Havurat Shalom was established in 1968 in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a combined Jewish seminary and experiment in communal living, an attempt to reinvigorate Jewish spiritual life by more intensely connecting it with values of the counterculture. Havurat Shalom physically moved to neighboring Somerville, and institutionally moved away from a mission as a formal educational institution towards one centered around an experience of Jewish spirituality based in social community and the concerns of the contemporary world. It rapidly gained prominence, and inspired other similar Havurah around the country, both serving younger Jews’ desire for a more open and contemporary religious experience, while also influencing Jewish religious practices on a wider scale. Many of its early members and founders were Brandeis University graduates who went on to prominent roles in both theology and Jewish studies.
Sources: Sarna, Jonathan. American Judaism: A History. New Haven: Yale, 2004.