Kavana Is Thankful - Modim Anachnu

As the world continues to whirl around us, at times feeling chaotic and hopeless, we at Kavana are reminded to pause and appreciate all the wonderful moments of positive Jewish expression, learning, and identity-building that are happening in our own community. With all the turmoil out there in the world, having a community to serve as a "home base" is all the more important... and in our diverse Kavana community, we have a LOT to be grateful for this week!

As the world continues to whirl around us, at times feeling chaotic and hopeless, we at Kavana are reminded to pause and appreciate all the wonderful moments of positive Jewish expression, learning, and identity-building that are happening in our own community. With all the turmoil out there in the world, having a community to serve as a "home base" is all the more important... and in our diverse Kavana community, we have a LOT to be grateful for this week!

This past Saturday evening, a number of middle school families gathered at a brewery for community, dinner, and Havdalah. Sunday was filled with a number of moments - in the morning a small group enjoyed a stroll around Seward Park, while another group met for Book Club, and then later that evening our high school students volunteered at Mary's Place by playing with children whose families are experiencing homelessness. We are grateful for each of these opportunities for meaningful human contact and relationship-building.

Stepping back a bit, we are also thankful for Kavana's involvement in the Jewish Emergent Network. We have benefitted immeasurably from Rabbi Josh Weisman’s presence in our community, and Rabbi Sydney Danziger’s before him... our rabbinic fellows' positions were supported by generous grant funding to the Network. At present, we are busy planning the next JEN conference, to be held in LA this June, and a joint Kavana-Mishkan-Kitchen Israel trip for late June/early July. Lastly, in concert with all of the other JEN communities, we will be sending monthly emails starting in December as part of JEN’s “Earth Challenge 5780.” These will bring together Torah, science, and specific personal action and advocacy steps you can take to help confront the climate crisis. This project is timely, both because this work is urgent(!), and also because it will support specific local plans to launch the Seattle Green New Deal this year; it is all the more powerful because of its national reach. Especially in the context of such complicated and fraught times, being in partnership with other communities that inspire us, challenge us, and amplify our work is such a gift, and for this, we are grateful.

In Judaism, we give thanks not once a year, but rather repeatedly (each and every day, multiple times a day!), through the words of the siddur: “modim anachnu” (“we are grateful”). This Thanksgiving, modim anachnu / we are grateful for so many things, not least of which is that we have a community made up of incredible people like YOU to keep us grounded, supported, values-aligned and connected. As you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, we hope you will find time to pause and reflect on all that you are grateful for this year... and that you, too, co