Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Raychel's First Quarter at MoHoCle!

As the newest resident of Moishe House Cleveland and having only lived in the house for three months, I have to say that every day is a learning experience filled with both surprises and challenges!

I came to be a member of Moishe House Cleveland after being turned on to the idea of "intentional communities" last summer. I've been an active participant of this community since it began developing. Over this past summer I visited communities that were income sharing and economically self-supporting with a self governing form of democracy and a model that emphasizes personal responsibility and a good work ethic. The piece that was most lacking for me in these communities was the Judaic aspect. As a Jewish intentional community I believed Moishe House to be the best of both worlds.

While I didn't expect that living at Moishe House would be like living in either of the communities I visited, I've found it quite different from what I had expected. It's been quite an adjustment learning to live with three other people, and sometimes I feel like I'm still in the adjustment period. I've learned, through both my research on communities and through first hand experience at Moishe House that some of the most important things for a community of this nature to be cohesive are organization, communication and respect. May we all be so lucky as to have cohesive, and organized homes, filled with communication and respect. May we all have shalom bayit!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Michelle's Quarterly Blog from Moishe House Boston

It's pretty incredible. I have been living in the Moishe House (Boston) for almost 8 months now, and the time has flown by. During this past year, I have had the distinct privilege of experiencing Moishe House Boston from the "inner workings." While, at times exhausting, this roller-coaster ride has proven incredibly gratifying. I have witnessed the establishment of our remarkable Board, the development of new faces into strong leaders in our community, and the expansion of our programs to include such diverse programs as sex education, privilege, and shabbat tishes.

But one of the more unexpected benefits of my living in the house is that my social life comes to my doorstep, literally. There is ALWAYS something going on my place, on any given night. If I am ever lonely or just want to chat, all I have to do is come home, and sure enough, someone from the community is there to share a cup of tea with or cook up a meal. I live in the center of a community, and because of that, the vibrancy is felt daily.

Of course, this poses some downsides. If I ever want to escape, or if I ever don't want to talk to anyone, it is arguably more difficult to slip away into my room. Or if I want alone time with a friend, I tend to always arrange for it to be at his/her home, so I know we won't be interrupted. But, in all honestly, I am happy to trade that bit of privacy for the sense of constant community--that microcosm of a neighborhood-- which is my home.

It is striking, in this age of Bowling Alone, where isolation and individualism are the default states for the modern American, that there even exists a place where people can be neighborly, can drop by to borrow some sugar, or simply to say hi. In my early childhood, I used to play with all my neighbors after school. I lived in a neighborhood. In high school, I moved to a Boston suburb--to this day, many many years later, my parents barely know all their neighbors, and rarely socialize with them. This sadly had also been my experience since college, whether living in a student ghetto in Cambridge or in an urban DC neighborhood, until I moved into Moishe House Boston.

I have found community, neighborliness, interdependence once again--and it's right in my kitchen!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It is always nice to have visitors from other moishe houses. It is not quite a collaboration, however, it gives other moishe houses a chance to see what an event looks like at Oakland Moishe, and a chance for feedback and a look into how things are done at other houses!

There has been a discussion of inter-mural games between Oakland and San Francisco houses on Treasure Island, which lies mid-bay between the cities! I love this idea, and maybe it would become a regular event.

Another Idea we have considered is a sort of Moishe House time capsule. This would be a package that is sent around the world to all Moishe Houses one at a time. Each house would get to experience each contribution, and add one of their own. Then send it on to the next house. The package might contain a portable hard drive which we could record our original music on or art projects, newsletters, program ideas and whatever else people get excited about. Maybe it is more of an ongoing story where each house adds a chapter or something. It's still in the making. The postage would be part of special events budget, and the capsule would start in Oakland travel the world and end up back at headquarters in Oakland! Sounds fun!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MHDC Monthly blog

Hey guys, Does this count if it's early? JK :-). We in DC are super lucky to have MHSS (Moishe Silver Springs) just down the metro from us (although it's hard to get to once you get off the metro, you're much better to just take a bike or a scooter). In the past we've done several events with Silver Springs. We did a fundraiser dating auction that brought together our community and theirs. We've also done a number of other events either with them (as a collaboration) or we've just gone to each other's events.

The bonus of having two houses in the area is that our house is not right for some of our members. Some of them are looking for a house much more like MHSS. The issue that comes up around collaboration is that invariably one of our styles will take center stage, thus being not the perfect event for the other community. But this is actually a blessing in disguise because folks who are house is not right for will likely meet their house at such events.

I think that's the biggest way to benefit our community. Perhaps they are looking for an event on Sex and Judaism event that SS ran recently, they could have heard about it at our collaborative party. Another way that collaboration helps our community is it allows us to put together resources in order to organize an event that just one of our houses might have trouble pulling off. Perhaps we want to do something especially spiritual and are concerned that our community will not be interested. If we are to collaborate with SS, then we are likely to get enough interest.

I think it would be interesting in the future to do something with language. For instance, it would be great to get together an inter-house Hebrew club. Or, if someone in another house had a skill they wanted to run a program around, it would be great to teleconference in somehow. Perhaps we could use this idea to have some sort of quarterly meetings with Rabbi Scott.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

MHPhilly, Brian-style

Well Philly is poppin' and Moishe House is a part of it all. While all of us here at the house are enjoying some great events and wonderful people walking through our door, I am particularly happy that I have been able to host some of my colleagues at work. As a teacher in an urban school, there is often little time for socialization because everyone is focused on making sure our students are succeeding - on tests, projects, or just in getting to class on time. Moishe House has given me a personal venue for hanging out with my work-friends.

