Friday, November 27, 2009

Reach out! (Le freak, c’est chic.)

Ah yes, the question of outreach. At this early juncture in Moishe's existence, we find ourselves in an awkward transitional moment: many of the people in our communities are on Facebook, and fewer are on Twitter, while some relegate all of their digital communications to email. Meanwhile, many – if not all – are Facebook-fatigued and ever-weary of the monstrous abyss known as their "inbox." So, at Moishe House Providence, we leverage a diverse portfolio of outreach mechanisms, including an email list, Facebook profile, Google calendar, and text message reminders on the day of the events. This diversity allows us to reach people where they're at, and allows them to connect with Moishe House PVD via their preferred medium. Peeps can opt out of our email list and connect via Facebook, or opt out of both and simply get Google cal reminders. That said, not all media are created equal. Facebook has the advantages of 1) facilitating social advertising so that, for example, when someone clicks "Attending" to one of our events, that action shows up on their friends' feeds, which of course entices them to come to the event, and 2) enabling media aggregation, so that people can post photos and videos from our events in one pool (which we can then happily cull from when posting the event to the Mintranet). But alas, at the end of the day, what works best is a direct phone call or in-person invitation. Despite/due to the explosive emergence of new information and communication technologies, a personal touch matters that much more.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Outreach in Moishe House Boston

The blog's prompt for this month asked about outreach/turn-out/recruitment to Moishe House Boston events. How do we attract new faces?

Before I became involved in the Moishe House community in Boston, I would have guessed that the best way to reach out to Bostonian Jews was through Web 2.0 technology. Send out to email lists! Post it on our Moishe House website! Announce it at local Gesher City events! Put it on Facebook.

Well, these communication forms are undoubtedly important and serve as an effective "heads-up" to the community members about upcoming events. Indeed, we send out a weekly email on Mondays that list all the upcoming events for the next two weeks, as well as maintain our own website and Google calendar so people can see for themselves what is going on.

But, in all honesty, we don't count on this technology as our major recruitment tool. Rather, we rely on good old-fashioned relationships. In our opinion, receiving one, or even two emails, isn't going to be enough to catch someone's attention, unless they are actively looking for things to do. The way we see it: everyone in our community is part of a network of relationships. The best way to get someone to an event is to have a friend ask him or her to come. (Think of the parties you go to-- or even family's all in the people you know). So, for any given event, we first set our goal for turn-out. Then, we ask all those involved in planning the event to identify and call a set number of people. So, for example, we have an upcoming housing justice event planned. We want to make sure that around 30 people come-- so the 7 people helping to plan it each committed to bringing 4 people. This, combined with the weekly email announcements and web advertising, has been a very successful recipe!

We also use our Shabbat dinners as a way to introduce Moishe House to new faces. Generally, our dinners need little specific turn-out effort, since, by now, word-of-mouth is enough to get a solid 50 people. So, we see Shabbat as a time to welcome new people, gauge their interest, and give them a little "taste" of our community. One way we do that is by having a "dvar tikkun" at Friday night after services-- a brief overview of a specific social justice project that someone in or allied with our community participates in. This introduces a concrete project that anyone in our community can get involved with, and perhaps more importantly, sparks conversations throughout dinner about other events/social justice intiatives/etc that we have on tap.

Finally, I would say that the most effective way to get someone to turn out to an event and stay engaged with the Moishe House community is through involving them in the planning process for the event. This is a surefire way to up the investment level, sense of ownership and pride, and feeling of community. Even giving someone a small task can increase his/her excitement level exponentially, since they now feel "part of something." I challenge you to try this within your community. I would love to hear what happens!

Happy Thanksgiving!
--Michelle, Moishe House Boston

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

jodi's blog

last month it was really nice celebrating all the chagim together with my housemates. we had a beautiful sukkah and danced all together on simchas torah. we had lots of shabbos and chag meals and many new faces got engaged. also, we went on a corn maze thing...and it was my first time....sort of scarey. speaking of scarey, i really need a vacation and speaking of the devil, i am finally taking one. dear diary......

our team blog

We are regularly interviewed by the local Jewish paper, and we have a good mutual relationship. They advertise our events and it allows us to show Moishe House to our community.
We have not been interviewed by other papers as regularly, so that could be exciting. This would give us the opportunity to explain what we do to people who do not necessarily come from a Jewish background. In this case, I would like to refer back to Moishe House Int'l's mission statement. I think the Portland residents would also add that we are a Shomer Shabbat and Kosher Jewish home for Jewish young adults in Portland--and we do things that Portland people do. We do sports leagues, hikes, engage with our communities in service and activism, see films, listen to speakers, learn in classes, and some completely random things. We bring the spirit of religiosity and Portland young culture together in a way that celebrates Jewish holidays year-round and connects different generations and sects of Judaism for shared Jewish and recreational experience. Some examples are parties in our Sukkah for Sukkot, in the synagogue for Simchat Torah, and Portland Jewish Events' co-sponsored events such as Purim parties and 1-800 Shabbat. (1-800 Shabbat is a meal match-up between small groups of young adults and local families for a traditional meal, followed by a cocktail party all for the young adults!)
I would hope that as we grow internationally we are encouraged to relate thematically Jewish events to our local communities and cultures. I also hope that the Moishe House resident network can grow in a way that is mutuall supportive and enriching. Ie: opportunities to visit and connect are so valuable for cross-cultural understandings of Judaism. Retreats boost morale and inspire ideas and motivate action. In addition, I hope the Moishe House staff grows to be more experienced, more supportive and supported by the foundations that will fund Moishe House. I hope Moishe House staff can grow in their abilities to be extremely creative with programs, culturally sensitive, and also very knoweldgable about Judaism.
Jewish community, learning and Tikkun Olam are certainly labels for the kinds of aspects that develop naturally from Portland Moishe House programming. However, I'm glad that Moishe House connects us to resources for information about these aspects of Jewish life and hope they will continue to do so, should we need it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009



