Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Later dudes and dudetts.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
with love and thanks to the Moishe House Community for making these beautiful creative moments possible
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
well, it seems I'm forgetful (I being David), and I sincerely, sincerely apologize for being late. My roommates think I overapologize and am oversincere, but with the Moishefamily, you can never be too sincere. Let's get an appreciation for being sincere, yeah?
I believe this picture is from Ein Gedi in Israel, and I wanted to put a plug in for my favorite device in my current blog posting - the fantastical funmachine known as the bicycle. Now that it's sunny out here in the middle states again, I have been rediscovering my love for bikes, and I did the 45 minute by bicycle commute to work the other day in celebration of the device.
Bikes are one of the most efficient machines for human transportation, with very little energy lost through friction, and they you from place to place without damage to the environment! I think use of bicycles instead of cars or even public transport is a great way to incorporate tikkun olam into our daily lives.
therefore, I challenge you out there in the Moishe community to make me put my money where my mouth is (or, rather, my feet where my mouth is. ouch) - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you start commuting to work by bike, I'll start doing it too! What better way to get more bang for your buck than making another person (that being me) be environment-friendly too!
I reserve the right to chicken out, but I probably won't. Also, I'd be happy to give pointers about how to make it a reality if you're not sure where to start.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Monday, May 7, 2007
I will also take up the appreciations. My first must go to Adam, who has rightfully recognized me as the best man. Adam, you are the best…well, second best.
Chris is the man who can do it all; From teaching Hebrew School, to taking classes in both Capoeira and Arabic, he pulls it off. But if we are talking about appreciations, I will once again second Mr. A.D, Cramer. David Weinberg is a man of many surprises. Not only does he receive the most amount of mail of anyone in the house, but he is constantly reinventing himself. As the tallest and most blogged about member of the house, he pulls things off that I would never believe: like leaving an amazing job for an even more amazing educational advancement, like breaking a self imposed 17-month abstention from the best thing in life—chocolate, like proposing and making happen a trip to the middle east—paid for by you and me. David continues to surprise me and the rest of the Moishe following. He is a good man to have around, and is the glue that holds us together. I hope he doesn’t melt in the hot, humid DC summer heat!
Sunday, May 6, 2007
I appreciate you, David.
Moishe House DC, inspired by Sir Isaac Zones, has taken to granting public appreciations. This is how many appreciations have been publicly granted in the last day: 0. This is how many appreciations have been publicly granted in the last week: 3. Leo deserves a public appreciation here on this blog: You're the best, man. Chris deserves a public appreciation as well: Chris, you too are the best, but not quite as best as Leo; Leo remains the best.
David: Your calm and your candor help us all relieve steam when steam relief is necessary.
Leo: Don't leave us
Chris: You keep us on our toes.
Adam in DC
Friday, May 4, 2007
She works for the Workmen's Circle down the way. It's like five minutes from us. She does organizing around young Jewish social justice activities. So do we.
This past week, she and I went to a May Day rally together. We talked about our fundraising campaign for the local Muslim community's new Roxbury mosque. We went to a discussion of a group called the Jewish Organizing Initiative where we talked about building power for progressive young Jews both within the larger Boston Jewish community and in Massachusetts politics more generally. And this Sunday we're co-sponsoring a discussion about anti-Semitism on the left and how to address it, with a really thoughtful speaker coming to present.
But what I like about Lauren -- and the real reason for my appreciation -- is that through this organizing and community-building work, we've become great friends. Over the past week I was having tough times with my girl, and Lauren both took care of me and offered to play with Danielle to make her feel better. We're having a game night tonight. And tomorrow we're going to Jamaica Plain's Wake Up the Earth festival with a bunch of other kids, helping to raise some $ for some good liberal causes and (I hope) eating some fried dough.
In conclusion, Lauren rocks.