It's a funny balance to have - a world where almost no one is Jewish at work (save a couple other teachers and the Brazilian immigrant student who gave me a high-five when she found out I was a member of the tribe), and a house where 20-something Hebrew school graduates come over weekly. Generally everyone feels totally comfortable and invited. It's just funny to have someone ask if they are the only gentile in the room and I have to say yes. Not that I think it's a bad thing - I just know it's on their mind.

As more of my work friends learn about my background and begin attending some of the events, they start getting involved in the conversation and asking questions, and I have started asking poignant questions back. It's a great dialogue to have and I hope to continue it for a long time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Collaborating in Chicago

As a recent return to Moishe House Chicago after 4 months in Guatemala, I may not know the whole scoop, but here goes... I'll fill in what I've seen in action, and also try to recount all the good stuff I missed. Even from out of the country, I knew that ChiMo has become friendly with some local organizations and made beautiful programs together. One big partner is the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs with whom we've both organized events and attend their scheduled events for things of interest. They've connected us with several Jewish/Muslim dialogue events, and also, most recently, with a Freedom and Justice Seder that brought together south side Chicago Ethiopian Jews, North side Ashkenazi, local union and political representatives, community organizations, baptists, muslims, and a wide range of other folks to celebrate together and build shared values through a seder. Generally they support a broad range of campaigns and community organizing in Chi so they are good to check for ways to engage both with Judaism and social change together in one program.

Another good example of a partnered program is our recent Tubishvat seder done in partnership with AVODAH and AVODAH alumni and the Chicago Conservation Corps. In this program we provided some content and other components came from AVODAH alum, and then all three groups spread the word and brought participants. The combination enabled us to have a wide range of expertise for the different stations of our environmentally oriented workshop and to reach out to young jews who are affiliated with these organizations but uninvolved in Moishe. One of the alum is also a member of the Chicago Conservation Corps, so through a small grant, we were able to provide program attendees with start up materials for a worm composting bin.

In the future we look forward to continuing to partner, of course! In a few weeks we'll be doing a Global Hunger Shabbat using materials from AJWS and AVODAH to increase consciousness around hunger issues in our community. Further on we'd like to organize a women's history bike tour of chicago using a route and potentially a guide from the Jane Hull House Museum and spreading the word about the ride through various Chicago biking groups. Finally, we're constantly looking to outside organizations for inspiration, ideas, new venues, intriguing events, and anything else we can join in or borrow.
-- Wendy Mironov


Hello MoHoLo lovers everywhere!

How are you today?

Scroll down for news and events coming up in the next few weeks.

Please welcome Talia C to our residential team.  You can thank her for our newly kitsch bathrooms and early morning yoga (get in touch if you want to join us for that!)


The big news is that we are moving.  We have found a house down the road that will enable us to run events without you all sitting in each other's pockets. I mean, perhaps you like sitting in each other's pockets.  But now it will be out of choice! Hurrah!

Musicians and singers, please contact us as we would like you to come serenade us on the 28th March as we sell off everything left on our shelves and wave a final goodbye to our second home.

See our March events below, and don't forget, we run further events that are not publicly advertised.  If you want to use our space to explore an idea, or come over for Shabbat, do let us know.


Love from

Rachel, Talia, Aviad, Joseph, Bret & Joel


War and Peace in Jewish Thought with Rabbi Jeremy Gordon

Tuesday 16 March, 8-10pm


When the Jews were kicked out of Ancient Israel arguments about 'just wars' and military power became theoretical, but now there is a State, an army and a whole bunch of military complexity involved in being a modern Jew. Join Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, for an evening's journey through sources and struggles with an ancient issue that has very contemporary edges.



Screening of Bridge Over the Wadi

Wednesday 17 March 8-10pm


This event is run in collaboration with The Abraham Fund

In the heart of Israel, after years of violent conflict, Arab and Jewish parents created a bi-lingual, bi-national school. This film follows the first year of a school that is making history. But learning to live together isn't easy.  Can these families create peace for the sake of their children?

The screening will be followed by a discussion led by The Abraham Fund.


Silent Meditation with Daniel Gigi

Thursday 19 March 7.15-9.30pm


Most months we offer an opportunity for you to use Moishe House as a peaceful escape into silent meditation. The evening consists of two half-hour sittings, with a five-minute break between and a space to share experience afterwards.
NB: This group is most suitable for those with some experience of meditation as no instruction will be included during the session.


The Great Moishe House Garage and Lemonade Sale!

Sunday 28 March 12-6pm


Spring cleaning? Preparing for Pesach? Time to brighten up your house and home? Or just time to sip a drink and listen to live music?
Come to the Great Moishe House Garage and Lemonade Sale!!!
Spend the day selecting bargains and taking pleasure in the plethora of musicians who will be entertaining us as we move MoHoLo

Moishe House is throwing open its doors and will be selling off everything left on our shelves before we move down the road to a new and improved MoHoLo.