      Surrounded by the sweet smell of barbeque, civil-rights activist Felicia Kahn was seated on our porch, spinning stories about New Orleans to a young volunteer from Connecticut. The unlikely pair had struck up their conversation during a party welcoming synagogue members to the Broadmoor neighborhood, where they had volunteered to build houses. As the hosts, Moishe House succeeded in integrating the communal values and social activism of Judaism within the greater context of community building in post-Katrina New Orleans.
      Moishe Nola—the Broadmoor house Jeff, Jon and I call home—is the New Orleans branch of the international nonprofit Moishe House.  When David Cyglieman approached me at the Professional Leadership Project (PLP) conference I had no idea what was in store..
      At first people were skeptical, due in part to New Orleans’ small Jewish population. Jeremy and David questioned whether there was sufficient interest to host five events per month, because of the drop in the overall population in the wake of Katrina. Yet we knew that if the house stuck to three basic missions, then Moishe Nola would be capable creating a unique, young Jewish community: 
    1. Innovative and Comfortable Space: Create events and programs that reflect the diverse interests of our peers ranging from urban planning to cooking to guest lecturers.  
    2. Pluralism:  Welcome people of all ages, religions and denominations and let them decide their level of involvement in our functions.
    3. Commitment to New Orleans Community: Resolve to reside in Broadmoor and support the flood-damaged neighborhood’s recovery.    
 Our past events have been a success but as recovery transitions to revitalization and increasing events/affinity groups for young Jews emerge, Moishe Nola needs to re-examine how we can ensure its sustainability.  In it most basic terms, Moishe House's sustainability is dependent on people committed to organizing its mission.  While I know that we could find individuals that believe in the general Moishe House mission, our branch is interested to learn how other communities maintained program continuity while transition house members?  Additionally, Moishe NOLA needs to empower other young Jews and Jewish groups to use the Moishe House space.   For example, Jon Graboyes is on the Federation's Newcomer committee and hosted them at the Moishe House.  Working in the Moishe House context and hearing the success stories from Jon and other leaders, helped propel the committee to consider more flexible newcomer programming.  
  This example resonates with one of  Moishe House's greatest strengths, its commitment to empowering the programming decisions to be decided at the local level.  Truly, I think one of the overarching themes for Moishe House's mission is encouraging diverse and active Jewish participation.

Jeff, Jon and Gill  (JOSIE)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MH JHB - House Mission

The Mission of Johannesburg Moishe House

The mission statement of our Moishe House is based on the unique needs of the Johannesburg Jewish community. Young adults in this community often find it hard post-school to develop a sense of belonging in their Jewish World.

As such, Moishe House Johannesburg is about building a kehilla, one in which people feel at home, at our home, and one in which people know that on a regular basis they’ll be able to come and connect with their Jewish identity.

Equally, Jewish learning is of incredible importance to us as a house, and we work to provide a space for engaging in Jewish issues from a wide spectrum of thoughts. Regular Moishe attendees are encouraged to bring their own interests to the table, and not to simply rely on the house mates to stimulate thoughts.

Values inherit in Judaism are vital to what we are striving to achieve, as such the notion of tikkun olam and actually acting to better the society we live in is key to us as a house and as a communal space. We want to provide oppourtunities for Jewish youth to engage in a range of different outreach programmes.

We think that these ideas are key to the mission of Moishe House, not just in Johannesburg, but worldwide. Moishe House is a place, but also so much more. We must maintain a sense of community, so that we can learn together, build together, and work together. So that the house becomes a symbol of something much more powerful.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Denver House Blog

Moishe House Denver on the Future of the Organization

Imagine your Moishe House has been chosen by a local newspaper to discuss the future of the organization as a whole in the long term - what would you say?

MoHoDenver was recently interviewed by the Intermountain Jewish News. Our thoughts and views will be expressed in the article coming out in the next couple weeks! As a preview, we believe this organization is connecting with a new generation in ways that re-invigorate, re-engage, and re-connect with the growing young adult Jewish community around the globe.

What would you say is the mission statement for your local Moishe House?

serve as a hub and welcoming home environment for the young adult Jewish community. Our vision is a place where we can engage, connect, and learn, while also creating our own unique vision of an ideal Jewish communal space that connects with the larger community through tikkun olam both locally, and globally.

How would you frame what might become the international Moishe House mission statement?

To serve as a hub for the young adult Jewish community to spend time together in a home environment, create our own unique vision of an ideal Jewish communal space, and connect with tikkun olam both locally, and globally.

How would you include concepts of Jewish Community, Jewish Learning, or Tikkun Olam in your explanation?"

To serve as a hub for the young adult Jewish community to spend time together in a home environment, create our own unique vision of an ideal Jewish communal space, and to explore, engage, and connect with jewish learning and tikkun olam both locally, and globally.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Boston House Blog


Our vision:
At the Moishe/Kavod House, we seek to treat all with honor, recognizing the unique talents each person has to share. Through this kavod, young people are empowered to strengthen both the Jewish community and local social activism.