It was a Battle Royal. In the midst of our fabulous softball team Moishe House SF found itself divided among two amazing softball teams in opposite dugouts. I, myself, was torn between the urge to hug someone on the other team when they got a hit, and my instinct to pump my fist and scream like a madman when we would crush their spirit with a double play. In my own life, an all too common cage match pitting friendship against testosterone.
The evening had it's fare share of intense moments. Isaac being pelted with ground balls, heated exchanges on both sides with the umpires, and some tasteless cheers from a team that will remain nameless...until now (MANISCHEWITZ REVENGE). But throughout it all it was fun (pantsuits), and not softball (19-5), that was the name of the game.
The lighter side of things dominated the evening, as this was also a match up of Business Casual vs. 80's Golfers. There was plaid and slacks aplenty, with a wide variety of colorful, and often offensive, polo shirts and sweater-vests. You may be nervous about that deep fly ball, but aren't you wearing penny loafers at a softball game? And thus lies the beauty of Moishe House. A potentially conflict infused situation, with a potential for awkward moments, is defused by silliness, and our ability to make everything just a bit ridiculous.
Moral of the story: Even if you happen to strike out looking, you can still look quite striking.
So it's been an epic month (which i'm sure you've picked up from all the S. African blogs). I hope this last month of April has been a great month for everyone filled with events, guests, happenings and plenty joy.
Now, Levi's topict about appreciation leaves little room for anything else besides a cheesy blog. Instead of shying away from the cheese, i've decided to embrace it. It is in that spirit that i will run through each house mate of the South African house and blab a bit about what qualities I appreciate.
Daanie: Daanie and me have recently created a band. kindof. Basically we made up a few songs on guitar and on a jemba drum about people in the house. The songs are funny (and pretty much all sound the same). So as a fellow band member i appreciate Daanie's creativity and rythemic flow.
Barnett: Barnett knows how much i appreciate his funny/ peculiar behaviour. However last week i forgot to do the shopping and he had my back- so that's my main appreciation for Barnett. Thanks dude.
Emma: Emma just rules. She is a procrastination junkie and an avid sitcom fan...of anything. The girl will watch luandry dry. So whenever I have an urge to watch something, I can always count on Emma as my partner in TV watching.
Strauss: It has to be said: the man can take any five ingredients and turn them into a gourmet meal. with a passion for chickpeas, tuna and chilli he literly feeds our house.
best house hever
well, i'm sitting here, as i do, a beautiful autumn morning (that's fall for you americans) in Cape Town, as i think about the wonder that is Moishe House.
5 friends, each with not an impure bone in their bodies, living together in the utmost harmony.
It really has been amazing.
when moving in initially, i was certainly worried that we'd be at each others throats from the start. it's turned out, however, that we have got on amazingly well
this blog is a testament to these great people, and how their caring attitude and accomodating natures have made living with them a pleasure
in good times and bad, moishe house ct members are there for one another - isnt that the point?
in addition, im very worried about the smell in our room (it's all strauss, there's no question - i shower once a day minimum, and only have about a third of the hair and body odour that he has) and i'm also concerned about the situation in israel. sometimes even more than i am about the smell. but anyway, that's moishe house!
i'm off to varsity (that's university), i'll post again soon
love daniel b
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Three things to know about Coachella i found out.
1. It's hotter than hell (even though we don't believe in it) in Indio.
2. You just can't see every band even though you feel like you're letting down an old friend by missing them.
3. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, even though great in every way, should now be called the Lukewarm Banana Peppers.
So April at the Moishe House LA turned out to be the "fun" month as most of our events were a based around some form of entertainment. It started off with a show for The Ventriloquists seeing Jeff, Danny, Moyer, Edi, and Eli as they rocked the Roxy. Then the month led in to comedy shows, movie showings, tons of poker, and Banner Outs (the new beach sport thats sweeping the Nation!!....wow, i'm corny). There's one person who I need to appreciate, however, from our Moishe House LAL community and thats Danny Levin. Danny shows up to most of our events and is always involved with what we are doing. Every poker night we can expect Danny not only to show up on time, but to come early and get parking passes with me for the rest of the crew. Being so dependable, I know that I can count on him to pull through for any event we throw.