Moishe House London, in Willesden Green, is part of Moishe House, a worldwide network of houses that are centres for grassroots Jewish community. From our own home, we aim to bring exciting, creative, post-denominational Jewish community to London.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MoHoCle's Power in Partnerships

Moishe House Cleveland has only begun to scratch the surface, in terms of partnerships for programming. We have yet to actually be billed as a co-sponsor of an event, but have attended different meetings in hopes of that as the outcome. Some of the things we look for in potential partners are how well known their name is, what kind of numbers they tend to draw to events, a match in age demographics, and common goals and values.

We have begun to work with the Cleveland Food Bank. We are beginning to do more service
oriented programming, but have found that it's hard to get into the food bank, although it's quite a fun and rewarding project. We are looking for other similar organizations to work with in the future. We have decided to be a drop-off location for donated goods of all kinds, including food and clothing. This will be anonymous and open to our community members in need and on some yet to be determined scheduel we will also take goods to a shelter.

We are also known in the Hillel circuit, both to undergraduates and graduates. We attend some of their events and get attendees from there once in a while. That is one partnership that is a strong possibility.

We would like to begin partnering with many organizations in the area. One idea we have is to target a younger audience so when they reach the appropriate age they already know about and are intrested in Moishe House. On this note we are looking into partnering with multiple area youth groups of various Jewish affiliations (NFTY, NCSY, USY, BBYO/ BBG, Betar), to share with the youth that the youth group spirit can be carried and continued throughout one's life. We want to partner with Akiva High School/ Siegal College of Judaic Studies to show students this great way to stay connected to one's Jewish community. We have begun talking to the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and hope to partner with their young adult initive and young leadership division in the future.

There are so many great organizations out there and such wonderful potential for us to partner! Power to the partners.

Moishe House Great Neck

At Moishe House Great Neck we've been partnering with Rabbi Vaknin of Bet Torah Ve'Ahava. This partnership has taken our learning programs to whole new level, and the Rabbi has truly inspired the Moishe House guests.

We akso recently formed a partnership with the Safra Synagogue in Manhattan. They have been hosting our Moishe Monthly recently, and it has allowed us to expand to a whole new group of people.

We would like to form a partnership with one of the Persian young professional organizations here in Great Neck. They have a large base, and we would be able to tap in to a whole new group of young professionals.

Moishe House Great Neck

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Moishe House Hoboken and Friends

Over the past few months at Moishe House Hoboken, we have grown significantly thanks to some of the local partnerships we have made, both within the local community of Hoboken as well as around the greater New Jersey region. As we continue to grow, we have tried to incorporate some of our local partnerships into our monthly programming. This gives us an opporunity to add more diverse programming to our calendar, add to our membership, as well help spread the word that is Moishe House. This has resulted in programs such as visiting a nursing home for Bingo, co-sponsoring an event for a book release by a local author with a multitude of other Jewish organizations, and receiving additional funding to hold bigger and better shabbat dinners.

When we think about whether or not we want to partner up with a certion organization or group, there are a few things that we consider before we make a decision. The first is, how will this organization help us grow as a Moishe House? What do they have to offer? One of the groups we have partnered up with the last few months is a relatively new organization called Jersey Tribe. Jersey Tribe is a group that focuses on doing Tikkun Olam and Social Action events and is based in one of the surrounding counties in Northern New Jersey. With Jersey Tribe we have been able to offer our members a larger array of social action events than what Hoboken sometimes has to offer. In addition, because Jersey Trive is not necessarily based in Hoboken, we are able to meet new people outside of our immediate area, and grow our membership. In addition to social action events, we have also partnered with Jersey Tribe for purely social events, such as shabbat dinners and holiday programs and parties at local bars or restaurants.

Another partner who we have worked with many times is Birthright Next. Through working with Birthright Next we have been able to secure additional funding for various events, most of which are shabbat dinners. With our membership continuing to grow, and being that most of our dinners are cooked in house, providing food for upwards of 20 people two to three times a month can put a strain on our monthly budget. With Birthdright, we don't have to worry about money, and can focus more on bringing as many people to our shabbat dinners as possible. Another perk that Birthright provides for us, is its name. Many people in our community went on a Birthright trip while they were in college, and by having Birthright's name coupled with Moishe House, we will occasionally get a few people who come so they can see, meet, and talk to other people who had the Birthright experience (and also learn about Moishe House).

Finally, we have the partners that we work with on a regualr basis within our own community. This includes the local conservative synagogue who we partner with for discussion nights, shabbat dinners, and larger events that need more space than what our apartment can provide. We also partner up with the synagogue's group for young adults, JYAH -Jewish Young Adults of Hoboken - for various events. JYAH focuses more on social events, so of course this brings us to potenial members all the time.

Like all Moishe Houses around the world, our survival is going to depend on reaching out into the local communities for resources of all kinds. For as long as we come across other organizations and people with similar goals as us, we will take it upon ourselves to form a partnership with them that will only benefit both parties.

The Profits of Partnerships, MHDC

Partnerships are playing an increasingly prominent role in Moishe House DC’s roster of monthly programs. To wit, between January 1 and March 1, 2010, 5 of a total of 17 programs could be defined as a partnership of one kind or another, whether with another Moishe House, a book club that we host, or a social justice organization. These are just a few of the types of organizations with which we work, and others might include a Jewish study group, an organization like Birthright NEXT, or a Jewish social justice organization like Challah for Hunger. One of the unique characteristics of Moishe House is our breadth of programming; this is exemplified by the diverse groups with which we partner, representing varied interests and objectives.