Blog abstract: Moishe/Kavod seeks to build on our model of empowering young adults to take ownership of their Judaism by continuing to develop the leadership of our community members, and by providing those leaders an institutional voice into the larger Jewish community

At its most basic level, Moishe/Kavod House is a stop-gap.  A place where young adult Jews who are too young and financially insecure to join traditionally structured Jewish communities through synagogue can go to engage with Jewish community.  Yet, our community strives to be much more than that.  Moishe/Kavod is not just a place where young adults go to engage with Judaism until they move on to more traditional venues, it is a place where they take ownership in creating their own vision of Jewish community.  In providing an opportunity for young adults to shape their own Jewish community, Moishe/Kavod also seeks to be a channel though which young adults can take ownership in the larger Jewish community.  Our vision is to be an institution that develops young Jews as leaders and fosters their voice in shaping the larger Jewish community. By providing an institution where young adults have ownership

      The role of being a voice for our community members into the larger Jewish community may seem like an unusual role for a Moishe House, yet it is also one of the most traditional roles of an institutionalized Jewish community.  Bound together by the values of their religious tradition, many synagogues act as a venue for Jews to express and act upon those values.  In the U.S. Jewish community, it is common for synagogues and temples to associate with larger denominations or movements, and for the national bodies of these movements to pass resolutions and issue statements on behalf of the community they represent.   Most Jewish institutions also belong to a local Jewish Community Relations Council, using their membership to make sure their voices are heard at the council, which in turn seeks to represent the Jewish community as a whole. Furthermore, many synagogues have community committees that take stands on issues such as genocide, the Middle East, poverty issues etc, and act together towards Tikkun Olam. These committees are one way institutionalized Jewish communities take a stand on issues they care about, live out their Jewish values and express those beliefs to the larger community.
      The problem, of course, is that because Jewish young adults don't tend to join these institutions, we don't get a voice into the larger conversation.  National bodies and local JCRCs speak on behalf of the Jewish community as a whole, including young adults as part of their constituency.  Yet we as young adults, with our passion for creating positive change, have very little voice into what is said on our behalf. Clearly young adults are not likely to join synagogues just so that our voice can be heard in an institutionalized community, but this absence is notable.  While of course young adults are not a different species from our older peers, and are not always in in disagreement with our larger community, studies suggest that Jewish young adults have differing opinions on issues such as gay marriage, the environment, Israel, inter-marriage, etc. (See the Bronfman report, "Israel in the Age of Eminem," by Frank Luntz, or Steven .)  Young adults need to engage with the larger community on these topics if we are going to be future leaders in the community.   Like all Jews, we want to be part of a Jewish community that acts on our values.  If this is going to happen, we need to be a part of expressing and shaping those values.

        The Moishe/Kavod House hopes to help young adults Jews foster their vision for the Jewish community both through being an institution that can speak and act collectively on our values, and by developing the leadership of the individuals in our community.  Rather than four housemates designing programming that the rest of the community consumes, we encourage and empower community members to design their own programming.  The housemates foster relationships with young adults Jews in Boston, getting to know what they want out of their community, and giving them the resources they need to achieve this themselves.  By developing young adults as leaders, we help them act on their vision for the Jewish community and shape the community's future.
    The next step is to help these developing leaders have a seat at the table with the larger community.  We would like to see Moishe Houses become established as permanent institutions in our local cities, and accepted as a member of our local JCRCs.  We envision a Jewish community where people look to Moishe Houses to hear the voice of young Jews as leaders. 

October Blog - Moishe House Buenos Aires

Hola from Moishe House Buenos Aires

Moishe House creates a space for young Jews to create a Jewish community of their own. In a world where we have the autonomy, freedom of choice and abilities to consciously choose each ingredient that make up our own worlds (Jewish and otherwise), the Moishe House offers a space for Jewish lives, of our own design, to develop. Moishe House also crucially facilitates building a community of like-minds choosing a similar path.

What the Moishe House will be like in the future is difficult to predict because change is inevitable. But the Moishe House will continue to thrive because it works. It reaches a group in a target age range that no other initiative of its kind does. One key factor that ensures its success and longevity, is the freedom it offers its Houses. It allows each to adapt to its environment, and trusts the Housemates to tailor-make programmes for their communities, without having strict guidelines. As Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Moishe House Buenos Aires aims to offer a space and provide experiences where young Jews can progress on their own personal Jewish journeys, together with their friends. It aims to be part of building a Jewish community by bringing Jews together and enjoy developing Jewish values through tikkun olam, deepening connections to Judaism through Jewish learning and in strengthening a sense of being part of a community of Jewish friends through celebrating and commemorating the Jewish calendar together. Just being together, hanging out, eating together, going out together, chatting, playing and partying also form a very important part of ensuring that Moishe members are enjoying the journey, forging friendships, maybe finding the loves of their lives and then having little Moishes running around!! he he he! Ultimately we've got to ensure the future of the Jewish people - right? ;)

October Blog - Moishe House Mexico City

Moishe House Mexico City, located in one of the hippest and coolest places in the biggest city in the world, is more than a house it's a home were all kinds of errant or gypsy Jews and Jew-lovers can rest their feet and wet their beaks. MHM city is composed of three intellectual-like fiends who are always talking nonesense. Whether you enjoy a deep discussion, total nonesense, or just mooching from us, feel free to come on over. Just look behind a Mariachi and you will find one of us...

Moishe House branch Mexico City is staffed by Alan, Paul and Rene. Alan is obsessive-compulsive, tall and tells really bad jokes. Paul is a little bit psicotic, really tiny and has a really bad temper every morning. Rene is a hermit, a ginger kid and enjoys spending sunday afternoons with functions, mathematical that is. If this does not bring you rushing into Moishe House you should seriously get your head examined. This is, simply put, the weirdest place in town. If you thought Mexico City was chaotic it's because you haven't tried our house.

If you just want to chill and have a good time, please don't hesistate to call first, we might be busy.

Moishe House Defectuosa seeks to foster a fun and integrating community.

Alan, Rene and Paul are sure to provide an exciting, fulfilling and fun-filled time. Whether it's through Paul excellent cooking, Alan perfect organizing or Rene hard work we are sure to provide you with the time of your life. Want something chill, give us a call, the kettle is always on, the beers are always cold and the shishas are almost never off. Come hang out we are happy to entertain. Our philosophy is: "An empty Moishe House is a Sad Moishe House".

