Dr. Caryn Aviv has recently joined the Kevah Educator team and is leading her first Kevah Group with the recent expansion of Kevah in Colorado. She shared the unexpected impact this group is having in her own life – both personally and professionally.
I am currently leading my first Kevah Group – a cohort of powerful and strong women that are exploring “Ideas, Metaphors and Images of God.” We have been meeting every month since August and are exploring images of God in both contemporary and classic texts.
My experience with Kevah has been a dream job! I get to spend an afternoon every month teaching an engaged group on subject matter I love and hold sacred. The conversations are open and deep – it’s clearly a special space as everyone feels empowered to show up as themselves. I look forward to it every month as I leave rejuvenated and inspired. I don’t feel like I teach as much as pull together information, frame it and then support the group as they take the conversation and learning to levels I never imagined. I am just as much a learner in the circle as everyone else – which has always been my vision of what teaching should be!
I think one of the most memorable moments in our group occurred when we were discussing the expulsion of Hagar by Sarah and Abraham, specifically when Hagar encounters the divine in her moment of despair. The group proceeded to share very intimate moments when they have felt fully seen in their lives, embraced and accepted for who they were flaws and all. It was deeply personal and I think one of the most intimate conversations I have had the privilege of being part of.
Outside of her Kevah Group, you can find Caryn at Judaism Your Way where she is the Associate Director. She is also currently pursuing her rabbinic ordination through ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
Kevah works to empower individuals and organizations to build Jewish learning communities. Founded around a Berkeley kitchen table in 2008, when four friends created a pluralistic network of Torah study groups that appealed to their own ‘Do-It-Yourself’ ethos. From the two original groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kevah has expanded to a network of more than 60 groups nationwide. Kevah coaches group hosts through the launch process, provides existing groups ongoing support, recruits and matches educators, and offers outstanding Jewish educators training and curricular resources. Kevah’s commitment to educational excellence, accessibility of sources and principled pluralism enables Jewish adults to take ownership of their Jewish and spiritual lives.