The benefits of partnerships are numerous—they’re useful to broaden our community; reach people that we might not be able to otherwise; more efficiently pool resources; and utilize talent and specialized knowledge that house members might not possess, to name a few. However, while partnerships can bring a said benefits to the table, it’s important for us to work with organizations that understand, and are respectful of, our mission. We do not simply serve as a venue that Washington, DC organizations can “rent” to run programs. Rather, it is key to us that all programs that we work on maintain the character that we aim to infuse in all programming, however esoteric.

Looking to the future, partnerships are certainly on our agenda. We’re currently planning a program with an innovative GLBT blog, as well as a Shabbat with AJWS to raise awareness about global hunger. Both of these allow us to reach new audiences, while also providing our “established” community with fresh programming that we may not have organized on our own. The synergy derived from these partnerships is fulfilling, and promises to keep us growing in a positive, healthy direction.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oakland Moishe Is ecstatic about our permanent partner Joshua Walters, internationally acclaimed comedic beatboxer and performer. Joshua is a fantastic performer and lives right dow the hall. Many of the events which involve stage time in our house over Shabat dinner feature some silliness and occasional seriousness from J Dub's repertoire, along with other great acts. We have also gone to events of his after a great meal at our home. It really is a partnership and one we are proud to support.

Outside of the house we appreciate most anyone's interest in partnering with a Moishe House event. We are able to contribute a fantastic venue for all types of events from performances to film showings, to seminar space. We also contribute delicious hand crafted meals. Some of our successful partnerships include: Jewish Federation, FUUN-Free Unitarian Universalist Network and Jimena- Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North America.

It is Important to spend some time planning and scheduling how a partnered event will go, because it seems easier to go with the flow when the event is yours alone. Also find out exactly what the combined goal of the event is and what is expected of each party.

Moishe House Mexico City - February Blog - Partnerships

Although Mexico City´s community is known throughout the world for it´s heavily institutionalized framework, it´s hundreds of associations, and its dozens of youth groups, it has been important for Moishe House Mexico City, during the first months of the establishment of the house, to consolidate our presence as an independent organization, un-afilliated from any of the other existent ones.

We feel, however, that we might be reaching a spot in which this "do it yourself" attitude will no longer be necessary. We are getting to be known throughout the Jewish community for our original, independent, open-minded, and plural programming. Due to this change in the "reputation" of Moishe House (or better yet, the building of one) we have begun to think that, within the next few months, we could do some stuff with some organizations like Jewish Salons (a cultural NGO), Casa Luna (a jewish renewal community center) or other associations that are also working below the regular framework and help each other out.

We think that one of the aspects of the programing that could be benefited from a partnership with other institutions and organizations is the Tikkun Olam. There are tons of organizations within the Jewish community with which we can help out, and they have the framework to make our contributions something solid. It is important for us that the help that we bring to someone is meaningful, due to the fact that there are many organizations that seek to help and keep it all in a very superficial level. We have thought of doing something at the Eishel (our own Jewish community nursing home for the elderly) and also with "Espacio en Blanco" (an organization dedicated to social action among 18-24 year olds). These are all organizations with which we would like to partner and haven´t, one of the reasons being that we just don`t know how or where to approach them, and how to bring the people to come to a Tikkun Olam event (given the cynicism within the Jewish community)

There are other organizations that have indirectly influenced Moishe House, but that's mostly because they have influenced to us when we were younger, René was a member of Habonim Dror, and both Paul and Alan were members of Macabi. By being members of these organizations we became aware of our leadership skills, and there we learned the know how of building projects from scratch... And that clearly influenced us in the construction of MHMC.

Couch Surfing could be seen as a sort of partnership that works well with our interests as a Moishe house. One of the reasons for us liking this membership to this organization is the fact that it gives an international and pluralistic feel to the house, and this is one of the most important things for us when dealing with partnerships: that they are open-minded, and express the willingness and consciousness to interact with the broader world.

The main problem with partnering with existing organizations, is the fact that there are not a lot of organizations directed to the young adult age group. This is very problematic, since it leaves us in a space between having things for two young a crowd and doing things for the established families. In either case, even though we had not been so concerned with partnering with other organizations (up till now), we think that, gradually, we will not only partner with them, but they will ask us to do something together. And, in a sense, this has already happen, as we now have "Moishe House" fans that are also actively engaged in the community in many different aspects. Many of them have offered us their help. We think it´s time to become a "seeding ground" from where these new collaborations can emerge.

Moishe House Beijing - February Blog - Partnerships

Perhaps one of the more unique aspects of the Jewish community in Beijing is that its small size allows for people to have affiliations with multiple Jewish groups at once that might seem superfluous in an American city. Many MHBJ community members also find themselves involved with the liberal, egalitarian, lay led Kehillat Beijing or Chabad. Though this has undoubtedly created a strong network of Jews in the city that allows people to fulfill their Jewish needs on their terms while still remaining cohesive overall, it also means that opportunities for MHBJ to partner with other organizations are limited.

Rather than partner with other organizations, MHBJ frequently partners with individuals both within and outside of our community base for our programs. In the past, we have partnered with individuals to run programs that MHBJ residents would not have been able to do on our own. Our most successful partnership recently has been our weekly yoga sessions guided by a MHBJ regular who has been practicing yoga for years. In the past we have had speakers, chefs, and other experts (or amateurs) from various walks of Beijing life come through our doors to help with our programs.

