’s praises.

This month we commemorate Tisha B’Av, which remembers the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem so many years ago. What is a part of your life that you’d like to see destroyed? What is worth working to preserve or rebuild?

Contact HEAConnect Leadership

 

CONTACT US

HEAConnect FAQs -

HOW BIG OR SMALL SHOULD A TRIBE BE?
> There is no one size fits all. HEA Connect groups can be smaller or larger ranging from 5-15. The ideal size for a small group is 10-12 people. This size fosters deep connections and robust discussions between members in which everyone’s voice can be heard. If you have a few people who are interested in doing this together, but would like to have a larger HEAConnect group, HEA is here to help connect your idea to the community members who will make your group flourish.

WHEN AND WHERE DO WE MEET?
> Aside from communal experiences in which all HEAConnect groups come together at HEA, your HEAConnect Group will meet in members’ homes, offices, virtually, or any other comfortable space outside of the synagogue. Each group will determine their schedule as a group. We recommend picking the same day and time, but we leave those details to the group.

IS THIS OPEN TO NON-MEMBERS?
> Our intent is that this will serve to deepen connections between our members, and with the broader congregation. We are happy to grant non-members one-year inclusion into a HEAConnect group before formal membership.

WHAT IF I CAN’T MAKE ALL OF THE DATES?
> Your experience will be determined by your commitment. What you put in will impact what you get out of this. We strongly encourage you to fully commit to your HEAConnect Group. If you are unable to make one or two of the dates, we recommend that you sign up, and let your group know that you will be unable to attend those dates in advance.

WILL A STAFF MEMBER JOIN OUR MEETINGS?
> These are lay-led groups, which means that there will not be a staff member present at your meetings. However, our Director of Engagement, Shira Teed, will be available to support you and answer any questions you might have.

Wed, August 17 2022 20 Av 5782