On a side note, the LA Moishe House also had a visitor this month from Oregon; a journalist writing an article on the Moishe House. I believe he visited the Seattle house before coming to the LA house on his way to see Morris in Santa Barbara. It was great getting some public attention. Although his trip was short, we decided we had enough time to take him on a walk to Runyon Canyon, a hike with a view of the entire city, as he asked questions about the Moishe House program.
Hope the other houses are having as much fun as we are.....see you next month....~dave
I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to one of my flat mates. She hails from the Bear Flag Republic, the great state of Cali. Rachel has been such an integral part of the Jerusalem Moishe House. Really, Jacob and I wouldn’t be able to function without her- her cunning wit, delicious carmalitas, budget organizing, glass breaking, harif loving, lacto mongering, mitz gezer serving, sour candy craving, chocolate craving, chai with extra milk craving, love for that guy in her ulpan class who gave her that ugly shirt as a stam present that she didn’t like at all but pretended to even though she never ever wore it and it made him kind of upset, constant Facebook and Couchsurfing updates, impeccable scheduling, perfect karaoke to Alanis Morrisette’s rendition of My Humps, and irresistible smile; we really aren’t capable of handling the emails and other such administrative work that Rachel thrives on. This one goes out to you, Rachie Bear, my motek. Thanks for everything.
To explain why we will miss Ari so much, I look to this past Shabbat. We had over 40 people at our home, lively services, our usual complicated kashrut system at dinner, a dvar tikkun - jewish social justice teaching - about the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, awesome food, lots of clean up. And through the whole thing, our house members didn't say a word. I mean, of course we talked to people, but the leaders that Ari helped develop created volunteer roles and divided them up, and several different people took responsibility for set up, clean up, announcements, ritual stuff, food stuff, teaching. When I got upstairs, one of our volunteers was already there greeting everyone at the door. This is really a testament to Ari's organizing of the Shabbat team, putting faith in our volunteers to take our community to new heights through their own creativity and commitment.
On a similar note, I look to a lively debate happening daily in my email account about when we are going to schedule our next Artist's way session. Alyson got our friend Shira, who is the head of a major arts education program, to reframe the Artist's Way creativity program into a three part Jewish arts workshop. Alyson built the group and worked with Shira to develop a program, that included sharing, making art - including my favorite - finger painting! - and reflecting on what our work meant to us and how we could continue to grow as creators. The 3-part series went so well that when it was over, the members of the group didn't want it to end. So now, they are working on their own to make the group keep going without our money. Members of the group are also working together to infuse our all-night Shavuot celebration with an arts track, so that people can alternate between Torah study and workshops in dance, drama, and other creative things. And tonight I get to come home to a poetry workshop with one of my favorite Jewish poets!
We don't know how we will live without the bright eyes, brilliant minds, big smiles, and big hearts of Ari and Alyson, but we will work hard to honor their legacy by continuing to believe in our leaders, and by promoting spiritual and creative programming that we hope will be even half as cool as what they've pulled off.
We love you guys!
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Howdy to everyone, I wonder if anyone actually reads these things. We should set up a system where u buddy up/pair up with a house mate from another country - this will make sure that you will read at least 1 other persons blog! (And its always nice to meet people!)
Anywayz, things in South Africa are good. The weather is changing, the crime is buzzing, the health Minister is dying (*yay*) and life goes on for The Moishe house of South Africa. The German land lady still hasnt fixed the gate, our internet is back up and our maid still comes in for half a day every week cleaning the shit that we drop into the toilet bowl. The mystery continues- the smell in my room (which I share with Daniel B) continues and we are still not sure where it is coming from...a single item or from a general tipping point having been reached.Hoe hum.
