In a big city like Philadelphia, there are new potential Moishe House members arriving all the time. We at Moishe House Philly have the good fortune to see many pass through our door. To help newcomers feel welcome we always try and do something simple to break the ice at every event, whether it be a simple go-around of names and interests or an interactive and silly ice-breaker. Sometimes we’ll say names and answer a question that sparks a full-fledged discussion, such as the one we had at an intimate challah-baking session at our house. We’ve found that these smaller events are especially wonderful for building relationships and encouraging newcomers to come back.
Since many newcomers come to us through friends of the house, we like to encourage these regulars to, “Tell/Bring so-and-so! We’d love to see them again.” Also, following up with new attendees through a personal email or phone call is a very effective way to bring them back again. In September we put a lot of effort into organizing a wine and cheese event specifically aimed at integrating newcomers into the house. We had cards out with descriptions explaining the various more “regular” events we have at MHP to fill newcomers to Moishe House in on what exactly we do here and also help those who are new to the city start making Philly feel like home.