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  

2 people found this review helpful

I suppose on some level I must have been searching for a Jewish community and organization to belong to, after being out of things for a while. However, I don't think I really knew it until I met the folks at Kavana. There's just something terribly contagious about the warmth, sincerity, humor, curiosity, intelligence, and..."kavana" that permeates the group, from Rabbi Rachel on downward (...upward? around?). "Multiple entry points to Jewish involvement" is a very nice phrase but the reality of it played out in a room full of eager participants with something to share is even better. Yasher Koach!

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

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

...ordinary people just like me. I know it sounds silly, but it's inspiring sometimes.

Ways to make it better...

Some of the events I've attended have been pretty big. That can be exciting and it speaks to the popularity of the programs, but personally I tend to be a little more comfortable in smaller settings.

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 week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Kavana is a creative Jewish environment where participants can shape their own Jewish journey and the community. Members seek out the programs that are of interest to them and then help plan, organize, support, and/or run the events. Programs are often driven by community desire. And, the programming is incredibly diverse. If you don't like services, how about the book group, the movie group, the cooking programs, the Hebrew Immersion play group for children, the Community Supported Agriculture program... Right now, I am working with Rabbi Rachel and my 11 year old son, Noah, as part of the hardcore monthly minyan. He is learning to read Torah and will soon begin to work on the service. The goal is to have him move effortlessly and naturally into his Bar Mitzvah.

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

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

that partners bring fourth ideas and with the board and committees find others to make programs happen. This is not a scripted organization.

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

hands on and have a sense of ownership because what happens is a result of partner effort with professional leadership.

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

first be financial stability & hire another innovative prog. staff mem. Next it would then be possible to start other Kavana groups around Seattle and help bring the model with leadership to cities that are ready for a diff Jewish experience

Ways to make it better...

there were more older children, but it'll happen in time...

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

sustainable funding

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?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Whenever I go to the Kavana office or participate in one of Kavana's gatherings, I always feel welcome and valued for being there. Thanks to Kavana's progressive outlook on Judaism, my family feels at home in the Kavana community as well. Kavana provides a wide range of opportunities to suit many different levels and kinds of participation in their community. Kavana's receptivity and open-mindedness embodies the best of what community is all about and I am grateful to be a part of it!

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

my family's positive interaction/participation in Kavana activities.

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

their receptivity, openness and welcoming nature.

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

kind, appreciative and supportive. knowledgeable and intelligent.

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

adequately compensate its staff, enhance its programming and increase membership.

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

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: 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  

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

Was this review helpful?