Such partnerships with individuals have proven incredibly successful and rewarding for MHBJ but there are surely partnership opportunities that we have not yet realized. In addition to the countless individuals we would love to partner with, it would be great for us to create events that would partner us with other organizations. It could also be enriching for us to partner with other Moishe Houses in similarly far off places through skype, gchat video or other media to learn from and share with each other how our locations allow for sustainable communities.

Partnerships with MoHoLo

We often partner with likeminded organisations within the Jewish Community and organisations that are not Jewish in our local area.

We have made an extra special effort to try and involve organisations of the different denominations of Judaism and feel that we have been successful at that.

Most recently we partnered with the local council and the 'Willesden Apple Pickers' to bring the Wassailing event, which was a remarkable success. It included people from the local community as well as Moishe House regulars and they together managed to get the local authority to plant a tree in the events honour!

We regularly partner with the JCC to bring refugees to our house once a month for food and hanging out and this is also something we pride ourselves on.

Over all we would say that partnerships with organisations are absolutely key to the reach and success of our house. Although single handedly we hold a large mailing list of regular attendees (over 800 now). By partnering with other organisations we allow for more diverse programming and to always keep things fresh, as well as reaching out to many more people in the wider community who then come into contact with Moishe House.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

NOLA Partnerhsips

The New Orleans Moishe House, MoisheNOLA, has placed high emphasis on our partnership development over the last two years. For us, partnership is something we embrace on various levels. We partner with our friends in the Moishe house network, such as our monthly yoga event led by our friend Tess. We also partner with our local community, the Broadmoor neighborhood, who we’ve supported by serving ice cream at community events, and tailoring events for the community such as the Broadmoor outdoor movie series. What we look for in a partner is a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Partnering with the neighborhood or with our friends to lead events, helps us to bring new people into our network/programming. For our partners we promote their initiative, bring new people to their cause, and bring resources like purchasing ice cream or offering our house as a space. We look forward to continuing to develop our partnership base, merging networks, and offering new and exciting programming. Generally, we hope to create more partnerships with local jewish groups and synagogues.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Partners in Providence

Partnerships play an increasingly important role in the programming at Moishe House Providence. By creating a working relationship with another organization or community, MHPVD can make our programming more relevant to the community. Our very first partnership was made with the Southside Community Land Trust - an organization dedicated to promoting urban agriculture and local food production. On sukkot, the harvest festival, we hosted a potluck at SCLT's "City Farm" where we ate, drank, and performed the traditional blessings with lulav an etrog. Sukkot calls upon Jews to connect with and appreciate the agricultural harvest and the relationship between the calendar and the earth's production of food for us humans. In the modern era, many urban dwellers are turning to local farmers' markets and even urban agriculture to reconnect with the farming practices that sustain our lives. Moishe House Providence has not developed formal criteria to determine is a potential partnership, but we're increasingly working to engage new partners to enable our community members to drive our programming.

RSJ-Chicago blog - on role of partnerships

As a new house, RSJ-Chicago House made the initial decision to be careful and deliberate about who we choose to partner with, in order to allow us to build our own brand without being automatically affiliated with the perceptions that existing organizations already have. To this end, so far we have pursued mostly partnerships that allowed us to build up our demographic and give us access to segments of the community which we might not necessarily have access before, but whose membership aligns with our goals. For example, one of our big partners has been Russian Hillel. It's a natural choice, because Russian Hillel in Chicago is an organization that's patronized by a large amount of Russian-speaking-Jews, many of them already out of college. By cross-promoting and organizing events with Russian Hillel, we've gained access to their entrenched membership, while benefiting them by providing them with a venue downtown in which to host events, and a helping hand in organization. By contrast, to date, we've mostly shied away from organizations that would not get us much in a way of membership, but would help us organize events outside of our knowledge base that we would not be capable of organizing ourselves, such as reaching out to religious organizations to organize Jewish learning events. We are at a stage where this is changing now, however, as we've established our brand, and are now looking to diversify our programming. In February, we've partnered up with a Chabad Rabbi to organize a program to put on Tfillin, and in March we have a young Rabbi coming to our House to host a lecture.

MH Portland House Blog

Partnerships......4 people in the house - 5 opinions :). While we all have differening thoughts on house partnerships, I will try to give you an overall view of what we collectively do. Personally, since we are the MH and have the ability to create whatever programming we want, I prefer to not partner with other organizations for existing events and put emphasis on doing somethnig new and different that does not already exist within the community. Sometimes, I think partnering limits creativitiy and us creating something that doesn't exist.

That being said, I think it's great and important to use other organizations as resources to help us do our programming. We have doen plenty of this...like working with the jcc, federation, kollel, chabad, conservative synagogue, etc. Whether they give us advice, use of facilities, ideas, or other various resources, it is definitely a benefit.

Some of us in our house really like to partner and do more of that....and some of us less. It all works out.

MoHOC Partners up in March: Communication + Unity = Community

At MoHOC we are in the unique position that there is not the most cohesive Jewish community in our area. Partnerships, for us in Orange County, function to increase our membership as well as diversify our group base. We cater the 20-something , early 30’s crowd; whereas YLD, a group we partner with, beings in people all the way into their 40’s.

How is all of this relevant?

