Sunshine, Magic, & our Holy Vessel

Even more, though, we appreciated the opportunity to really be "in it" with other rabbis and staff members from our sister communities in the Jewish Emergent Network. In seven different locations and in seven different ways, each of us are working to build organizations that serve as "holy vessels" -- to contain, connect and inspire Jewish community.

The Kavana newsletter is coming to you a little later than usual this week, but just in time for Shabbat... and we look forward to catching our breath this weekend! Liz and I spent Monday through Wednesday down in southern California at a Leadership Retreat for the Jewish Emergent Network.

We enjoyed the sunshine at the Leichtag Ranch near San Diego, and also the chance to catch up with some familiar-to-Kavana faces (like Alison Laichter, who has led High Holiday meditations here several times, and Farmer Adam McCurdy Shira Jacobs, former Kavanapartners who relocated this year so that Adam could run Coastal Roots Farm).

Even more, though, we appreciated the opportunity to really be "in it" with other rabbis and staff members from our sister communities in the Jewish Emergent Network. In seven different locations and in seven different ways, each of us are working to build organizations that serve as "holy vessels" -- to contain, connect and inspire Jewish community.

This weekend in our Torah cycle, we read Parashat Vayakhel, where we continue learning about the elements of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the portable holy space the Israelites made in ancient times. As we read about the altar, the ark, the lampstand, and furnishings in tremendous detail, this week I will be reflecting on what we put inside our community... the various groups of people we serve, our core programs, our mission, and the depth of the learning, doing, and spiritual connectedness that we seek to foster through Kavana. As we read about the posts, beams, pegs and tapestries, I will be thinking about the important conversations we had with our colleagues this week about how we can best build the vessel... which here means everything from our cooperative model, to our budget, to our database. Although sometimes the details can feel tedious, our Torah portion reminds us that when we are doing holy work, every detail matters.

We want to invite you to experience a little of the magic that we feel each time we encounter our Jewish Emergent Network colleagues and remember that we here at Kavana are part of a much bigger whole. Next weekend, the Rabbinic Fellows (plus a few JEN staff members) will be here for their Kavana "site visit" -- and we have the opportunity to share our community with them by simply doing what we always do and inviting them to peak in... on Friday night and Saturday morning services, on our Gan, on Havdalah Club, etc... even on a board meeting!

We look forward to seeing you, if not this weekend then certainly next.