The Kavana Cooperative in Seattle


Source: The Kavana Cooperative 


Kavana is an independent Jewish community in Seattle which strives to create a supportive communal environment in which individuals and families can use "kavana" - intention - to create a Jewish life that is spiritually fulfilling, intellectually satisfying, fun, and meaningful.


The Kavana Cooperative shows the Jewish world how to build a community that engages people as producers rather than simply consumers of their Jewish lives. American Jewish life has long been dominated by a synagogue-centered, consumer model, which young Jews today increasingly choose to reject. Founded in 2006, The Kavana Cooperative provides an alternative community structure for the young Jews of Seattle, with a guiding principle of “kavana,” the Hebrew word for “intention.” Built on a “co-op” model, every person who joins the Kavana community is asked not just to contribute financially, but to also take an active and intentional role as a volunteer and a participant in communal activities.


By empowering individuals to create their own Jewish experiences, Kavana consistently provides high quality programming that directly meets the needs of its participants. Programmatic options range from Shabbat dinners and services to a book club, camping trips, a baby playgroup, and a variety of social justice campaigns. In the past year, Kavana has made great strides in its work to achieve financial sustainability and has also begun a large-scale self-evaluation project, intended to help the organization share best practices with other communities in the future.

Updated: Jan. 08, 2014