A partnered event is like a good relationship, you need open and active communication as well as some idea of what you want from each other. Let’s face if one side is doing more work that the other, I wouldn’t call that a partnership, it’s more of a free ride. The beauty of joining together in the name of programming is being able to bring people together that might not have otherwise met, be it due to age, geography, or just not knowing about the other group.

One of the most influential groups for us is JewC, an organization founded by Rae Gross who started MoHOC. She saw the need for a central “meeting” place for the OC Jews, JewC’s function was to give them that space; the problem was that there were no events or real cohesive community. Without her hard work and initial event programming MoHOC would not be where it is today. We have created a community out of very little, and now as we grow our ideas and connections we are looking, like many of the other houses, into the secular community. Reflecting on last month’s post about tzedakah there are many nonreligious organizations and groups that would welcome an influx of new members, beach clean-ups with Surfrider, working in the shelters with SPCA, or in Laguna Beach’s Marine Mammal Rescue Center.

As our little home grows into it’s niche on the coast of Orange County, we have no reason to not find new people to partner with, all we have is time to do amazing things with the resources and amazing members we have.

MHP Partnerships

We are very open to partnerships in Philadelphia. With so many different groups already in existence before Moishe House was a staple in the community, we felt it would be a great way to introduce ourselves to various constituencies by partnering with them. Although there is some overlap amongst groups, Moishe House now has its own niche and, where appropriate, we enjoy working with other groups to collaborate.

When choosing a potential partner organization, we take a look at the kind of event we would like to have and who in the community would help make that event an even bigger success. Successful events come in different forms – sometimes we want a ton of people, sometimes we want a more intimate setting but at a particular venue, sometimes it’s a matter of financial means. We also like to work with groups that know about Moishe House, are familiar with our demographic and background and won’t try to push their agenda onto our events. It is generally true, however, that we plan our programs ourselves and then seek outside partnerships if we think the event would benefit, not the other way around.

In Philadelphia, we have worked with many different types of organizations. We’ve pretty much worked with every Jewish organization possible, some independent organizations, various universities, different restaurants – you name it. We have a standing partnership with an independent minyan (prayer group) that meets in our house each month for Kabbalat Shabbat followed by a potluck dinner. We work with an Israeli restaurant in the city to host regular happy hours. The University of Pennsylvania partnered with us for a soup kitchen evening. Most recently, we’ve partnered with the Graduate Student Network, The Collaborative and Birthright Israel Next to create an educational series that meets once a week at a local bar for five weeks. And this weekend we will be partnering with Limmud here in Philadelphia for an evening concert with a local band.

As far as future partnerships, we have talked about reaching out to the secular community more. Philadelphia has a huge food and arts scene and we would love to work with various venues to find ways to partner in the future. As our visibility increases in the general population, others have already started getting in contact with us - we recently received an invite to the fabulous Wilmington, Delaware to go see an operatic show! Because we have now been given the opportunity, we are able to look at each potential partnership and insure that they are valued by our membership and seen as a worthwhile pursuit.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Moishe House Budapest - February Blog - Partnerships

The Budapest Moishe House has been working in partnership with Marom and Dor Chadash since the beginnings of its establishment. It was natural, as all of the residents have been active in Marom and /or Dor Chadash before.

Partnerships can result in a win-win situation if the partners find their role, how to support each other and what are their common interests. Dor Chadash, a young egalitarian minyen established in 2007 did not have a space where to do their prayers on kabbalath shabbath. The group was moving between different apartments which has caused irregularity. Since the birth of Moishe house the minyen found a secure place and the living room have been transformed into an “apartment synagogue” including a Torah scroll! Not only kabbalath shabbaths but other Jewish holidays (rosh Hashanah, Pesach, etc.) are celebrated in the Moishe house together with Dor Chadash, which is until today a non-formal group of young adults.

On the other hand, programs of the Moishe house are advertised by Marom in the newsletter and on the website. Since Marom is active since over 9 years it has a lot of members, experience and contacts that makes the work of Moishe house easier. Many of the members of the Moishe house have attended Marom events in the years before and it has influenced and strengthened their Jewish identity very much.

Within the frames of the “Quarter6quarter7 festival – during the eight days of Chanukah” which was the joint Chanukah festival of Marom Budapest and the JDC, Hungary Moishe house was one of the program locations and thus was part of the program guide and website of the festival that have reached out to over 20 000 people in Hungary.

Just two months after the opening of the Moishe House Budapest the “Social Action Exchange program” of Marom has started where two of the Moishe house residents are active. Several of the meetings of the social action group are held in the Moishe House and are open to any person interested in social justice issues and Judaism.

Sometimes we invite other formal and informal groups to our events (apartment theatre, apartment restaurant, individual speakers of CSOs, etc.) and we are open for new co-operations. Just couple days ago a new idea was raised according to which the Friday evening kabbalath shabbath would be part of the “Synagogue tour” organized by one of our members active in the youth organization Kidma and the JCC, as well. We would also like to strengthen our connection with the alternative JCC of Marom called Sirály and have there constant offline advertisement and possible other ways as well.

Moishe House Buenos Aires - February Blog - Partnerships

Being ourselves very active young jews, before planning our calendar we spend a couple of minutes talking about what is being offered by other institutions to our members. The four of us think that having a good event is about offering something new or doing partnership with other institutions to work together on an existing event, adding our Moishe House style to activities we think that could be interesting for our members.

