The past few months I have witnessed a lot of changes in both my own life and in that of Moishe House Beijing. The turning of the calendar year has provoked some introspection on my part and I have realized that my time in Beijing has been defined as much by China as it has by the extended Jewish world. Having grown up in largely non-Jewish environments, attending public schools and a formerly Episcopal Church-related liberal arts college, I never would have expected Beijing to be the flowering of my Jewish life. I have realized that the Jewish world has become my home away from home because it is everywhere Jews are. In Beijing, I consider myself to have three outlets for Jewish life: religious, communal, and social. All of these are intertwined with one another within their respective institutions.
MHBJ has been especially relevant to my evolving Jewish experience. Jewish communal life has long been something that I saw as something dictated to me, rather than something I actively created. MHBJ has afforded me the opportunity to see the roles that Jews of my generation have to develop and fill. At a recent MHBJ brunch discussing planning for the coming year, I was struck by the realization that the people sitting around me were not only the future of MHBJ but the future of Jewish life. It has been empowering to no longer simply enjoy the three aforementioned aspects of the Jewish world but to now be consciously establish their futures.