Moishe House Mexico City is were the fun never stops. We have all types of events all month long, check them out, see what fits and try them on. We are pretty sure you will find something that is just right for you. Don't like anything we offer, the give us a call and will arrange something. We are willing to tailor something just for you. We are always looking for new and exciting people to come to our house.

October Blog - Moishe House Budapest

First of all Moishe house is NOT an organization. One of its success is that it is grass roots, organic thing, and every house evolves freely without any prescribed ideological background. On the long term I would say it can easily become a movement that is going far beyond its current frames. I have already heard that in London, there is someone opening a Moishe-house–like-place as his own initiative. Since the idea is great, I am sure others will also try to do so, as well in the future. It’s a very dynamic and efficient project – and it is so Jewish to share your home, invite people and build such communities! Our generation has a need to create their own Jewish home and their own community – and to do it together is so exciting, ‘caus you have a constant option for reflection and dialogue and you can help – and be supported on your personal and on your Jewish journey.

Our mission statement in Hungary is RE-generation – re-invention / re-interpretation and re-construction of Jewish tradition! Stay cool, get to know Judaism – as it was and as it is – and imagine it as it never was! Make your stand point, be open to others, listen to the others, be responsible for your community – and have fun while having a meaningful life, with Jewish content, and a vibrant community!

The international Moishe house statement would be very similar to our own one as it is essential in the concept of the Moishe house that it is done all over the world. But, perhaps you could add a further aim: “to enhance the exchange and mutual inspiration of young Jews all over the world”

The concept of Jewish community is perhaps the easiest to track down in the Moishe house. Home and homeliness, hospitality are core values of Judaism that are realized in a unique way through Moishe house: a home for a community – a community for a home!

In addition to this the Moishe house community exists online, virtually, as well, across the whole world. Just like Jewry also is spread all over the place.

“Tikkun olam” is a term that we do not know enough to be able to talk about. But if we take the simplest meaning – “repair the world” the Moishe house is a crucial element of re-vitalizing Jewish culture in Europe and all over the world, after the void caused by the Shoah. Beyond that by re-viving Judaism we revive a tradition of “tsadakah” and “social cohesion”. In many houses young Jews organize events for social justice.

Last but not least, learning is a crucial element of Moishe house: you learn about yourself when moving in – you learn about your community and through the programs you learn about Jewish culture and tradition. Community and learning are closely interconnected here – just like in Jewish tradition – learning is not an individual but a community experience.

MH Cleveland - November. Naima!!!

Moishe House is a non-profit organization founded in order to build communities for Jews in their twenties in the diaspora. We are spread so far around the globe that it can be difficult to find other Jews to talk to and interact with on a daily basis wherever we may be. Our goal is to engage as many people as we can, in a traditionally unengaged and under-represented section of society. We are open to individuals who wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable in a more traditional setting, as well as individuals who are interested in learning about Judaism. We achieve this through having events focused on Judaism and events with a more recreational focus. We have built what we would consider a sacred Jewish community, a safe space for people to express their Judaism and their connection with the divine presence.

Using this model Moishe House will continue to expand, while supporting its current communities. This will lead to the under-represented group of Jews in their twenties becoming mainstream and recognized as a cohesive Jewish community by the community at large. At the same time, life is often more functional and comfortable when one has a supportive community. Moishe House truly seeks to build this community for a demographic that is neither ready to settle down, have children and join a congregation, nor of the age to attend youth group or hillel programs.

Moishe House Vienna

Who hasn't heard of Moishe House in Vienna? Today, Moishe House is the organization which is involving the most people in Vienna, organizing the most events! Everybody is somehow involved, from Jewish mothers to rabbis and senior citizen but most important of all of course... the young adult Jewish community! Hundreds of people are involve in the project, helping organizing the events, cooking for Shabbat, giving lectures or simply participating in the events.

Our mission statement is to create a vibrant and meaningful community for young Jewish in their 20's. This is done through all kind of events from social to spiritual, cultural and historical. Vienna is a city like many other Eastern European cities that has a very difficult and sad history for the Jewish community. After the WWII, Jewish life in Vienna was almost non-existent, especially for young Jews; Moishe house is a unique opportunity to revert from a sad and cold past to a warm and happy future for the young Jews in Vienna.

Moishe house Vienna is now celebrating its first year in it beautiful penthouse in the center of Vienna. In a year, the programs didn't stop growing from a few people attending to many, some interested to learn more about Judaism, some are interested in Tikun Olam (such as visiting the retirement center) and other are simply happy to be part of the warm big colorful family, the Moishe House family!

We would like to take the chance to thank David Cygielman, Kevin Sherman and the rest of the MH Headquarter crew and of course all those who financially contribute to make this whole experience possible.

We have no doubt that the project will continue to grow positively and have a great impact in the whole world!

Warm regards from Vienna,
Michael, Eytan and Daniel

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Moishe House Great Neck

Imagine your Moishe House has been chosen by a local newspaper to discuss the future of the organization as a whole in the long term - what would you say? What would you say is the mission statement for your local Moishe House? How would you frame what might become the international Moishe House mission statement? How would you incorporate the concepts of Tikkun Olam, Jewish Community or Jewish Learning in your explanation?

The Moishe House Organization has a strong future. As each house gets stronger in its local community, the overall footprint of Moishe House will get larger in the international Jewish social group landscape.

"Moishe House Great Neck strives to provide Young Jewish Professionals in New York, regardless of their background, the opportunity to connect with other Jews, while at the same time cultivating their own Jewish Identity, and ultimately making the world a better place."

Although each house will choose their own way in achieving this goal, the above mission statement identifies what each house ultimately provides. Also, the mission statement clearly incorporates the concepts of Tikkun Olam, Jewish Community, and Jewish Learning. If Moishe House programs succeed in building stronger Jewish Communities through socializing, and in allowing participants to connect to Judaism through learning, then by default Tikkun Olam will be achieved.

We look forward to seeing you all in DC.

