Dear Kevah friends, fans, current and former staff and board members, donors, Federation and foundation program officers, and Kevah Educators, group hosts, and group members,
Nine years ago this month, I had an epiphany: I had everything I had ever wanted--a loving husband, three young children with the oldest in kindergarten, a good job, a comfortable home, a synagogue I loved--and yet I felt surprisingly lonely. How could that be?
I reflected back on the things in life that had made me feel most complete, and I realized that two things were missing. First, I missed regular Jewish learning, which I had engaged in sporadically over my adult life. With so many other demands on my time, it seemed hard to prioritize any me-time, let alone time for Jewish learning.
Second, I missed seeing friends. When was the last time I had sat around a living room on a weeknight with a group of friends and just hung out? I couldn't remember. It had to have been years ago.
Being an entrepreneur by nature, I began to think about these two missing pieces, and wondered if perhaps, one could address them both by joining a small group of friends for regular Jewish learning.
Through that "peanut butter and chocolate" epiphany--that maybe one could learn Torah and connect with close friends at the same time--Kevah was born with the support of friends around my Berkeley kitchen table.
Nine years later, Kevah is leading the charge to make American Judaism more relational and more Torah-centric. We've launched well over 100 micro-communities, partnered with dozens of Jewish organizations to help them create Jewish learning communities, supported around 2,000 learners, and created a Jewish co-working space and a teacher training program to boot.
At this point, my eldest child--who was in kindergarten when Kevah was conceived--is now applying to high school. It's time for me to prioritize my own spiritual growth, my five children, my husband, and my relationship with the history, culture, and landscape of Israel, where we currently live.
It is my pleasure to formally turn over the leadership of Kevah to David Green, the former Director of Adult Education at the JCC of San Francisco.
If you want to do something to celebrate this transition, you can certainly make a donation, but even better--think about starting or joining a (or another) Kevah Group, and/or encourage your friends and family to create a Kevah Group of their own.
To all of you who have helped Kevah turn from a dream to a reality, thank you!
Sara Bamberger, Founder