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The Kirva Institute was founded by Rabbi David Jaffe, is the formal organization name for The IOWA Project. Kirva is the Hebrew word for closeness.  Together, we are dedicated to bringing people into closer, healthier relationships with others, themselves and God for the sake of the repair of the world.  Through consultation, practice groups and curriculum development Kirva engages people in processes that deepen self-awareness while strengthening connections with others and God.

As community activists, business leaders, therapists, educators and more, Jews act in bold ways for Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world.  Kirva proposes to support this work by enabling people to develop richer spiritual lives based in the wisdom of Jewish sources.  A Jewish community made up of people deeply connected to self, other and God will be a people capable of acting with the moral courage necessary to change the world in a sustainable way.

It is under this organization, that Rabbi David Jaffe first released his book, Changing the World From the Inside Out.

Practical Tools for Connection, Caring, Action

A sense of being deeply connected leads to sincere caring, which, in turn leads to authentic action.  This dynamic of growth and action is the basis of all Jewish ethical behavior, whether caring for a sick spouse or working to improve the affordable housing stock in your community.    Mussar and Hassidic teachings, in particular, are filled with profound, Torah-based psychological insights and spiritual practices that provide an action-oriented road map that enable people to create a world that honors the dignity of every individual.

With the goal of encouraging such integrated, authentic action, Kirva uses simple, accessible, time-tested practices that enable people to:

  • Build a structured and meaningful, personal spiritual practice

  • Act with integrity, bridging their inner and outer worlds

  • Find personal relevance in Jewish tradition and texts

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