After the moishe house regional retreat we came back rejuvinated and energized and the juices flowing. Immediately following the retreat we sent out a survey, through survey monkey, to our community members asking what kinds of programming they would like to see happen and if any of them have certain skills or talents to share or to lead an event. It's important to get feedback from the community to ensure that when we plan new programs it interests them, and not only us the residents.
We wanted our community members to take a more active role in moishe house and for a few months we had been discussing having a planning committee that included both residents and active community members. After talking about it for quite some time we finally decided to implement a planning committee at the beginning of the new year. The planning committee consists of three people, one who has been coming to events since Hoboken opened up three years ago, one who has been coming for a year and half, and another who has been coming for the past 6 months. We have only met twice but each meeting has lasted for about two hours with lots of successful brainstorming. With their help we have our calendar planned through the middle of May. We have a wide array of programming planned, from social action to spiritual salons to shabbat dinners to Jewish learning. The planning committee has been a great addition and a wonderful time to brainstorm not only programming ideas but to share our vision for the future of Moishe House Hoboken and the direction we would like to see it go in.
We are hoping to increase our partnerships with other organizations and so far we are off to a good start. After being asked by Birthright NEXt over the summer to host shabbat dinners we have done so once a month, we are teaming up with Jersey Tribe, a local volunteer organization for young Jewish adults throughout New Jersey, The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and hopefully Reboot. Partnerships are a great way to spread the word about Moishe House and strengthening and growing the organization. We are also looking to increase the ways to bring intellectual conversations to the house. In the past we have held spiritual salons which have been led by either one of us, a local rabbi, or the rabbinic intern, about once every other month. An idea we picked up from the retreat was to have a discussion series and to have the series take place in a shortish amount of time (a new discussion every week or every other week) rather than having discussions that don't pertain to each other only once every couple of months. We have decided to start with a smaller discussion series (about 3 or 4 discussions in the series) to begin and the discussions will be held every other week. We are eager to see how this works out and are hoping to eventually hold a discussion series with ten meetings. I am excited about the future of Moishe House Hoboken and can't wait to see how the new programming and implementations work out.