For the fifth time in its seven-year existence, the Kavana Cooperative was listed in the annual Slingshot Guide as being among the top 50 innovative Jewish organizations in the country.
In light of the recently released Pew Research Center survey on American Jews, “It’s nice external validation that the work we’re doing here is important for the bigger picture, particularly with all the talk in the Jewish community in recent weeks,” said Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum, Kavana’s founder and executive director.
Kavana, based in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, formed in 2006 to bring together prayer, community-building, and social justice to allow any of its participants to express their Judaism in ways that make them feel most comfortable. With the Pew study showing that Jewish organizations do need to adjust to the changing landscape of involvement, “ours is one of the models that’s being held up on the national level,” Nussbaum said.
While Slingshot was originally formed by the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies in 2004 to help young Jews with family foundations understand where they should direct their funding, it has since become a resource for creating best practices and connecting these organizations.
Meeting with these organizations has “been a really nice source for a peer network. Out of that have grown a number of collaborative relationships,” Nussbaum said.
At the same time, however, with the funding opportunities that being included in the guidebook present, “it’s really nice for our individual donors to understand that the work we’re doing is important,” she said.