We’re serious about living our values, taking responsibility for our actions, and building the world we want our children to inhabit and inherit. We named ourselves Havaya – which means “being” – in large part because it’s a play on “how we be” and on the Hebrew word “hoveh / the present time,” as a reminder that being our best selves isn’t something we aspire to in the future – it’s something we strive to do every day. Our values, based on a framework from Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, help bring this to life.
Belonging is the “indescribable feeling of being welcome.” It’s that moment of total comfort, warmth, and love – when we see one another, and are seen, for exactly who we are. At havaya, this is the water we swim in; it’s integral and infused into all we do. We are committed to representation and to celebrating lived experience, and we recognize the powerful and organic ways these can bring more dignity, justice, and joy to our work and our world.
We cultivate an environment of respect and trust, where each of us is challenged and supported to explore and grow our skills, styles, abilities, and experiences. Our campers and staff stand up for themselves and their friends, take responsibility for their actions, and understand the part they each play in creating a joyful and welcoming community. We know we can’t be everything to everybody and we won’t always get it right; we’re committed to being honest and transparent about this – even when it’s not easy. We see ourselves as a family: laughing and celebrating together; crying and lifting each other up; cheering on successes and naming opportunities for growth … not only over the summer, but all year round.
Judaism is alive and breathing for us – it’s woven into the fabric of all we do. We are a community that lives Reconstructionist ideals; deeply rooted in Jewish values and passionate about making them boldly relevant for today’s youth. We create intentional opportunities for campers to explore, define, and evolve their own Jewish identities and beliefs; because it’s personal, the connections they make to a global and diverse Judaism are lasting.
We’re committed to excellence and are always pushing ourselves to be, and do, better. We expect the same of our campers and families, our staff and leadership, and our donors, alumni, and friends. This means being willing to engage in difficult conversations, challenge ourselves, and own up to our mistakes. It’s about becoming our best selves and actively supporting those around us to do the same. We do this from a place of strength, proud of what we already do well and passionate about continuing to grow.
The summer will be here before you know it and we know there may be a lot of questions. We’re happy to help!