Monday, March 8, 2010

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.

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