KAVANA

Rating: 4.91 stars   32 reviews

Issues: Religion

Location: P.O. Box 19666 Seattle WA 98119 USA

Mission: Kavana is an independent Jewish community in Seattle. We strive to create a supportive communal environment in which individuals and families can use “kavana” - intention - to create a Jewish life that is spiritually fulfilling, intellectually satisfying, fun, and meaningful. Kavana has a unique approach to building Jewish community: Cooperative Model - As the first Jewish cooperative of its kind, partners share in the task of creating Jewish life for the group. Non-Denominational & Pluralistic - Kavana draws participants from highly diverse backgrounds and allows for multiple entry points to Jewish involvement. “Personalized Judaism in a Community Context” - Kavana acknowledges and embraces the dynamic tension between an individual’s interest and needs, versus the desire to create community. Local Pods - Kavana believes that Jewish communal life will best thrive in settings which are local, organic and intimate.
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Fulfilling. This is a broad-based and tolerant organization that manages to be inclusive without watering down their spiritual efforts. Their services are substantive and their extra-religious activities are community-based and positive. They manage to successfully promote the environment, healthy eating, helping those in need, education, voluntarism and more with a live-and-let-live attitude.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

several areas.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their kindness.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Bright, kind and helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do even greater things.

Ways to make it better...

there were more folks in my age group (not their fault).

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Growth that converges with their attitude.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I've been searching for a Jewish community to become involved with and until I was made aware of the Kavana Cooperative I simply did not connect in the way I was hoping to. After attending my first activity, Living Room Learning, I sensed this was what I was searching for. The people I've met so far are welcoming, friendly, span several generations, fun to be with, embrace diverse expressions of one's Judaism and are supportive of each individual's path in his/her own personal life journey. Having had been observant for many years and now am seeking to return to my heritage, and not sure where this will lead me, I feel safe and inspired by the energy and diverse activities at Kavana. I am also very grateful to have met a Jewish community who welcomes my non Jewish boyfriend.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the many diverse ways that the partners celebrate their Jewish identity.

Ways to make it better...

I could meet more people closer to my age with similar life experiences.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

building a more stable financial operations foundation.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Kavana is an incredible community- ever evolving and focused entirely on the participants who drive the events, priorities, and worship.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Engage more disenfranchised Jews, expand geographically beyond Seattle, grow programming.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I have enjoyed many activities with the Kavana Cooperative over the past three years including community (often Shabbat) dinners, cooking classes, and in 2009 weekly participation in the Kavana Tuv Ha'Aretz CSA. I'm finding the benefits of the CSA (community supported agriculture) go beyond buying local produce direct from a farm, an excellent end in itself. Through our CSA we have developed a personal relationship with our farmer, and enriched our community with weekly activities that raise our awareness of local and sustainable food practices, and are just plain fun!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The CSA: Buying direct from a local farm is an excellent end in itself. We have developed a personal relationship with our farmer and enriched our community with weekly activities that are fun and raise awareness of local and sustainable food practices.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The CSA: Buying direct from a local farm is an excellent end in itself. We have developed a personal relationship with our farmer and enriched our community with weekly activities that are fun and raise awareness of local and sustainable food practices.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Energetic, progressive, and very thoughtful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Buy a lot of local, healthy and nutritious produce for food banks, and make eating fruits and veggies fun for kids. It's really amazing to see how much Kavana's kids (like 2, 3 and 4 year olds) love eating fruits and vegetables.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Kavana provides enriching Jewish experiences that resonate with my children. they have put tremendous time, energy and thought into the best ways to bring Jewish holidays to life for young kids. My children learned so much more about Rosh Hashana from the interactive conversation while apple picking than they ever retain from other jewish preschools and synagogue programs we have tried. i love the whole family approach to learning. it is a wonderful organization!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my children learn and grow and thoughtfully understand and discuss the jewish holidays and their significance.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the quality of the staff and other members along with the time and thought that goes into every meticulously planned event.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding. the caliber of people is truly exceptional.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

roll out a similar program in other cities and extend jewish learning around the state and country.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

A great community. I have enjoyed meeting wonderful people and participating in a different kind of Jewish communal organization. Our daughter loves the Hebrew immersion nursery school.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

transform this model to reach Jewish communities around the country.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum and the Kavana board has developed an organization that has created a community where there wasn't one. Rachel Nussbaum makes each event special, through her warm and welcoming personality, her knowledge and most importantly her ability to make it fun and understandable. She takes the time to get to know each member and is willing to listen and shows a caring side. Kavana isn't about money it's about bringing together people to build a Jewish community.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Have its own building and develop broader programs. build a school and add staff

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I became involved in Kavana two years ago, after bouncing around and searching for ~15 years for a Jewish comunity that resonated for me. What grabbed me was the idea that we are all responsible for creating our own Jewish experience. Kavana provides a way for people to participate in creating the type of experience that works for them. One can choose ritual, building community with peers, social justice, education, or some combination. If you want it you create it, and the organization provides critical and very smart support. At my stage of life when I discovered Kavana, I had young kids. I was dissatisfied with traditional Jewish education, so I became heavily involved in an initiative with other parents to renew Jewish educatin for children. We developed a family education program -- as distinct from a children's education program -- and it's taken off. The organization also is unique for bringing Seattle's business savvy to creating Jewish community. While Kavana is building on traditional Jewish communities, it also is thinking outside the box -- really creating a new box -- for how a Jewish community might organize and become sustainable. In a nutshell, I believe Kavana has the ideas, brains, and chutzpah to create an innovative path for Jewish community. And that makes it exciting to be a Jew!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

participating in and watching the creation of an innovative children's and family education program. I'm watching my kids develop a joyful Jewish identity. Awesome.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

building on tradition while not being afraid to buck it.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

replicate its idea for innovating exciting, meaningful, and magnetic Jewish community elsewhere in Seattle and in other cities.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Kavana is a wonderful and unique organization that helps create a sense of community amongst people of Jewish faith. They have created a powerful and interactive dialogue amongst their members that is incredibly welcoming and inviting. Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum is without a doubt the reason we joined Kavana. She is a wonderful listener who really cares about Kavana's members. She has gone the extra mile on many occasions including our son's bris and helping us get through a particularly hard time during a recent family illness. She has a brilliant and inquistive mind and has been a powerful spiritual advisor to us.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the welcome and inviting atmosphere. It is also a place where rigorous study, dialogue and questioning is encouraged. No question is off limits.

Ways to make it better...

I can't really think of anything. They have provided a very rich and varied set of options for members to engage in.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Kavana has allowed us to seek - and create! - what perhaps many Jewish families seek: meaningful Jewish experiences accessible to both adults and children in an intimate context where activities aim to meet personalized needs, not to satisfy the lowest common denominator for the greatest number of people. The grass-roots feel of the leadership, learning, and activities is irreplaceable, and the cooperative model allows us to participate, contribute sweat equity, and be valued for who we are rather than by our checkbooks alone. If every Jewish community in the US had a Kavana, American Judaism would be exponentially revitalized, active, pertinent, and hopeful.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

innumerable ways, from new and wonderful friendships formed to a deeper spiritual life.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the hands-on, no-airs approach of partners and leaders alike.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

down to earth and purposeful in their particiption.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build an innovative bar mitzvah program and move into a space that would more easily allow for it's multiple needs.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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