The Pedagogical Basis of Small-Group Learning: A Response to Evans and Schwartzman
by Rabbi David Kasher
It has been a summer full of learning, and Kevah is pleased to have participated in a slew of wonderful programs. We began in early June with a Prayer and Music Intensive, run by master Kevah Educator Rabbi Dorothy Richman and featuring one of the experts on Jewish song and prayer, Joey Weisenberg. For three days, the halls of Beth El were filled with a beautiful blend of music and Torah.
Kevah was also thrilled to co-sponsor the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash, where Congregation Kol Emeth hosted scholars from Pardes, one of Kevah’s favorite learning institutions in Israel. Participants enjoyed two weeks of all-day Torah study in a recreation of Pardes’ Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, right here on the West Coast.
Fall Semester Kickoff!
It's the beginning of a new semester, and Kevah is thrilled to announce we're launching and maintaining more groups (nearly 65!) than ever before. Thanks so much to our terrific partners in the Bay Area, Boston, and beyond who are bringing Kevah Groups to their communities: Bend the Arc in San Francisco; Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley, Beth Sholom and Emanu-El in SF, Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, and Temple Sinai in Oakland; Contra Costa Jewish Day School; PJCC, Wornick Day School, Temple Beth El, Congregation Beth Jacob, Temple Sholom, and Peninsula Sinai Congregation in the North Peninsula; Reboot SF; Young Adults of the Jewish Federation in Los Angeles, and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP). May your year be filled with deep friendships and many chidushim (new insights).
Several Bay Area–based groups were on the list: KlezCalifornia, The Kitchen, Urban Adamah, Kevah, G-dcast and A Wider Bridge.The Natan Fund, a giving circle based in New York City, has given $953,000 in grants to 54 “cutting-edge emerging Jewish and Israeli nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs,” the agency announced on June 24.
Want a taste of Kevah's unique learning experience over the summer without making a long-term commitment? If you live in the Bay Area or in Boston and can gather 8-16 people for a one-time learning salon, Kevah will send you an outstanding educator. We're offering complimentary salons to the first five people to apply, so drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org today for more information.
The prestigious Wexner Heritage Fellowship, a two-year Jewish learning and leadership development program for a highly competitive group of 20 applicants, was recently in town to select its 2014-2015 San Francisco cohort, and this year's applicants for the program shined a bright spotlight on Kevah's impact in cultivating new Bay Area leaders. According to Rabbi Ben Berger, Associate Program Director at the Wexner Foundation, Kevah's impact was, well, everywhere. Says Rabbi Berger, “Our recent interviews of Wexner Heritage Program applicants in San Francisco highlighted a surprising and wonderful trend in the Bay Area. With candidate after candidate telling us about their experiences in a Kevah Group, it was clear to us that Kevah is providing much needed and much appreciated access to sources of Jewish wisdom and community.”
Have you ever wanted to explore the breathtaking creativity and rigorous logic of classical Jewish texts? This summer, Kevah is partnering with the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash to offer a 2-week intensive, all day learning experience in a pluralistic setting. The program will run from Sunday, June 15 through Friday, June 27 and will offer a full breadth of text study in Bible, Midrash, Talmud, Halakha, Jewish thought, contemporary issues, and more. Participants are welcome to sign up for one or both weeks.
We're so proud that Kevah has been recognized as one of the top 50 innovative Jewish organizations in Slingshot 13-14 - and we're excited to be in such great company. Mazel tov!
Download the Slingshot Guide.
This summer, Kevah celebrated its first graduating class of Kevah Teaching Fellows. Hailing from Boston, DC, New York, LA, Boulder, and the Bay Area, each of the 24 Fellows made great strides in their teaching skills and effectiveness over the course of the last year. The year-long Fellowship, generously supported by a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, included 3 in person seminars, biweekly meetings, mentorship, and in many cases, the experience of teaching a Kevah group. According to one participant in a Fellow-taught group, "let me just say how awesome the instructors are. They come fully prepared, work well with the dynamics of the group, and substitute seamlessly for each other when necessary.”