Kevah: General FAQs

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Thank you for your interest in Kevah! We've tried to cover everything you might want to know, but please don't hesitate to contact us at info@kevah.org if you have any other questions.

What is a Kevah Group?

A Kevah Group is a micro-community with a shared affinity principle (usually based on geographic location, shared interest, demography, or life stage) that gathers monthly to study Jewish texts in a friendly setting like a home, office, JCC, or synagogue.28 circle

Who are Kevah Groups for?

Kevah is for everyone! Kevah Groups are for Jews of all ages and backgrounds who are interested in how Jewish texts can be relevant, meaningful, and transformative. We are dedicated to pluralism: we celebrate the diversity of the Jewish people and strive to make learning an integrated part of all Jews’ lives, regardless of age, gender, denomination, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation. We also welcome non-Jews in our groups.

What does Kevah teach?

Kevah Groups primarily study classical Jewish texts, including Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, medieval Jewish commentaries, Mussar, Hassidut, and modern Jewish thought. Every group learns something meaningful to them, and our current groups are studying a diverse range of subjects. You can read a list of our popular topics here.

I’m not sure I know enough to be in a Kevah Group.

We understand the feeling—it can be intimidating to think about entering the world of classical Jewish text study. Kevah’s entire mission, however, is founded upon the belief that Jewish learning can be integrated into every Jewish person’s life, regardless of background, religious orientation, or socio-economic status. Our goal is to find and provide ways for you to access that learning, no matter where you’re coming from.

I might want to start my own Kevah Group, but I’m not sure. Who can I talk to?

Anyone from our Program Team would be delighted to answer any questions you may have or just help you think through starting or joining a group. Contact us at groups@kevah.org.

What’s involved in being a Group Host?

Group Hosts have four primary responsibilities: 1) Bringing together people with whom they want to learn; 2) Choosing a topic of study; 3) Coordinating logistics (groups typically meet at a home, office, synagogue or JCC) with support from Kevah administrative staff; and 4) Acting as group liaison to Kevah staff. Sound like a lot? Don’t worry—Kevah staff is here to walk you through every step and to troubleshoot any challenges that may come up. We hear all the time how incredibly rewarding it is to be a Group Host, and we know that many hosts feel they are becoming Jewish leaders in the process, so we hope you’ll consider it! Drop us a note at groups@kevah.org if you’d like to learn more.

I would like to start a group outside the Bay Area. Does Kevah provide support in other locations?

Kevah is currently focused on supporting groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, Colorado, and Greater Boston. We do hope to expand our services in the coming few years. Please feel free to contact us at groups@kevah.org to find out if we have any groups in your area.

I am not sure what I want to study. Can you help?

There are plenty of people interested in learning with us who aren’t sure exactly what they want to study—that’s why we’re here! Email groups@kevah.org for suggestions, assistance, or plain old brainstorming.

Where does Kevah find its educators?

Kevah educators are vetted independent contractors. Our educators are skilled and experienced teachers from a variety of settings: rabbis, Jewish day school teachers, graduate and rabbinical school students, and other professionally trained Jewish educators. Although each educator has his or her particular teaching style, textual expertise, and topic preferences, Kevah Educators have gone through training with Kevah and are committed to helping to create meaningful dialogue around Jewish texts.  

How often do groups meet?

Kevah Groups meet monthly, twice-monthly or weekly. Groups choose their own meeting schedule and most Groups meet monthly. Our DIY model means each group can design a series that fits their schedule. Most groups meet for 10 sessions per year and do not typically meet in the heart of summer (mid June through mid August). 

How long is each group session?

Kevah groups meet for an hour and a half. However, while Kevah educators only lead 1.5 hour sessions, Groups often choose to meet for 2 or more hours, so that the first or last part of the meeting can be used for socializing. 

How much does it cost to learn with Kevah?

The average cost of joining a Kevah Group is $360/year for a group that meets monthly with a two month break in summer. Groups choose their own meeting schedule, so if they choose to meet more or less frequently, the series cost is adjusted to match their scheduling choice. Your membership payment can be made in three monthly installments at the time of registration. Kevah is dedicated to keeping Jewish learning accessible to the whole community. For those who cannot afford the standard membership, Kevah offers a Pay-What-You-Can model to ensure that cost is not a barrier to joining a Kevah Group. For additonal info, check out our Membership Costs FAQs.

What do my membership costs cover?

Kevah standard membership costs contribute to part of the cost of educator training and compensation, logistical coordination, and the administrative support involved in launching and maintaining each personalized Group. Kevah also provides one-on-one support and coaching to help ensure the best possible learning experience. Kevah staff regularly check in with hosts and educators to get feedback and work closely with them to make any necessary tweaks throughout the Group’s time together.

Is financial assistance available?

Kevah makes every effort to ensure cost is not a barrier to participation. The generosity of individual donations to Kevah's Scholarship Fund supports Kevah's Pay-What-You-Can model to help keep Jewish learning accessible to the whole community. All subsidies will be kept confidential.

I can't make all/most of the meetings of a Kevah Group I'm interested in. Can I drop in when my schedule allows?

While Kevah always encourages group hosts to work with their group members to create a meeting schedule that works for everyone, we realize this isn't always possible and some participants' schedules may change overtime. However, drop-in participation isn't compatible with our goal of ensuring each Kevah Group becomes a dedicated micro-community of Jewish learners. We understand that it's difficult to make it to every session, but it is important that participants can commit to attending regularly in order to get the most out of their group experience and to contribute to a dynamic and cohesive group experience for the other participants.

Photographs by Kim Mark