Kavana has made it possible for my husband and I to daven in a meaningful way for the last 2 years after 4 years of feeling we did not have a place to go. Because of Kavana, we are now thinking about participating in a Jewish community year round, and feel empowered to know that if we have children, there is a place we feel will help us instill the values and experiences we care about.
Kavana is the first Jewish community where I have felt truly welcomed. When attending large synagogues or community events, often only the people who know me would talk to me or welcome me, however at Kavana, not only do the staff always welcome me and check in with me periodically, but the entire community welcomes me. Even though I am not as active with Kavana as I would like to be, I always feel comfortable and a part of the community when I do attend something.
For a while I felt that I was missing a part of my Jewish identity, as I did not feel connected with a particular synagogue, but I was too old to be a regular at Hillel. After finding Kavana, this is the type of place that strives to make everyone feel connected, takes into account that people come from different backgounds and life experiences, and works to weave it all into something that strives to give each member what they seek.
As a Soviet Jew who moved to the United States at age 9, I have had my share of struggles with finding community. My upbringing was devoid of the more sublime aspects of Jewish culture and religion. Kavana was the first organized Jewish experience I have ever had that seemed to speak directly to me. When I arrived at an event, I was welcomed warmly, but without pressure. I felt free to think and observe. The members of the community were friendly and open to a new person. Rabbi Rachel was genuinely friendly and interested. Their programs are diverse, so I can always find something that appeals. It is non-denominational, which frees the services to be whatever works for the members, and indeed Kavana's approach to Judaism seem to fill a hard-to-define need. I am happy to have found Kavana!
Kavana has offered a place to better connect with and see the inner workings of the Jewish faith and how it is celebrated. Instead of feeling obligation, our entire family finds something at every Kavana gathering (whether that something is in learning, sharing, connecting or simply having fun). Kavana has amplified our connection to the Jewish faith and culture.
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!
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.
Kavana impressed me in many ways, but most of all at a community meeting when they made their budget transparent for the entire community, including interested parties who were not already members. This felt inclusive, honest, and open to questions, concern, and new ideas. I felt very empowered.