Middle School Program

Program Details

Program registration for the 2020-2021 school year is now open to returning and partner families and then to new families, pending space availability. If you're a new family, please email Cara (cara@kavana.org) to get on our radar so we can send you details!

Additional Info

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Like all Kavana programs, this event is powered by partners, staff and participants.
Volunteer to helpMeet the staff

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

While learning on Zoom, we are making adjustments to our curriculum to meet kids’ needs and respond to the reduced amount of time spent together. The kids spend time with the whole group and break into small groups based on their grade when in a text or history session. Even more so in this time of Covid, we are prioritizing Kavana middle schoolers’ connection to their community, peers and teachers. 

In addition to kids' weekly learning experience, we ask families to join us in our goal of community building. This year we look forward to providing other virtual opportunities for kids and families to connect with their Kavana community.

Program Structure & Schedule

The Middle School Program will start the second full week of October and run through early June. We will meet 5:00-6:30pm, with a brief break for grabbing a snack or using the restroom built into the fun! We have adjusted the timing of the program in order to not over-program kids on screens, and also since we are sadly not able to gather together for pizza dinner.

While this program will be held in the Zoom classroom this year, we are inviting kids to join us for an outdoor socially distanced meet-up before we begin the year. The goal will be for kids to connect with their cohort of peers and their teachers. We will share the specifics with families who register for the year.

Program Focus

‍The kids participate in two sessions with a cohort based on their grade level in which they are exposed 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 kids’ developing understanding of their Jewish values and identity.

The curriculum is a spiral curriculum moving through three years. This year the core texts will be selections from Nevi’im/the book Prophets, and the key historical periods include Emancipation and Enlightenment, the Holocaust, and Jews in America.

Program Staff

Cara Abrams
Cara Abrams
Director of Education

As Director of Education, Cara is responsible for ensuring that Kavana’s educational vision is being implemented across the board. Her experience in formal and informal Jewish educational settings position her well to oversee our after-school programs, from designing curriculum to working with our educators on professional development. Since transitioning to virtual learning, Cara has been diving deep into utilizing best practices for online learning, mastering Zoom tools, and designing new pathways for kids and families to maintain their connection to the Kavana community. In addition to our weekly programs, Cara supports families through the B'Nei Mitzvah process as well as our other youth and family programming. Outside of her work with Kavana, Cara enjoys cooking with her husband Tony, social-distance hang-outs with friends and family, and walking in her neighborhood.

Maya Itah
Maya Itah
Middle School Educator

Maya is excited to teach the Middle School Program for the fifth year in a row! A Seattle transplant, she spent most of her childhood in Israel. She has worked with at-risk youth as an AmeriCorps Member and with high-barrier job seekers as a case manager. Currently, she is attending the University of Washington School of Law. Her favorite part of the Middle School Program is watching students connect Jewish history with important events happening in the world today.

Lizzi Meister
Lizzi Meister
Moadon Yeladim Educator

Lizzi is so excited to continue working with Kavana this year! She is originally from Wisconsin, but has spent time all around North America. She spent 13 years at Jewish summer camp, and loves engaging with Judaism in fun and active ways. Before moving to Seattle, she worked in Mississippi where she wrote and led workshops on Jewish social justice for all ages and interest levels. She has loved getting to know the youngsters in the Kavana community over this last year when she worked with Moadon Yeladim, Havdalah Club, and Prep and Practice. She is starting her second year in Seattle studying for her masters in Museology at UW.