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.