The Holiday Home-Stretch

We hope you are having a wonderful Sukkot holiday! Between Sukkot celebrations and preparations for the launch of Kavana's program year, our staff team has been busy reflecting on this spectacular High Holiday season.

We hope you are having a wonderful Sukkot holiday! Between Sukkot celebrations and preparations for the launch of Kavana's program year, our staff team has been busy reflecting on this spectacular High Holiday season.

Over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, over 750 of you(!!) entered into the warm and spiritual container we built at Kavana this season. Together, we heard shofar blasts from every direction on Rosh Hashanah day, brought in Yom Kippur with a beautiful acoustic Kol Nidre, and so much more. We gathered in body and spirit throughout the 10 yamim nora’im, Days of Awe, for learning, praying, meditation, singing, and connection. We connected with old friends and made new ones in the moments between our packed schedule, where we engaged our minds and bodies in yoga, discussions surrounding Jewish ethics and the Book of Jonah, reflective art and writing, and so much more.

One of our goals this High Holiday season was to create an atmosphere where everyone would be able to pick and choose the experiences that would provide them with spiritual nourishment, whatever that may be. We were only able to accomplish this by collaborating and co-creating with each and every individual who participated. If you attended Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur services/programs at Kavana this season, we invite you to take this High Holiday survey and share feedback and reflections with us about the experience.

Rabbi Jay LeVine delivered a Rosh Hashanah sermon entitled "Healing Regret” during Kavana's Erev Rosh Hashanah services. You can find that sermon here. Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum’s Yom Kippur sermon – “Cultivating a Steadfast Heart” – is available to read (click here for the pdf) or to listen to (click here for the audio file). At the end of the pdf, Rabbi Rachel has listed some text sources for further study and reflection. And finally, the link to watch our Kol Nidre Instrumental Prelude can be found here. Thank you once again to Kavana teens Eva Friedman and Emma Kvart for sharing this beautiful music with us!

The magical moments of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur would never have come together were it not for the efforts of so many individuals. A huge THANK YOU to the  volunteers and staff members, who worked side-by-side to produce our incredible multi-access High Holiday retreats. (These are the names of all the individuals who signed up for volunteer slots through our spreadsheet, and/or who led services and programs, blew shofar, played music, read Torah, etc.):

Lastly, many of you have already shared how touched and inspired you were by these beautiful High Holidays with the Kavana community. We hope that the magic will continue throughout the entirety of Jewish calendar year 5783! To that end:

  • We invite your continued participation in services, programs, and community gatherings. To echo the language from above, what’s so special about this community is that all of our offerings come to life through collaboration and co-creation! Please be in touch with your ideas, and to contribute your energy and talents.
  • Pulling off experiences as deep and robust as these High Holidays have been, and for so many people, requires financial resources. Kavana welcomes donations of all sizes throughout the year… and we are grateful to the hundreds of supporters who make Kavana happen! Over the coming months, in particular, Kavana will be launching a fundraising campaign – with a challenge match from Project Accelerate – to support capacity building and ensure Kavana’s future! All new and increased gifts will be eligible for these matching funds. Click here to donate anytime, or email us if you’d like to speak with a member of our Fundraising committee about making a larger gift!

We hope that your New Year is off to a wonderful start, and we can’t wait to see how you choose to engage with Kavana throughout the year. Again, thank you for joining us for these spectacular High Holidays, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Sincerely,

Avital Krifcher (Director of Community Engagement) and The Kavana Team