The most important components a potential partner should have is being open minded, honest and energetic and give us the chance to reach possible new Moishe members. We found that on the staff of the Jewish club Hacoaj, so we had several events at their island, as well as in Hillel Buenos Aires. We could say that we are lucky because we work very close with Hillel, as Nati is both a Moishe girl and a Hillel girl. Every student from abroad that gets involved in Hillel, eventually gets also involved in the Moishe House as the types of events we offer truly complements and is different from Hillel´s.

Our beautiful Moishe House have been influenced pretty much by the experiences and challenges that most of the jewish institutions that work with students faced in the past, as we experienced them as being part of those institutions: we all went on Birthright, we were involved in Chabad... We could say that we are also influenced by them when we get to talk to our members about their experiences in other institutions, which usually happens spontaneously because we offer events but in our own house which is unique.

We are really looking forward to doing partnership with the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and we are always open and looking for new partnerships. Nowadays the Moishe House Buenos Aires works with numerous institutions but me are very happy to keep our own style, we keep events casual and love making everyone feel at home: "ha'bait sheli ze ha'bait shelha", "mi casa es tú casa".

When are you coming to Buenos Aires???? See you: Axel, Guido, Julia and Nati.

Moishe House Vienna - February Blog - Partnerships

In the past month our house had to cope with the leave of Eitan one of the 'founding fathers` of Moishe House in Vienna, however, everz is the begining of something new so we got the new resident Tal that is already a part of the team.

We see potential partnership with organizations that provide to young Jewish students things that we can not offer but at the same time Moishe house can offer things that this organization can not provide, for example currently we are in a constant touch with a local and small organization for students that is called 'Moadon' this club offer special discounts for Jewish students when they go to the theater films etc. we as Moishe House provide a nice place to socialize and get together after the official events,we would like in the future to have connections only with clubs that has a certain content ,an agenda that people can gain something out of it and

both for their own good and to the society- who knows maybe will have an event with a charity organization.

All the best,

Moishe House Vienna

Moishe House Vienna - February Blog - Partnerships

In the past month our house had to cope with the leave of Eitan one of the 'founding fathers` of Moishe House in Vienna, however, everz is the begining of something new so we got the new resident Tal that is already a part of the team.

We see potential partnership with organizations that provide to young Jewish students things that we can not offer but at the same time Moishe house can offer things that this organization can not provide, for example currently we are in a constant touch with a local and small organization for students that is called 'Moadon' this club offer special discounts for Jewish students when they go to the theater films etc. we as Moishe House provide a nice place to socialize and get together after the official events,we would like in the future to have connections only with clubs that has a certain content ,an agenda that people can gain something out of it and

both for their own good and to the society- who knows maybe will have an event with a charity organization.

All the best,

Moishe House Vienna

Moishe House Chisinau - February Blog - Partnerships

As our Moishe House is not an organization, it unites young people from Sohnut, Hillel, ICC, Haverim, Art Labyrinth, Tolerance Club. These organizations are our main partners. For us partnership can be divided into 3 forms: when we organize an event for our partner, when we take part in partners' event or when we collaborate preparing a big program or project. Working together we share our methods and knowledge. In future we also want to have a financial support from our partners. We are looking forward collaborating with Modern Art Organizations and with Eshcol (Jewish education). We want to have close partnership with Hillel, using its recourses and space for our programs.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


What role do partnerships play in your monthly programming?

Big role in terms of tikkun olam events. We're also new, so have been interested in exploring what else goes on in our community -- this often leads to new partnerships.

What do you look for in a potential partner?

"Like-minded" organizations with potential synergies that are mutually beneficial

What organizations do you work with in your community?

HEA, Ramah in the Rockies, Rose Community Foundation, Homeless shelters, etc

How have other organizations influenced your Moishe House?

All organizattions we've worked with so far have been a positive experience.

Who would you like to partner with that you haven't yet and why

Ramah of the Rockies -- time more than anything --- we're doing a fundraiser for them this month.

Stl MH Feb Blog Prompt

I would say here in St. Louis, partnerships more find us than we look for Partnerships. St. Louis has an overabundance of organizations trying to program to the young adult. We try to have an event with an outside person atleast once a month whether its a shabbat out of the house or an event being put on by another organization. In the past, we have had partnerships with a good amount of organizations including young adult groups, temples, charitable organizations, and organizations that fall outside of the Jewish category. Attendance to those events has been relatively stable, we don't seem to pull more people when we have partnered up, but there are so many other factors involved that its hard to tell. When we have partnered, it has always been compromises in terms of the planning so we end up with a better event that caters to more types/groups than we would have had. In the future, we are looking forward most to partnering with SLIC in regards to the Yom Haatzmut event we are planning, we would like to partner with possibly some more charitable organizations and maybe some entertainment establishments to get a better variety of events in.

Partnerships at Moishe House Boston

Here at Moishe House Boston, partnerships play an essential part of monthly programmings. Boston is such a vibrant community, with so many cool programs, social justice groups, institutions already in place. So many of our community members are also involved in many of these organizations, whether they be Jewish, volunteer-related, or professional associations. So, we at Moishe House Boston have quickly realized that we can maximize our energy, resources, and impact by teaming up with partner organizations, rather than compete with them.

