Last week, Kavana deepened our efforts to help address Seattle's homelessness crisis with an opportunity to learn more. Two dozen people gathered to watch a screening of Trickle Down Town, a documentary that sheds light on roots of the homelessness crisis, introduces a variety of people working to address the problem, and, most importantly, reminds us that people experiencing homeless are people with complex and rich lives.
Last week, Kavana deepened our efforts to help address Seattle's homelessness crisis with an opportunity to learn more. Two dozen people gathered to watch a screening of Trickle Down Town, a documentary that sheds light on roots of the homelessness crisis, introduces a variety of people working to address the problem, and, most importantly, reminds us that people experiencing homeless are people with complex and rich lives. Shockingly, there are 12,000 homeless people in King County, and this film showed us their real faces and stories, including many you would not expect, from an employed mail carrier to a laid-off machinist to an artist.
After the film there was a lively discussion with the filmmaker, Tomasz Biernacki, and Josh Castle from the Low Income Housing Institute, which runs many of the Tiny House Villages around the city. Attendees got to learn more about how these villages provide an important step towards permanent, stable housing by providing safety, community, and support.
At the end of the evening, we captured reactions to the film and discussion in writing. In these "word clouds," you can see the mix of emotions that confronting homelessness stirs in us, and the overwhelming desire we felt to do something!
Seeing this film made me feel:
As a result of seeing this film, I want to:
In that spirit, we invite you to join us as Kavana hosts and shares a potluck dinner with residents of the Northlake Tiny House Village on Sunday, April 28th from 4:30p - 6:30pm. This is a way to meet some of the real people experiencing homelessness in an interactive setting, and to expand our sense of community to include those who are often marginalized. It's also a great way to respond to the Passover seder's call to "let all who are hungry come and eat" (and this activity is conveniently timed to be the day after Passover ends!). Sign-up here.
This potluck will be followed by more opportunities for action around homelessness and housing issues. Email Rabbi Josh if you'd like to get involved in these efforts!
Thank you for choosing Kavana, and for choosing to make this Seattle Jewish community the richly-textured one that it is! Before the month of June is over, we will close out our programming year with so many great options for ways to engage in Jewish community on your own terms. Whether you join us for tomorrow night's Friday night service (the last one of the year, before we move into summer mode in parks!) or Saturday night's inter-community Tikkun Leil Shavuot, or a family education program or a singing circle or a social meet-up, know that we appreciate the fact that you have opted in, forging your own path for "personalized Judaism in a community context."
Torah is true both that ancient Israelite texts have been preserved intact and lovingly transmitted from generation to generation, and also that at every time and place throughout Jewish history, our ancestors have interpreted and re-interpreted these words (sometimes quite radically!) to keep Torah speaking relevantly to each generation. In this way, Torah represents both tradition and change, and the act of Torah study is famously considered by rabbinic tradition to be as important as all of the other mitzvot put together ("talmud torah k'neged kulam").