Middle School Program

In our weekly program we provide opportunities for middle schoolers to grow as individuals, exploring their Jewish identity as they study core Jewish texts and key periods of Jewish history, as well as opportunities for them to create community in an intimate peer environment.

About the Program:  The weekly two hour session includes time for socializing and community building, while enjoying dinner together, followed by two sessions of learning with a break for a whole group game.  The kids spend time with the whole group and break into small groups based on their grade when in a text or history session.  This format ensures plenty of all group community building and also provides the kids with age appropriate learning.  

Program Structure & Schedule:  The Middle School Program takes place on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm, from October 9th through June 11th.  Dinner will be served at the beginning of each session.  This program is held in the Queen Anne neighborhood.

Program Focus:  The kids participate in two sessions with their grade level in which they are exposured to core Jewish texts and to key periods in Jewish history.  Although much of the learning is historical, we make explicit attempts to make the material relevant to the children's developing understanding of their Jewish values and identity.

Program Staff

Cara Abrams-Simonton
Director of Education

Cara believes that positive Jewish identity development is rooted in meaningful and joyful Jewish learning.  Her Jewish journey began at an after-school synagogue program in Eugene, Oregon where she was born and raised.  Filled with curioisty Cara continued to explore Judaism as a teen and young adult, eventually completing a Bachelors of Arts in Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.  In addition to her commitment to Jewish learning, Cara is deeply passionate about engaging the whole child and learned a great deal from her work in non-Jewish settings including a Boys & Girls Club and a Waldorf-inspired charter school.  After many years working in a range of informal educational settings, Cara decided to pursue a Masters of Jewish Education from Hebrew College at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.  Since graduating in 2014 Cara has taught 4th-8th grade Judaics and Hebrew in community day schools in the San Francisco area, the New York City area and for the past two years, here in Seattle.  Cara found Kavana by way of Jewish Emergent Network partner communities, the Kitchen and Romemu. She has loved teaching in Kavana youth and family programming and is thrilled to begin her role as Director of Education.

Maya Itah
Middle School Educator

Maya is excited to co-teach the Middle School Program. A recent Seattle transplant, she spent most of her childhood in Israel and moved to California in the 6th grade. She has worked with at-risk youth as an AmeriCorps Member.