In Kavana’s recent community survey, over 90% of respondents said that they were concerned or very concerned about climate change.
In Kavana’s recent community survey, over 90% of respondents said that they were concerned or very concerned about climate change. Our community’s overwhelming concern is consonant with the sense of urgency felt throughout Seattle, the region, and beyond, as evidenced in the growth of popular movements to address the climate crisis. One such movement, the Seattle Green New Deal (SGND), is quickly advancing a bold new vision for eliminating Seattle’s climate pollution by 2030 while addressing inequalities and creating good green new jobs in the process. Spearheaded by 350 Seattle and Got Green, the SGND is already supported by the Seattle City Council, nearly 200 organizations, and 5000 individuals. The SGND is a concrete way to enact several core Jewish values, including: The Biblical mandate to humanity to serve as guardians of the earth (cf Genesis 2, Leviticus 25); The Jewish value placed on responsibility, especially in the Talmud’s painstaking concern with correctly assigning responsibility for damage to life, body, and property, and requiring restitution; The Jewish imperative to preserve life, perhaps most notably in the story of Noah.
At a recent board meeting, Kavana voted to endorse the Green New Deal for Seattle. To learn more about the campaign, and to add your name to the petition asking the City Council and the Mayor to act on climate, visit https://seattlegnd.org/. To help Kavana's efforts to advance this initiative, or if you are part of an organization that you think should also endorse this initiative, please contact Kavana partner Ingrid Elliott.
As I sit down to draft this week's message, I pray that you and yours are okay, and weathering this current wave of the pandemic with as much ease and comfort as possible. We know that so many of you have been isolating with Covid or quarantining because of exposure, and others dealing with school closures, work disruptions, and mental health challenges. Please know that the Kavana community is here and intact (even if our activities are online for the next few weeks!); we're all moving through this turbulent time together. If you need support, please don't hesitate to reach out through the Kavana office or to me directly.
Like many of you, I'm feeling the stress of this particular moment. Only a few short weeks ago, the mood felt very different: my household was finally fully vaccinated(!), Kavana was busy planning for a January return to many more in-person events, and there was a generally positive energy in the air... an optimistic zeitgeist. And then (as I'm sure I don't have to explain), this latest Omicron wave hit, like a dark cloud, complicating everything.
As we reflect back on 2021, there is no doubt that this year has been filled with ups and downs, challenges and triumphs. That said, our community has made the most of it, coming together through a wide array of in-person and online events. During 2021, Kavana deepened focus on meeting people’s core needs for communal, emotional, and spiritual support. And when we did find ways to gather -- whether in virtual space, in backyards and parks, through our powerful High Holiday experiences, etc. -- it was magical! See below for snapshots of some incredibly beautiful experiences that we shared during 2021.