So the theme of this months blog is to do with...someone. A person or individual who you appreciate or you hang around with etc.Hmmm.....well I will devote this to Justin van Zyl, who has been one of the pieces of furniture in the background as a regular house rat. He eats our food, sleeps on our floor and generally blends into the background like a warm painting who sleeps too much.
I write this memorial blog because sadly he has left us, very soon he will be gone. Lost ....for the next 6 months as he goes to Johannesburg to live with significant other as he attempts to inject some vitality into habonim in JHB. I wish him well and I hope that has ha a great time, his nick name Nabazela, says it all... he really is a great guy.
Now a rant before I end off: I saw on some Moishe house blog site some1 advertised something from the Anti-Defemation League of America to do with Rosenfeld's latest rant slandering Jews with a moral consciouse. He attempts to deligitimise their moral voice by alginging them with anti-zionists who do not recognise Israels right to exist and who, due to their unfit metaphors linking Nazi's with Israel, cause the 'new antisemitism'. All Rosenfeld exposes is his own inability to quote acurately from 'anti-zionist' books. For more info on this check out: http://www.zeek.net/704debate/
Viva debate Viva!
There is so much going on my life its hard to try to summarize it into
a single blog but I'd say that the key theme is one of transition. The
end of the old and the beginning of something else and Moish House is
just very important aspect during this key time in my life. I have to
say that the things I've learned from opening up my home to so many
strangers and letting them into my life has really impacted who I am
during these very important formative and transitional years of my
At work I've just confirmed my last day of employment as the 27th of
July. On July 12th, I'll be going to London for pleasure and then a
conference in Berlin and will be traveling until the end of July. I'm
also hoping to make it over to Israel\West Bank towards the end of the
month and then Turkey � that's all if the region doesn't see another
war this summer.
I'm also attending law school this coming August and I'm still not
sure where I will be attending. This sort of dominates my mind now but
I'm currently torn between Michigan and Cornell.
Events at Moishe House are getting more and more creative and I'm sad
that June will be my last month with Moishe House. I want to give a
shout out to my super cool roommate Joshua Einstein, the real Einstein
of Moishe House who has come up with some super fun and successful
events most notably the intellectual shindig. I think it's an event
that should be mimicked in as many MH as possible. You can check out
people opinions on our photo website for more details.
- J.R. (Hoboken)
Since moving in with Danny there has been many ups and downs (strikes and gutters), but there has been one constant...the food scene. Danny is into it, and I mean deep. Since living with Danny I have learned s0 many new things about food. For example, did you know that Trader Joe's sells a ten pound bar of chocolate? Or did you know the Kielbasa is officially a meal all by itself, or that it can be had as dessert? Danny has taught me quite a bit about breakfast. Danny likes to stick to a simple bowl of granola, with yogurt and some fresh blueberries, but on weekends he can get crazy and start to get into eggs, ham, smoothies, challah French toast with homemade strawberries, etc, etc, etc. Danny reinvented the cream cheese bagel with, dried mangoes and raisins...it was incredible (I am kicking my feet in the air just thinking of it). Speaking of the dried fruit scene, Daniel A. Blum is INTO IT. Just last night he ate 9 prunes in under 2 minutes, a new house record; and he had a BM following that lasted for 37 minutes (a second place record in the house).
But to say that Danny is only into the food scene is to limit him, and we dare not limit a human with such limitless potential. Danny is incredibly emotionally supportive, almost like a parent in some ways. Often consulting with friends before the go to talk to their parents about difficult issue, Danny is an incredible counselor and friend. He is very wise for his tender age of 25 and often blesses us with riddles and poems that give us glimpses into his insight. It is truly a pleasure living with someone of this nature.
In other news East Bay Moishe is alive and kicking despite our teams drastic softball month. Stating in May we will be starting a book club and if anybody is interested in joining and reading along check out our calendar for our monthly book club meeting. Our newest member Ashley Warner moved in yesterday, heck yeah. Lets get ready to Moishe the world.
And to those in Moishe Mobile, have fun, be careful, only eat a little bit of that at first and then wait...
