Sunday, May 30, 2010
It was a wonderful crowd, and Sarah, who was leading the Shabbat, brought in a couple amazing speakers. A friend of hers spoke of his experience both before and after the earthquake (he does international development work and had spent quite a bit of time in a Haitian orphanage before the earthquake). In addition to walking us through his experiences, he brought pictures of the orphanage before and after the earthquake, which put things in perspective in a way that photos on the news really couldn't.
But the highlight of the evening for everyone, and probably my most memorable Moishe moment ever, came when a young Haitian singer - 18 years old, I think - spoke to us and sang a few songs. He barely spoke English, so my roomate Maura translated for him. He won a singing contest in Haiti and was traveling around the US raising money for an organization focused on access to clean water. As is typical with our Shabbats, people were sitting on any available surface - chairs, couches, the floor, stairs, window sills, etc. He started to sing, and I was surprised that the song was familiar - Bob Marley's Redemption Song. He encouraged us to sing along, and from all corners of the room we did just that.
It was the kind of touching experience that's difficult to explain, but it was one of those rare times when you realize just how interconnected we all are. Here's this young man from Haiti, he's grown up in a completely different culture, speaks a completely different language and has experienced a tragedy that most of us really couldn't even imagine. And yet we had a common purpose that night - to stand in solidarity and bring support to all affected by the earthquake - and we also had a common language - the language of Marley... Pretty amazing.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Here at Moishe House Boston, we have recently faced a difficult situation that continues to test our fiber. One of our members, call her Anna, was diagnosed with a rare and serious form of lymphona. Anna is an incredibly sweet person and was active in our environmental work and our Shabbat gatherings, and is a grad student. When we heard she was sick, we asked ourselves, "What are we supposed to do? What does a community do in these situations? Does Anna even want people to visit her in the hospital?" It was hard to hear that someone our own age could face this situation, and made us all consider our own mortality.
With the support of my housemates, I emailed Anna letting her know that we wanted to be there for her, and wanted to know what was the best way to support her. I said we were happy to bring her food, visit her in the hospital or at home, or whatever else she needed. When Anna let us know that she needed help with meals and wanted visits when she was getting chemo, Alix recruited two leaders to create a new chesed/lovingkindness team, who in turn set up a system for community members to sign up to make weekly meals and visit in the hospital. The arts team set up a card-making station in our dining room, complete with all sorts of fancy paper, markers, glitter glue, and feathers. At every non-Shabbat event at the house, people are encouraged to make Anna a card, which are brought to Anna when people go to visit her in the hospital. All sorts of people have helped out, including many people who don't even know Anna that well, but have made food or brought games to keep Anna from getting bored.
What made our member Andy take the time to make Anna food and visit her, when he didn't even really know her? I think he went in part because we told our community that that is what we do, what Jewish community does, is to take care of each other and to visit the sick.
To some, it might seem like bringing food to one person is nothing in comparison to making Shabbat for a big group or pulling off a successful social justice campaign. But as passionate as I am about Shabbat and social justice campaigns, nothing could be more important than knowing I am in a community where people are there for each other. It means that we are more than our campaigns, more than our good days, and also makes those campaigns and good days more meaningful, because we are doing them with people we know we can rely on.
I am proud of the Moishe House Boston community for the way we have stepped up, even though I wish to God we didn't have to. I believe that through our work, we are not only caring for Anna, but we are teaching our members how they can make a difference, and what caring community means. This feels like a blessing.
For us, as a house, the most meaningful experiences that happen through our Moishe House Community are when people come together to share aspects of themselves that one might not see immediately through casual encounters, and when we create organic Jewish experiences that appeal to people.
An example of the first can be found in our monthly coffee houses. Coffee houses are an opportunity for people to come together and share their talents in the intimate environment of our living room. It is special to see community members - or people who are coming to us for the first time - come to our house and share their talents. The community that is created when an individual gets up and plays a song she has written on her guitar, getting everyone in the room to clap and sway along, is extremely special.
Another meaningful experience comes whenever we have Shabbat or holiday observances in our house. The transformation of space that occurs when our living room becomes a sanctuary and prayer space or a dining room for a festival meal, is very special and very meaningful. We think that this is true for all our attendees and community members, but it is all the moreso for us, as residents. We get to see our house and our space transformed through the contributions of our community members, through the invocation of prayers, or through ritual observances. Seeing the way we can transform our space through community is meaningful.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
But I do not know you. Those of you in the USA are lucky to have a retreat where you can know each other. To me, you are the missing piece of the puzzle. I know the shape of what is around you, I know roughly what the picture on the missing piece should look like, but how satisfying and fulfilling it would be to have you here, behold you and complete my picture.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Wow what a month May has been already!!
In June we'll be turning Moishe House London into an art gallery, with a special launch evening to kick off the exhibition. We are currently looking for artists who would like their work to be featured or might want to create new work for the exhibition. Please drop Joel an email or FB message - or contact or curator Daniel Heyman - if you're interested.
Other exciting moish-nik news Aviad is coming back from his travels -Yay!