Shabbat Shalom,
Moishe House Great Neck

Oakland Muse

Synagogue! Summer camp! Bar/Mat Mitzvah! Confirmation! ...Then what? Moishe house is dedicated to building community atmosphere for young adults based on their interests, providing a co-creative space in which we can embrace our Jewish heritage. The presence of our group enriches local culture as we contribute to the society in the Bay Area using our inspired group of young people and ideas about a more beautiful world. As young adults, we can sponsor stimulating events with relevance to both Judaism and our contemporary experience of the world. Community can develop from anything. It's how we learn about people, and our own social presence. It's the structure, and entropy, which illuminates our strengths; what we contribute individually! This is the forum at Moishe House for exploring spirituality in Jewish tradition. We are the people 'chosen' to experience these times. We learn from our ancestors and create lifestyle with our friends. Moishe House residents have each elected to learn more to appreciate our cultural heritage and participate in establishing connections among young Jewish adults within our greater community.

Moishe House Oakland is particularlly invested in exploring music and art, as well as the importance of quality food for a beautiful and sustainable lifestyle. As Artists and Musicians, we welcome communication through theatre, comedy, story telling musical performances, art installation and exhibition, poetry, film appreciation and of course goods eats. We are fortunate to be surrounded by rich cultural opportunities and Jewish history inherent to the San Francisco Bay Area. As our community grows we develop new ways to interact with our dynamic region. We both learn from and contribute to Bay Area culture.

Our residents are a talented group of activist organizers. Our interests include lifestyle development for a rich diversity of inner city populous, speech empowerment and inspired liberal arts, expertise in exploring literature and film to gain understanding about communication and activism through sustainability. Sustainability enables us to open heartedly welcome an abundant healthy future for family and ourselves. Creating awareness about quality food and local market supports positive social change and contribution to a thriving population as well as a potent driven economy.

Back on the Shtettle, all residents had their own part to play. They played it well and taught their children, always making time to stop and enjoy the subtleties of generating a relationship with their neighbor, through connection of both praying and being persecuted together. "The concept of shtetl culture is used as a metaphor for the traditional way of life of 19th-century Eastern European Jews. Shtetls are portrayed as pious communities following Orthodox Judaism, socially stable and unchanging despite outside influence or attacks" (wikipedia). Moishe House opens it's doors to welcome and support a vibrant Jewish culture throughout the world and sustain cultural heritage. It's a new paradigm stimulating spiritual development in ways our youth can relate to and take ownership of their personal experience.

Moishe House DC monthly blog

DC is an odd place. I guess all places are odd places, but DC is odd in that the Jewish population of young adults in DC is one of transience. Roots are not growing here. In addition, people who are here are here for a reason. They are tethered here by work or school or sexual partner. Why do we mention this? We mention it because these are the conditions that we combat when trying to grow our community, a group of folks with no interest to be part of a community, a group of folks looking for a service provided. So to create actual community, the goal of our house, is to find a way to convince people that it is in their best interest to not treat every situation like a service to them. How do we do that? To tell you the truth, we try to do it in lots of ways, sometimes they are successful but much more likely they are unsuccessful. It's like throwing darts at a wall, knowing that most of the darts will miss. Of course, we all know that if we throw a big party, or a big shabbat dinner, then we will have upwards of 100 people. But that really misses the point.

The goal of this house, the mission statement if you will, is to take a community of Jewish young adults, a community that for the most part has always had access to Jewish life, and to stretch as a community in order to find ways to bring in other Jewish young adults less connected to Jewish life, and to try to connect with our community. The community in DC is also hard to connect with because they expect upper middle class white young adults (99% of our community) to have no interest in creating community. The way to create this community over the long haul is to find a way to incorporate intelligent and captivating content into our monthly activities. People enjoy going bowling, but it does not necessarily create lasting community. Actually learning something at our events would go a long way. However, this raises the question of how to incorporate intelligent content in a captivating way. This is something we still haven't managed to master. but we're working on it....

Serving Community Observing Unity Together Standing

We at the Moishe House recognize our role in the global Jewish community as citizens of the world. Our mission is to unite a generation of brilliant thinkers and allow them to pave the way for a greater future, one house and one event at a time.
The Russian Speaking Chicago Moishe is focused on being the perfect blend of the various perspectives that express the Jewish experience. Our Judaica activities and gatherings explore culture, spirituality and social awareness through a Russian lens, nevertheless, we have youthful fun in all that we do. Our house is unique because we are still deeply connected to our European roots and lifestyle perspectives. As a result, we are the perfect blend of old school sentiment living in a new era where information travels as fast as thoughts.
Fortunately through unseen variables and happenstance circumstances, our house is attractive and is able to host large groups comfortably and in a nurturing setting. Since we are all natural born leaders with a wide array of talent, skill and humor, we create an ideal spectrum for creative problem solving strategies and event based activities. Our strength lies in our mindset and our ability to listen to each other.
Although we do not claim to have any solutions or bear any truth on how other Moishe houses should conduct themselves, we do encourage for fair play and empathetic listening. In addition, it is important that all those involved with our organization understand that time management and clear tasks allow for clearer communication. Moreover, it is important not to become overwhelmed with small details in relation to the larger picture.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, we are proud to present S.C.O.U.T. SCOUT is an acronym that stands for Serving Community Observing Unity Together Standing. Every Moishe House resident is a explorer in his or her right. All of us joined because we yearn to contribute and learn more about ourselves in the context of our community. Together we serve the global community, in doing so, we observe our unity and because of this a generation will stand together and let the world know that we are still here to brighten the lives for mankind.