Our partnerships take many forms. One form is collaborating with existing non-profits to promote social justice. For instance, one of our most longstanding partnership is with City Life, Vida Urbana, an outstanding housing/tenants rights group that has a proven track record for helping people stay in their homes in the Boston area. We teamed up with City Life over two years ago. City Life provides the addresses of foreclosed properties, the canvassing training, and the organizing strategy; we at Moishe House bring people eager to volunteer!

Another form of partnership is with organizations similar in mission, values, or membership base. For instance, many of our community members are involved in Boston's Workmen's Circle, a secular, Jewish, progress community that is just down the street from our house. Like us, the Workmen's Circle is committed to social justice and has a long tradition of labor organizing. We have partnered with Workmen's Circle on a number of programs, including a bi-monthly skill-share, a peace vigil for the Gaza War, current Jewish-Muslim programming, and our efforts on housing justice.

Finally, we have established partnerships with organizations that may differ from us in significant ways, but with whom working together represents a specific value, in and of itself. For instance, we have ongoing projects in coordination with young Muslim adults in the Boston area. Though our stances on a range of topics may differ, we believe that partnering with Muslim counterparts sends a powerful message to the broader Jewish community (and larger community in general) that we can and will rise above tensions, rivalries, or feelings of mistrust and that we are committed to
building relationships, dialoguing, and finding points of commonality.

Each of these partnership forms are valuable in their own way, and, of course, pose their own challenges. But I think the challenges are well worth it!

Partnership in Warsaw

We, as a Moishe House residents all the time are thinking about potential partners. Currently we are working with almost all of Jewish organizations in Poland. We are very close with Polish Jewish Youth Organization and it's feel natural because Agnieszka was previous chairperson and Ania is present. We are planning our events together, when someone new is coming to us we're telling him about that organization and when new people are their events we're inviting them to us.
Our another close partner is Jewish Community in Warsaw. We'are attending their events, lectures,parties, MH residents and participants are volounteers and employees inside of the community. We are working with Jewish Agency for Israel as well (because we want all the people from Taglit at our events) With JDC we're using their space for our lectures and screenings, we once even had cooperation with Jewish Theatre in Warsaw- great shabbat at their patio!
When we are talking about Jewish organizations in Poland we need to mention that partnership is obvious, mostly because we're so small and of course together we can have bigger impact on potential members.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Moishe House SF - Let's be partners!

The word "partner" is thrown around frequently these days. Does that mean your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, lover, or all of the above? I'll leave that up to you. But for Moishe House, that means teaming up with another organization and co-sponsoring an event. We've been around a while in SF so a bunch of other organizations know about us and want to use us for our 450 person email list. However, it's not just a one way street because we often benefit from meeting new people from different organizations. For instance, we typically do a lag b'omer bonfire on the beach with Bay Area Tribe, a different jewish organization that focuses on many of the same goals as Moishe House.

Partnerships are wonderful when everyone provides an equal share of the effort with regards to promoting, inviting, setting up, and all the good stuff that goes into a good event. But when one of the groups involved is just looking to put up another name on the list of "co-sponsors," we'd recommend thinking twice about joining up. It's not a reason to not join in, but it's certainly something to consider.

Houses developing their email lists should try to partner as much as possible because it's a great way to show off Moishe House's strengths and to try and recruit folks for future events. That said, good luck with your partnerships!

Monday, March 1, 2010

MH Cape Town February Blog - Partnerships

As the centre of the Cape Town Jewish youth community, we are heavily involved with other organisations. First and foremost, we work in the Herzlia schools, as the house is situated directly below (or near to) 3 of the United Herzlia Schools family. As the only Jewish day school in Cape Town, we feel that it is very important to stay well connected to the school and we often run programmes for them, both educational, as well as being interactive and fun.

We are also very involved in all three of the Jewish youth movement; Bnei Akiva, Habonim Dror and Netzer. When we run events for the house, often members of these youth movements take part in the activities with us and we have a very good relationship with all of them. Furthermore, we work with SAUJS (South African Union of Jewish Students) and Hagshama (which focuses very much on Zionism), both of which we, as a house, feel are important to the youth in the community, mainly those of university students and graduates, as the organisations focus very much on this age group.

In terms of international organisations, we work with Ameinu, an American-based organisation which also focuses on Zionism and peace within Israel (last month we had the President of the American branch, Kenneth Bob, come and talk to us about the organisation) and Equal Education, an organisation with which we have very close bonds. Moishe House Cape feels extremely passionate about education and it is the focus of many of our discussions and events. Towards the beginning of the year, a few members of Equal Education came to talk to us about the organisation and ran some activities for us, as a way to be more involved in the concept of an equal education for all, as well as to have some knowledge of what the organisation does.

Partnerships play a large role in our monthly programming and as previously mentioned, we often run events that involve other organisations, such as the ones for Ameinu and Equal Education. In terms of potential partnerships, we look for an organisation that embodies our beliefs and who will equally support us and attend our events and remain involved with us, as we do with them. As a house, we feel extremely passionate about working in the Herzlia schools, as well as with the youth movements, as they are the organisations that will shape the future of our community. Such organisations have influenced our Moishe House in that they allow us to remain involved in the community, as well as gear us towards being passionate and educated people.

Moishe House Cape Town is extremely happy with the partnerships we currently have, but would like to branch out more and perhaps get involved in more South-African based organisations, as we feel this would be extremely fulfilling and beneficial to the house as a whole.