Friday, April 2, 2010

MHPhilly - Interhouse Collaboration

Moishe Houses along the east coast are close enough that, when desired, we can easily host programs together and plan trips of many kinds. In our past the two major programs that stand out are the Moishe Camping Trip planned in Fall 2008 and the Tele-Shabbat in Fall 2009. Both programs were relatively successful with communication and collaboration being achieved pretty well. The Tele-Shabbat ran into a few technical barriers but the Camping Trip was quite fun - we brought residents and constituents from three houses (Silver Spring, Hoboken, and Philly) together for a weekend in French Creek State Park. We hiked, had a bonfire, and enjoyed each other's company.

The comparison between the Tele-Shabbat and Camping Trip is definitely something to consider for future collaborations. While the Tele-Shabbat had some gaps because we were all dealing with our own event while simultaneously connecting to others, the Camping Trip was a large group effort. Once we were all together it was simple task of just informing everyone of the plans we had made ahead of time. If anything changed, we could easily improvise on the spot because we were physically near each other. This is important to consider in any event planning - how to fix problems that arise. In contrast, the Tele-Shabbat was more difficult because of the distances and technological gaps.

In our brief experience we have found that weekend trips can be really fun together. The time we spend just relaxing and talking spawns new ideas all the time. That being said, it would be interesting to work on community service projects together across the country or even to create a product of some artistic/creative work that each house contributes to. A concept like that was discussed at the Regional Retreat but it got difficult to maintain focus and work on it.

Inter-house collaboration is something that our constituents don't get to see a lot of but might benefit them a lot. Many people in our community move every few years and the knowledge of other houses might help them make decisions that would maintain Jewish community for them. Hopefully more programs like these can happen in the future to spread the word of Moishe across the globe!

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