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
Write a Review
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Kavana is a wonderful organization that provides opportunites for Jews from a wide variety of backgrounds to make their Judaism relevant and meaningful--whether through learning, prayer, social justice, or the outdoors. I particularly love the Rebbe's Tisch which is an opportunity to share music, Havdalah, food and drink, and Torah in a relaxed setting.

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

expanding my social circle

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

the connections with other people and the ruach at events

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

enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and kind, and warm

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

hire more staff, increase the salaries of underpaid current staff members, have its own facilities

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? 
Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

Having raised sons in Michigan, where we were active in our Temple, I found that only Jewish camp experience fostered the sense of Peoplehood and joy in being Jewish that is lasting. Kavana has been able to capture my grandchildren and all the many children of all ages in enthusiastically learning our traditions and the fun of actively being involved in preparing for and celebrating our holidays. Rabbi Rachel is the Peid Piper and both my 8 year old granddaughter and 6 year old grandson adore her.The concept of involving all the generations of each family in activities forges a bond that extends into each home. At age 80, having lived in many different parts of the country, I find Kavana to be unique.

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

listening to my grandchildren participate in our Shabbat celebration, preparing for the various holidays and seeing the arts and crafts items which they proudly display.

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

That all the members of each family participates in the activities which fosters a sense of truly belonging to the Jewish Peoplehood - a wonderful feeling.

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

Intelligent, welcoming and charming.

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

Spread its mantle further to include more families and hire more staff. Kavana is truly innovative and makes being Jewish fun, while not neglecting the teaching of Judaism.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have been slow to fully participate in Kavana's variety of experience believing that only time would reveal whether this Jewish Community was truly different from others I have attempted to become a part of. And my patience has been rewarded. This is a community of bright and engaged people who want to explore religion, community, ethnicity, ethics, values and ideas. They provide forums and activities which allow for disccussion, exploration and fun. I feel very lucky.

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

the surprising discovery of my interest in Judaism and its role in my life and the lives of those around me.

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

Probably search out a few more 'elders.

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

It's welcoming nature; the high quality of discussion and study; the encouragement.

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

Wonderful and inviting.

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

Change the world (at least for those Jews who gave up trying to find their place and their community)!

Ways to make it better...

I keep hoping for a few more members over 50 - but the organization is still new.

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

As usual - money for all of the projects they wish to sponsor.

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

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of this new way of approaching community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I went to Rosh H. for services and dinner. This is a welcoming community. The Rabbi made the service relevant to today's concerns without sounding overly preachy. There was a wonderful focus on making it personal, yet involving the community through participation.

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

making the high holidays come alive and feel relevant.

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

How community based it is, it builds community through participation and gives back by creating volunteering opportunities.

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

friendly and helpful.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

This syn-Co-op offers an intelligent, hamish, post-modernist response to the never-ending negotations Jewish individuals make with the idea of community - particularly those based in the Northwest where nature is culture, is religion. Inclusive doesn't begin to describe Kavana's atmosphere - bring your needy, your neurotic, your not-sure, your really not-sure. The tent is big. And, if God is in the details, then Kavana is the Martha Stewartstein of minyans. People return emails and promptly. People do what they say they will do. Accountability may be the guiding precept of this group, but organizational tidiness (is that a word?) can't be far behind. Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum resists praise like its like plague, but one must credit her, her husband Noam Pianko (I hope I have his name correctly spelled) and founding partner Suzi LeVine for so bravely pursuing this paradigm. There's progressive and there's open and then there's inviting complete strangers into one's home on a weekly basis and serving them textual exegesis and marcona almonds. On a personal note, I think she is the first rabbi - especially one 31 weeks into pregnancy - to attend a film premiere of mine - me, a very new member who has yet to pay into the community coffer. I am exceedingly grateful to have found this group and hope that its model for integrity and intelligence, sustenance and sustainability will inspire others in ways we can't even begin to imagine.

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

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

create international liasons with NGO's - a potential interfaith, international fair trade CSA?

Ways to make it better...

I didn't have to take two busses to attend events. Alas and alack.

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?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
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

Was this review helpful? 
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

Was this review helpful?