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Jconnect Seattle
October 31, 2009

J Connect is a place for young adults to go that helps this cohort stay engaged at a time when many of them would feel uncomfortable in the Jewish community. J Connect has all kinds of programming from spiritual to art to music to social justice work that is done within young hip context. I'm thinking about things like Megillah reading at a local bar which drew and drew and drew. There's no way most of these kids would have gone to synagogue on Purim. J Connect is a place to stretch social consciousness and work with Jewish values.

The Great!

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

I worked with a lot of the J Connect kids while teaching yoga, and I saw young people who were struggling to find their own Jewish identity and not simple accept or refuse the identity given to them by their parents.

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

the ever expanding non-repeating nature of programming that keeps J Connect fresh. Rabbi Will and the staff are constantly on the look out for new ideas that make Judaism continually exciting.

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

I'm particularly fond of Rabbi Will because he does not fit into any kind of a mold, and his thinking about programming, Israel, services, social issues is nuanced and unafraid to met kids wehre they are

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & taught yoga to students and attend events.

KAVANA
October 22, 2009

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

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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

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I last went to services where my son read Torah for the first time.