October Blog - Moishe House Beijing

As a Moishe House chapter, one of our roles is to represent the organization on a local level. At the heart of that role is establishing a Jewish communal base for Jews who might not necessarily have an outlet for Jewish experience. The foundations of a Jewish community are necessary for Jewish life to be realized in any sense. Through Jewish communities such as Moishe House, young Jews are able to fulfill their interests in Judaism as they see fit. The ultimate goal of Moishe House Beijing and Moishe Houses internationally is to have these communities be dictated by their members entirely. By enabling each community to design itself, said communities are stronger because everyone involved has his or her values represented. Moishe House’s throughout the world are strengthened in the future sense because of the strengths of each individual community, as well. As young adults, most Moishe House members are somewhat transient and their positive experience in one city will likely encourage them to participate in a Moishe House in their next stomping ground.

Moishe Houses’ diverse yet cohesive communities provide endless opportunities for Jewish learning by their natures. Pull together ten Jews from ten different parts of the globe and they have undoubtedly each had different relationships to Judaism throughout their lives. Moishe House Beijing is especially diverse in its members’ home cities and countries because of our expatriate base. Because Judaism is not monolithic, everyone’s experiences are able to shine through and educate fellow Moishe House members. Tikkun olam is also a natural outcome of such distinctive Jewish communities. The types of young adults attracted to Moishe House’s member-led community are generally community-minded, in general, in other realms of life. Put a group of spirited, socially active young adults together and they will ultimately inspire each other to make the world a better place in one way or another.

The Big Mission

This month’s blog topic is actually quite relevant, as a couple weeks ago, a local newspaper came by to write a story about what exactly Moishe House is and what we’re doing!

We’ve done a lot of thinking about the identity, vision, and direction of Moishe House Orange County recently. The mission of Moishe House Orange County is to provide a warm, welcoming environment for Jewish social, cultural, and religious programs to take place for Orange County’s 21- 30 year old Jewish community. Our house is a friendly space without any political, religious, or financial motives. We see our House as Orange County’s hub and gathering space for true friendships to blossom and unique programs to take place for Orange County’s Jewish young adults.

We have found that social events at Moishe House Orange County seem to be quite successful, however we are still trying to find our way with Jewish Community, Jewish Learning, and Tikkun Olam programs as some seem to be quite successful while others our community just doesn’t seem to be simply interested in no matter how great of an idea we, as residents, think it is. Our Shabbats are always meaningful and successful, but the interest for other Jewish programs is often either hit or miss. We think that having a roundtable discussion and sending out surveys about these programs will help us better gauge the types of Jewish Community, Jewish Learning, and Tikkun Olam programs our community want to participate in. Engaging our community and empowering them in the types of activities they want to participate in will bolster community support and participation in these Jewish- related activities. When we are able to do this we will achieve our mission of providing a warm, welcoming environment for Jewish social, cultural, religious programs to take place for Orange County’s 21- 30 year old Jewish community.

The beauty of Moishe House is that each House is unique. Each House has its own flavor and spice based on the local Jewish community and the House’s residents. Each House has its own identity, and based off this identity, offers its own unique programs for the community. We think that this is why Moishe House is so successful in every city that has a House.

If we were able to incorporate our House’s mission statement for the International Moishe House mission statement, it would go a little something like this: Moishe House’s mission is to provide a comfortable, unique, warm space in cities across the world for Jewish adults in their 20’s to build community based on the interests and passions of all involved. The goal is for each House to grow a unique Jewish community based on past, present, and future participants’ interests and passions. Moishe Houses across the world have dedicated, engaged, and empowered young Jewish adults in cities across the world to make this mission and goal flourish.

Much Love,
The Moishe House Orange County Roomies

October Blog - Moishe House Chisinau

В жизни каждого человека должно быть место, где он чувствует себя в безопасности, где он знает, что его ждут; место, куда ему хочется возвращаться, куда он готов вложить частичку самого себя.

. На сегодняшний день мы особенно остро ощущаем необходимость в таком месте.

« В современном мире правят безразличие и жестокость, и нет места человеческим чувствам и состраданию» - считает поколение 21 века, но мы сейчас пишем эту статью, чтобы показать обратное.

Наш Кишиневский Мойше Хаус за один месяц своего существования стал островком доброты и света, и показал на своем примере другим, что идея, подкрепленная благими намерениями, всегда будет реализована.

Сейчас у нас много планов и идей. Мы как искра в стоге сена разжигаем еврейскую жизнь в Кишиневе, но вначале нам это казалось практически невозможным.

Еще в момент зарождения проекта многие нас отговаривали. Обидно и то, что едва ли можно было найти поддержку даже у близких людей. Нам, «создателям» Мойше Хаус в Кишиневе приходилось встречаться чаще, чтобы не потерять веру в свою идею и надежду в положительный исход, ведь быть первыми – сложнее всего. Но время проходит и кажется, что Мойше Хаус получился сам собой.

Всего лишь один месяц и столько переживаний и эмоции, которыми хочется поделиться.

За этот месяц мы приобрели организационный и жизненный опыт . Никогда в жизни знакомства с новыми людьми не происходили с такой интенсивностью. Главное гореть идеей – тогда люди как бабочки слетаются на свет.

Мойше Хаус – это наше детище: мое, Юли и Стаса. Кому-то это покажется смешным, но мы как родители любим и заботимся о нашей идее.

Как родителям возвращается та ласка и забота, которую они дарили своему ребенку, так и мы, всецело отдаваясь нашей идее, получаем отдачу от людей которым с нами интересно. Я никогда не забуду горящие глаза людей и слова благодарности после посещения концерта классической музыки. Важно понимать, что для некоторых это был их первый опыт знакомства с искусством, для некоторых это была возможность с другой стороны посмотреть на классику. В любом случае – что-то качнулось на мировых весах зла и добра.

Пришло время перемен! А Мойше Хаус оказался в нужное время в нужном месте…

Moishe-house Chisinau English....

Each person needs to have a place where they feel safe, where somebody is waiting for them, a place that they wants to come back to, a place where they want to leave a small peace of their heart. Nowadays, we feel the need for such a special place, that would serve as a “shelter”, where we can hide from the emotional pressures of everyday life.

