Talking about the weather

At Kavana, since our inception, we have described "risk-taking" as a value of our organization. However, we've always meant that in the entrepreneurial sense... in that we have taken risks in our approach to Jewish education, ritual, community-building, and more. Where we have NOT taken risks -- nor do we care to do so! -- is in any situation where thesafety and well-being of our community members are on the line. (Jewish law supports us in this, and incidentally, the value of "pikuach nefesh," "saving a life" was the topic of our last Havdalah Club event... among other things, the kids talked about proactive steps we should take to ensure the safety of ourselves and others.)

Sometimes "talking about the weather" is a euphemism for chit-chatting about nothing. But, apparently, not this week, at least in Seattle. Work and school cancellations early in theweek, coupled with forecasts of more impending snowstorms this weekend and next week, have put weather on the front burner for us.

At Kavana, since our inception, we have described "risk-taking" as a value of our organization. However, we've always meant that in the entrepreneurial sense... in that we have taken risks in our approach to Jewish education, ritual, community-building, and more. Where we have NOT taken risks -- nor do we care to do so! -- is in any situation where thesafety and well-being of our community members are on the line. (Jewish law supports us in this, and incidentally, the value of "pikuach nefesh," "saving a life" was the topic of our last Havdalah Club event... among other things, the kids talked about proactive steps we should take to ensure the safety of ourselves and others.)

This coming weekend was scheduled to be a very busy one for our community -- with a Shabbat Minyan on Saturday, and a full complement of programming on Sunday including Prep & Practice, a Baby/Toddler Meet-up, and an End-of-Life Workshop. In general, our weekday policy (for Gan, Moadon Yeladim, etc.) is to follow the lead of the Seattle Public School district; however, that doesn't help us on the weekends. After consulting with staff, participants and lead volunteers, Kavana board members, and also with the National Weather Service's forecasts, we have determined that, unfortunately, we need to formally CANCEL all of these weekend events. Icy roads and sidewalks present very real dangers in a city that is so hilly and ill-equipped to handle the volume of snow that is expected. In recognition of the value of human life, we don't want to put anyone at risk by having them venture out to a Kavana event this weekend if conditions are as expected.

That said, Shabbat comes like clock-work every week, regardless of the weather. The basic human needs that this day of the week serves -- to pause, to connect, to reflect or pray, and to spend time in community -- are still as relevant as ever. And so, we encourage you to proactively reach out to friends and neighbors, particularly other Kavana folks who live in walking distance to you, and make plans to spend time together this weekend... whether for a Shabbat meal or a sledding date at your local park. Kavana partners should have access to the on-line partner directory (search your inbox for instructions on how to access that), or we have a couple of Facebook groups that you're welcome to use to coordinate.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom - a peaceful and beautiful winter wonderland of a weekend. We hope to be "open for business" again next week, and look forward to talking about topics that go far beyond the weather!