Brady Gill is on the other end of the hug. He's wearing a hideous 2nd-hand jacket that our house gave him in anticipation of his 24th birthday this coming Friday, May 4th; he loved it more than anyone else I could possibly imagine. Brady has changed my life significantly in the last year and a half - mostly by following me in my footsteps aggresively and pulling me along into new ideas that Brady has which have changed the direction of my life (see Brady Gill's proposal in the appendix of the Moishe House binder).
Over my left shoulder and Brady's right hand is Naomi Cytron - my girlfriend Vivi's best friend from work. Naomi has been a pleasure to hang out with - and is the ideal student; eager to learn the secretive details of softball stardom.
Over Brady's left shoulder and my right hand is Sarah Stoner-Duncan. I went to high school with Sarah but really got to know her in the Spring of 2000 when she left high school a semester early and I delayed going to college and we travelled around Europe together for 2 months. Sarah is the core of our batting order and infield, is a great hugger and is generally a wonderful person to be around.
On the far left, with a camera in his face, is Danny Blum of the East Bay Moishe House. Danny is wearing a classic Giants hat from Barbados - he also got one for me on his family trip - and takes the most amazing pictures. I met Danny briefly in the summer of 2000 - his first year working at Camp Tawonga - and we have become closer and closer since, working parts of each summer at Tawonga together the last 6 years. Danny is an incredible cook, loves Bay Area sports and is generally an all-around good guy.
This is a snapshot of a Moishe event, my month as a member of Moishe San Fran and moreso - a snapshot of my life as a friendly guy surrounded by wonderful Jewish peers.
Life is good!!
We spent about a week with a big hole in the floor, covered by a couple planks. Lee fell through the floor once, the bumbling slob that he is. Meanwhile our Israeli neighbors, cousins of the landlord, moved out. Our landlords put a 'for sale' sign outside, so we're thinking it's a good idea to move on as well. Got the Westside Rentals account.
Let us know if you hear of anything, k?
Current mood: exasperated.
Listening to: Futurama on the TV even though no one is watching it.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Thanks especially to Morris - your commitment to the Jewish community and the way in which you empower its young people is an example that I take with me into the rabbinate. Thank you for this Moishe House Adventure.
In other news, look out for me to be quoted in an article in the Jewish Transcrpt (www.jta.org) tomorrow, as I was interviews by a reporter while attending the national meeting and conference for Jewish Voice for Peace, a Jewish activist group I have been involved with this year. The reporter was intrigued with me for wearing tzitzit while at a conference opposing the Israeli occupation (we can debate this subject later, but in the meantime, check out the article).
Meanwhile, today is May Day and I am about to head to the Seattle Center to participate in a rally for immigrant rights.
I appreciate my roommates, Norah and Jonathan for treating me like family here in Seattle. As I leave their house at the end of the month, it will be sad, but not the end. Peace and love, D
un(der)employed and trying to get my (work) life
together after running screaming (pretty literally)
from my last job (which shall remain nameless, as it
was a Jewish communal service job) -- but it just
ain't officially so til you've filed your taxes, and
the federal government goes ahead and gives you the
offical WASSUP of having earned less than $100 above
the poverty line.
So, as I reflected on how (relative to most of my
earning buddies here in high-price SF) little I made
last year, I realized how much I enjoyed this last
(long) stint of semi-employedness. Now, I'm no
stranger to not having health insurance, or anything
even remotely like job stability, and Craigslist
employment ads (twelve times a day, baby!) -- but
something happened when I went from being
lost-in-the-woods-naked kind of scared about my state
of affairs, to thoroughly appreciating (down to the
minute) this owning of my days. This last year of
rolling with the tides of having to tell my parents
(yet again) why I'm walking out on a job I held for 3
months has been downright liberating.
I've learned (in no particular order) : to slam an
office door on an abusive boss; to quit nicely; to
demand the big bucks for freelance bullshit work from
assholes; to work for free for people I respect.