"In today’s world of indifference and cruelty, there is no place for human feelings and compassion" – believes the generation of 21st century, but in this article we want to show the opposite, the bright side of this world.

In a period of just one month,
Moishe-House Chisinau has become an island of goodness and light, as we have shown others that a well-intended idea will always be realized.

Now, we have a lot of plans and ideas. We now see ourselves as a spark in Jewish life in Chisinau, but it was not all that easy at the beginning. Just one month has passed but we already have so many emotions that want to share with you.

This month we gained experience in both the organizational aspects of Moishe House and in our private lives. Never in my life has making new friends occured with such an intensity. We feel that our spark is becoming a torch that attracts supporters and admirers alike.

Moishe House is our child: mine, Julia’s and Stanley’s. It might sound ridiculous, but we love and take care about of our idea just as parents take care of their children.

As parents receive back the tenderness and the care they gave to their child, so do we get feedback and support from people who are interested in the idea of Moishe House. I will never forget the burning eyes and words of gratitude after attending a concert of classical music as part of a Moishe House event. It is important to understand that for some it was their first experience of acquaintance with art, for some others it was an opportunity to take a second look at the classics. In any case - something shifted in the world balance of good and evil.

It's time for change! And Moishe House is at the right time in the right place ...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Moishe House Seattle's monthly blog

It's a pretty rare thing in life, to have someone walk up to you and
offer you a massive rent subsidy, plus a bunch of extra cash to throw
Jewish learning discussions and dinner parties and bowling nights.
It's not an opportunity that comes up often, this exchange of money in
turn for creating something that is meant purely for personal
enrichment. Really, Moishe House is giving us this enormous gift each
month, and asking us to continue giving that gift forward to the young
Jewish community around us. This is the future of the Jewish
community-- this act of selfless giving forward, of sharing what we
have with other people. This is also the definition of Tikkum Olam.
The enormity of the gift the Moishe House provides for us each month,
inspires us to incorporate public service into our lives-- and
provides us with the opportunity to spend more time volunteering and
less time working.

Seattle is a city that tries very hard to be aware of social and
environmental problems. Seattleites love buzz words such as "local,"
"fair trade," "organic," "non-GM," and "green tea." People here love
attaching "approve the referendum for gay rights!" banners to their
Facebook pictures. Moishe House Seattle's mission is to tap into that
social consciousness, and use the opportunities we have to improve the
world around us. We feel very fortunate to have been endowed with this
power to heal the world, one Shabbat dinner at a time.

November Blog

Moishe House has fueled enormous growth by supporting grassroots community centers that cater toward the twenty-something post-college Jewish population. Moishe House Silver Spring was launched in June 2007 to serve the community of greater Montgomery County, and is not affiliated with any specific religious or political ideology within the Jewish community. We pride ourselves on being welcoming to Jews and friends-of-Jews of diverse practices and identities. MHSS has hosted programming and organized outings to an incredibly varied number of events ranging from social justice speakers to sushi making to Jewish text study.

The current leadership and culture of Moishe House leads me to believe that the organization will remain an organic representation of the young Jewish community. I don’t see the MH mission statement changing significantly to include more or less Tikkun Olam, Jewish community or learning, even with international expansion. As MH becomes more well-known, alumni may offer resources and mentorship to current MH residents and staff, local partnerships may weave the community closer, and many newly-graduated young professionals may be able to find their place in new cities. But to me, the true success of MH emerges as new alumni enter the greater Jewish world, trained to decide what Judaism looks like for them, shaping Jewish values and community with innovative approaches to spirituality.

Far from Zion

Yesterday I had the pleasure of putting on an event that was perhaps the most interesting we have done. Charles London is an author who can't be more than 30 years old. He has written two books. His latest is Far from Zion: In Search of a Global Jewish Community. The book tells the story of Jewish communities in places as diverse as Uganda, Iran, Burma, Cuba and Arkansas.

London was a great speaker with an incredible story. I hope that the other houses will take a look at his website and see if there is an opportunity to host an event or get people to go to an existing event.

I also encourage people to buy the book, ITS AMAZING!


MHP and the community

As a part of the greater Moishe House community, Moishe House Philadelphia (MHP)’s mission is to create a vibrant and meaningful community for Jewish 20-somethings and their friends out of our home in Center City Philadelphia. Although this is just our third year in the City of Brotherly Love, MHP has been and continues to be a wellspring of tikkun olam and Jewish learning and culture. Whether it’s hosting a Shabbat dinner, holding a dialogue about the current situation in Israel, volunteering at a home for the elderly, helping out on a local urban farm, collecting canned goods to donate to a nearby food bank, or participating in Philadelphia’s sustainability efforts, MHP is continually striving to leave its mark on the Jewish community while reducing its global footprint.

MHP’s first three years have undoubtedly been a success and we hope to grow as an organization by reaching out to different pockets of the city and by attracting new members to our events. In fact, MHP has already started to expand its role in the city by reaching out to West and South Philly with its new program, “Shabbat on the Road.” Mirrored after the vegetarian potlucks that MHP has always held in its home on a monthly basis, “Shabbat on the Road” brings the food, fun and prayers to the homes of other young Jews throughout the city. “Shabbat on the Road” has been a great way for expanding MHP’s network, and will hopefully serve as the impetus for hosting other events around town.

In much the same way, Moishe House, as an international organization, is also trying to broaden its reach. With houses currently located in seven countries and in five continents, Moishe Houses are constantly springing up just about everywhere, thereby providing a Jewish community for young Jews all over the globe. As is the case within MHP, these global houses also function as hubs for tikkun olam and Jewish learning, thus ensuring that Jews across the world have a place to learn, grow and connect with one another.

