Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Paul Feldman - MHMC - Personal Blog

Its been nearly six months since Moishe House Mexico City got started
and it seems all the handwork is finally paying off. Although we have
not exploited conventional media, word of mouth is catching on and the
word is spreading. However, there are several strategies and
directions that need to be considered. I think that this strategies
will determine the type of community we form at MHMC.

I believe that the Moishe House project is mainly about community
building. In this sense, what events we decide to do or not do will
have an effect on the type of crowd we attract. Parties and mixers,
for example, are an excellent way of spreading the word around,
meeting new people and getting large numbers; however, they are not
very effective in creating a sense of community and getting loyal
followers. This implies that we have to start weighting the type of
community we want to build.

Living in a large city makes things even more complicated. There are
zillions of things going on all the time and the range of options, and
their diversity, span a pretty heterogenous mix. In our context, this
means that different events are very likely to attract very different
crowds. So it becomes a pretty complex task to offer a variety of
different events, often with new additions to our programming, while
at the same time maintaining and building a community. I have found
that repeating events, e.g. shabbez dinner, is the best way of
getting back familiar faces and building a stable community.

For the reasons stated above, I believe that there is still a big
challenge ahead for Moishe House Mexico City. We have to decide what
sort of community we want to create and the best of achieving that
goal. I believe that although repetitive events are great for loyalty,
they are still a big challenge. This is the case because they have to
remain fresh and varied in order to not lose their appeal. Also a very
tight community might be a difficult obstacle for new comers. So I
believe getting the right mix, between the new and the old, the huge
and the intimate, etc., will be our next critical step.

In conclusion, the past six months have been a very rewarding
experience and we are beginning to sow the fruits of our labor but I
still believe there is a great challenge ahead of us. Our community is
starting to take shape but it would seem it is still quite malleable.
There is still a lot of room for change but I think that we need to
start thinking a lot more about direction. Our name is starting to be
recognized, a lot of people are coming to our house and out community
is getting stronger and bigger. As with life, the toughest decision we
will have to face in the next couple of months is not what we decide
to offer but what we decide to exclude.

Paul Feldman

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