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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Judaism, Religion

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.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

My family has found a Jewish home at Kavana! My wife and I were looking for a community in which to raise our children that is more open-minded than a traditional congregation, and found in Kavana a place where Jews of all shapes and sizes are treated equally. We're thrilled with the emphasis on practicing Judiasm, as opposed to just watching professionals practice it at services. And, the net result has been that we live a much more Jewish life than we would have if it weren't for Kavana.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been participating in Kavana for almost three years. I regularly attend Shabbat davening and Living Room Learning, as well as High Holiday services. I find its DIY approach to Judaism engaging and fulfilling. Kavana has provided a supportive and open community for increasing my own Jewish knowledge and skills.

13

Board Member

Rating: 5

Last week, my 7 yr old son got angry with me. Why? because I didn't plan a family shabbat dinner and, instead, had the kids eat before bed. That night, just as I was putting my 4 year old daughter to bed, she started singing "Ma's Leg".."Ma's Leg" at the top of her lungs. I asked her what she thought that meant, and she correctly answered "Fork!". When Kavana was started, one of the outcomes we were targeting was that it engender not just a positive identity, but that special pixie dust that usually accompanies trips to Israel and summer camp. My children's exuberance - and my ability to also personally enjoy meaningful experiences - prove to me that we are on an amazing track towards success!

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was at the first Kavana Shabbat dinner and service at Gas-works park. From that experience I knew this was a community that would work for me. As a regular at Living Room Learning, I love the regular connection to text and the cycle of the year. This year's Yom Kippur was the most meaningful one I've had. I usually see YK as a holiday to be endured, but this year was able to find moments of reflection, solitude, community, joy, and connection. It helped me enter the new year with a feeling of serenity. As a board member I'm learning about governance and finances. It is always a pleasure to work with the board, as they are a talented and dedicated group. Kavana gives me a sense of belongingness in Judaism.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!