Mostly, that I should really try to do what I love, as
my grandmother always said.
After all, it might just be crazy enough to work...
And, for the record, I did just land a sweet gig at
City Lights Books that I'm going to try to hold on to
for a while... My bosses and colleagues are
respectful, funny, fabulous and/or walking legends of
history (Lawrence Ferlinghetti) and I get to be around
books all day...
I guess I'll just have to plan better for my taxes to
not get screwed by that last $86 of income. Here's to
earning even less in 2007!
--Maia from SF
Catch the fever!
Last time I blogged I was running off to Guatemala. Well, I am back now and feeling recharged. Semana Santa (Easter Week) in San Pedro was gorgeous. Streets were carpeted in colored sawdust, flowers, pine needles, fruits, and vegetables, and all of it lasted only a few hours. The ephemeral beauty of creating public artwork and then trampling it right as it is completed is amazing. It is inspiring and refreshing. I think about this a lot today as it is May Day and in a few moments I will go off to join a rally for Immigrant and Labor Rights.
In the US we have parades and rallies and community events, but I cannot think of a time when we actually all feel connected as a community as I saw in Guatemala. There everybody from the smallest child to the oldest grandmother help adorn the streets and celebrate Easter. Even the clean up is a community responsibility. I realize that in SF our community is thousands of times larger, but even in large cities like Antigua I have heard that everyone is out in the streets celebrating together and creating beautiful carpets before the many processions. Today I will look to see if the feeling of community prevails in SF.
anyway though, the last couple of days have been pretty good. we've had a super long weekend here in south africa, because we believe in creating as many public holidays as possible, preferably all in a row. so we've been living it up from friday through to tuesday (ok, so technically monday wasn't actually a public holiday, but the majority of people seemed to view it as one), and now we're looking at a three day week. nice! well, actually not so nice, because i meant to use this mini vac to catch up on a whole lot of work, which of course didn't get done! oh well...
so, quite a bit has happened in the last month, from what i can remember. we've had all the yoms: yom hashoa, yom ha'atzmaut, yom hazikaron, and i don't know why, but for some reason, the memorial days affected me more than usual. i found the ceremonies we attended really sad and moving! yom ha'atzmaut was fun fun fun as usual though. we have it at our local amusement park every year, and all the jews in cape town congregate to celebrate Israel's birthday. it also reminded me how much fun roller coasters are!! wow, what a thril! :)
ooh, and highlight of the month is definitely the fact that i cleaned my room!!! it's so tidy and pretty and orderly now! and i even got new bedcovers with chinese symbols - looking good! the only problem is the new cleanliness seems to be attracting the other guys, and i often come home to find them lying on my bed and watching tv series on my computer. i've already got almost all of them addicted, mwahahahaha...
and speaking of my beloved computer, the guys decided it would be fun to vandalise it last night, and i came home to find my nice innocent background replaced by gay porn!! Something which they found hilarious, but for some reason i didn't quite get the humour... although it is the general feeling of the house that i'm now also a guy, so maybe it's just their way of showing affection, hmmm.
not that i mind being a guy. i've found that it's actually quite fun, although i'm starting to feel like friends of mine outside of the house might be getting just a little bit worried, so i decided to go shopping for some, um, "feminine" attire. so now, i'm all ready for winter, decked out in jeans, boots, long jerseys and a really cute hat!! and what's really great is that the guys actually noticed, so maybe it's not so much me becoming a guy as them all becoming girls... hehehe
well, either way, it's non stop fun in the house, whether we're stressed from varsity, overtired from going out too much, bored from procrastinating and avoiding work, or, the more likely option - all three. and of course there's our monday night dinners which are always great! last night was stir fry made by kev and barnett - so good!!
ok, i'm not so sure i'm making sense anymore, so i think i'm gonna end off now and go back to my studying, got a feeling i might have a test tomorrow :(
here's to many more public holidays in the (near) future!
em (with the cute hat) :)