The Moishe Mission

Locally, the Providence Moishe House is committed to being a source of community, culture and learning for young Jews in Providence. Moishe House enables young Jews to engage with the richness of their tradition in new ways. We do not rely on traditional forms of text study or shabbat services. Rather, we allow the plurality of Jews to shape a new expression of Jewish life. Through our activities, we also strive to contribute to the civic life of greater Providence. Moishe House has an opportunity to reach beyond the boundaries of the Jewish community through Tikkun Olam and support for charitable work. With respect to the international proliferation of Moishe Houses, any community in the world should be lucky to have a Moishe House.
Imagine your Moishe House has been chosen by a local newspaper to discuss the future of the organization as a whole in the long term - what would you say? What would you say is the mission statement for your local Moishe House? How would you frame what might become the international Moishe House mission statement? How would you incorporate the concepts of Tikkun Olam, Jewish Community or Jewish Learning in your explanation?

I would tell them: Moishe House is the home for Jewish creativity and experimentation. It is about the Jew, the world around her/him, and their relationship. It is about making a difference through building community and using that community to change the world.

All of our events, from Shabbat dinners to tu bishvat seders, from spiritual salons to soup kitchens, are about creating our world. We shape it. No longer are we contented with being mere by standards in history, whether Jewish or general. Events happen and to oft the shape history is determined for us but we have taken the reigns and are here to shape our history. We do so from a position of strength, fortified by our identity as Jews, informed by three thousand years of tradition and discussion, we take action. We do so from a position solidified by our diversity because we understand the plethora of idea's floating in the world. Each house has a different guiding philosophical idea behind it determined by it. This diversity empowers us, allows us to experiment and test the waters of society, of the ramifications and to measure the impact of our endeavours.

We are a movement dedicated to social change!

Moish House Hoboken

An interview you want to read with me - MH Cape Town

Shalom ;)

I can't believe I writing a blog for October month. This year passed to fast!
whatever... I guess it's a goo sign and means we all having a good time, hey?

So...Imagine some local newspaper here in cape town decide to interview us about Moishe House. Here is a fictive interview.

It goes like this:

Q: Hello. So what is it this Moishe House the whole Jewish community in Cape Town is talking about?
A: Hi. My name is Doron Moshe I am a member of Moishe House here in this city. I am living with another 3 members and our goal is is create a Jewish environment to young Jewish adults in Cape Town. I guess this also our mission statement.

Q: How do you do that?
A: I think the key is variety of Jewish events. It can be Tikun Olam when we go and help underprivileged communities. I can be Jewish Learning when we all discuss and analyze Jewish text on Shabbat or other Jewish holiday and it can be Jewish community event when we all gather to socialize and get to know each other.
It's good fun.

Q: wow! is it happening only in cape town?
A: No. It's an international organization. lots of different cities in the world.
Only here in South Africa we have 2 (the other one is in Joburg).

Q: I see. and what is the global mission statement of Moishe House?
A: To create Jewish environment to young Jewish adults in different places in the world.
Keep the Jewish people united.

Q: It's sounds bigger than what I thought. Where do you see Moishe House in the future?
A: Yeah. It is big.
I see Moishe House "conquer" many cities and communities in the world and add a unique flavour to the life of young adults all over the world.

Q: Amazing. Thank you so much for your time. you guys doing a great job.
A: Thank you ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

San Francisco

Moishe House's goal for the future should be to have as many people in the world as possible be able to say, "yeah, I've heard of Moishe House. It's pretty cool." Once word of mouth spreads, anything is really possible. If Moishe House attains the leverage and authority granted by international popularity and recognition, then they dictate the future of the organization. Right now, Moishe House is one of many similarly situated organizations vying for funding, and it's existence; however, hopefully Moishe House separates itself from the other organizations and can become the frontrunner for funding opportunities.

Several organizations have similar goals/mission statements to Moishe House. They all include ideals related to creating Jewish community for Jews in their 20's, furthering Jewish youth community, or similar goals. However it's phrased, Moishe House shares a mission statement with a number of other organizations. That similarity begs the question: well then why is Moishe House necessary? The answer is simple: Moishe House achieves the above-stated goal better than any other organization. The unique approach of providing a home in a number of cities all over the world creates the potential for an international Jewish community better than any other organization. This unique approach should be expressed and focused on when dealing with fundraisers, as I'm sure it is.

Moishe House San Francisco is proud to be a Moishe House and our house shows the future of stability of the organization. We've been around 4 years and we have an amazing and growing community that attends our events. A number of houses have recently opened and are likely struggling to expand. However, with time will come growth because the amazing idea and unique structure of Moishe House is, quite frankly, hard to screw up. I hope funders realize that as well.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Mission

Our enviroment here in Poland is very specific. That's why Moishe House in Warsaw has a very unique mission here to do. Our community is very small to compare it with other cities. First of all, community is small and meaning of judaism here in Poland is something different. Jews in Poland are for common people a legend and are some people who where here in the past but now no one has seen them, and probably they don't exist. So our goal, besides our general aim which is our community, is to change that, to show people that WE exist. And here in Moishe House we have an opurtinity to meet with each other and create such a community, and make that kind of ideas which will change that.
But what really important is to understand that thing helps us as a whole group. To show others who we are is to really beleive in it ourselves. That's how Warsaw Moishe House is developing an idea of a whole organisation. And that's how perhaps should the whole organisation think. Because if we think about our mission as a goal to show ourselfs to others, then we will work harder on our community, our traditions, and many other things which makes us special. In terms 'others', not especially 'better'.
And right here, we're coming back to basics of MH organisation. Tikkun olam – that's the most important concept. This is, I think, besides Jewish Learning and Jewish Community, as a MH rules, thing that shows to us and to others, what is really important. To make our community bigger and stronger is to make ourselfs better people. And to make myslef better is to work on our enviorment in terms of people, community and traditions.