Youth Center reimagined as The Kavy Family Pavilion

Written by Craig Berkowitch, President, Congregation Agudas Achim

June 1, 2021

A few years ago, Jeff Kavy came to the leadership of CAA with an idea to memorialize his beloved wife, Cary Kavy (z’l). The original plan was The Kavy Youth Center. Due to a variety of roadblocks and challenges, and then of course the Pandemic year, the efforts were paused. Early this year, Jeff asked that we reimagine the project. The building committee, with the project management expertise of our new Executive Director Rabbi Rikki Arad, approached the project with enthusiasm and got the ball rolling in a big way.

We are beyond excited to announce the building of the Kavy Family Pavilion.  The gorgeous outdoor space will not only be used for outdoor services, Havdalah, learning, and music, it will be home to many future simchas, parties, events, and fun for all. With our “new normal”, a large outdoor event space will be a perfect addition to our synagogue. The pavilion will be a well-lit, 30 ft x 50 ft paved area nestled among the beautiful trees and landscaping near the preschool and office entrance. It will have large built-in ceiling fans for extra ventilation during the hot summers.

The construction team is headed by great friends of our Jewish Community, Tyler Fuller, and his incredible team at San Antonio Tile and Construction Services. Long-time CAA member and architect, Steve Kramer, worked diligently to provide his expert services for the cause. The project will be done in two phases.

Phase I is the building of the pavilion itself. The House and Grounds Committee comprised of John Troy, Vicki Adelstein, Kelly Klein Kremer, Brian MacDougald, Robi Jalnos, Molly Sowry, and Eric Muchnick has provided significant input to ensure the structure and features are aesthetically compatible with the main building. The placement of the pavilion is set back in the wooded area to the right of the driveway circle near the school entrance. Construction on Phase I started last week.

Phase II of the project is currently being planned. The vision for this phase is a barbeque and seating area in Charlie’s Park across the parking lot from the school’s playground wall. This park, named in honor of CAA member Charlie Gurinsky, will connect the pavilion to the park through landscaping, paths, and other interesting elements. The House and Grounds Committee is hard at work developing a plan and budget for Phase II. This phase will also include the Thea Bloom (z’l) Memorial Garden.

The project has certainly been a labor of love. I am proud of the extensive list of congregants who donated much time and resources to make this memorial to Cary Kavy (z’l), Mike Kavy (z’l), and Leanore Kavy (z’l) a blessing for generations to come. The determination, grit, and imagination of this congregation is why we’ve been a beacon of hope and inspiration for over 130 years and why we’ll continue to thrive for generations to come.  Thank you all and I look forward to raising a l’chaim to you at the Kavy Family Pavilion’s opening in the fall.