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.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
As the newest member of MoHOC, I don't know how qualified I feel to speak about our house's communal goals, so I am building on the dreams and aspirations of my fellow members. As I've written before our house is born out of the founding resident's dream of creating a more cohesive Jewish community where prior there was none. She started her own organization growing it more that 400+ members. Her efforts translated, easily, over to the creation of MoHOC. She was able to start a house with a robust membership base and take it from there, but in the 10 months since the inception of the house, what's changed?
Needless to say, we started off, per Rae, as a sort of party house. We have a great location and it is a big draw to bring people in from all parts of the urban sprawl that is the OC. Problem with that model is that it isn't sustainable; there is an inherent level of "shallowness" to the experience. It is only possible to have 2 minute interaction with the myriad of people present; we created for ourselves, a community of fast food friends. Now the time has come to change that model. Rae put it very well when I asked her how her goals and dreams for the house have changed, "I realized that while big parties may be fun, real relationships are started in smaller more intimate groups, so I have shifted away from always throwing big parties and instead tried to bring smaller groups together to facilitate new relationships…".
Our house's growth does have consequences, small drops in attendance, and a need to become much more creative in our programming. The attendance issues, Mitch our other roommate says, "People get used to having these massive parties, but not have to really interact with everyone else; as we get more intimate in the level of our interactions people are forced to actually get to know each other for better or for worse. It's like getting started on a new healthier diet; it can be a pain but when you see how good it makes you feel you keep coming back for more…".
Couldn't agree more with both Mitch and Rae, as our programming shift to a more focused "narrative" our job is to teach our members just how nice it can be to kick back with a small group of friends as it is to live it up for a night. We need to facilitate more conversations, help those that are shyer bust into groups; we are working harder to create the community that we always wanted. Of course it is more work for us, but in the long run we too are making closer friends, allowing us to be more that hosts, cooks, and cleaners. Inserting ourselves into the community allows us to not only help bring others together, but bring us closer to them as well.
The three components of our mission as laid out by the September 2009 post:
• Innovative and Comfortable Space: Create events and programs that reflect the diverse interests of our peers ranging from urban planning to cooking to guest lecturers.
• Pluralism: Welcome people of all ages, religions and denominations and let them decide their level of involvement in our functions.
• Commitment to New Orleans Community: Resolve to reside in Broadmoor and support the flood-damaged neighborhood’s recovery.
Other important themes: the role of our Moishe House and the mission of MHnola as the city of New Orleans transitions from recovery to revitalization, the value of empowering local Jewish groups to utilize MHnola as a partner and space for the cultivation of ideas and action, and the need for our house to be sustainable and remain relevant in a changing New Orleans and a changing Broadmoor community - the neighborhood where MHnola is located.
Have you achieved goals that you initially set for your house?
In many ways MHnola has achieved the goals we set forth for ourselves in September. Our home is indeed an Innovative and Comfortable Space. This is evident by considering some of the in-house events our calendar has featured: yoga, Passover Seder, minion at the Moishe house, meditation workshop, kugel cook-off, etc…
In respect to Pluralism, MHnola has always worked to engender an accepting space for all religions while offering events that are accessible to a wide range of individuals with varying interests of involvement. We hosted an East-Over brunch – an Easter brunch with a kosher for Passover menu – and we also have an interfaith night planed in the coming weeks. Another incredibly successful event we held was our MHnola Visioning. At the Visioning the MHnola network was invited to two nights of brainstorming and collaboration to draw up future event ideas. The greatest value of the Visioning was that participants took a true sense of ownership in future events both in participation and preparation.
Our Commitment to New Orleans Community is a core component of our mission that has taken many forms and must continue to be strengthened. Many MHnola events focus on New Orleans and its culture. Richard Campanella is a renowned social-geologist who has lectured for MHnola events twice - once with Moishe House members and once for a volunteer group from Harvard College who came to help in the rebuilding of Broadmoor. The Moishe House Ice Cream Truck has been a fun way to interface with the larger Broadmoor/New Orleans community. The ice cream truck has made appearances at Broadmoor community events such as the Night Out Against Crime and at regular monthly community meetings.
Evaluate your goals for the next three months…
The members of MHnola believe that the creation of a Moishe House in New Orleans has had an important role in the recovery of the New Orleans Jewish community and in strengthening the recovery of the Broadmoor community. Looking ahead it is important that we continue to solidify our role as actors in both and continue to offer engaging events and opportunities for members of both communities to take leadership roles in designing programs to enhance their communities.
MHnola will have a changing face in the coming months. We’ll be adding two new roommates in September – two current members of the New Orleans Avodah. As the house transitions it becomes increasingly important that the next three months are used to establish a model of sustainability so that MHnola can exist for many years with an ever-evolving group of housemates and locations. It is of the utmost importance to the current members of MHnola that our house continue to thrive and grow under any resident structure or location.
We have strengthened our existing partnerships from years past, and also forged strong new affiliations. In March, we worked with the JCRC to do a Child Nutrition Seder and hope to work with them in the future. We organized a Kosher wine tasting with Etz Chaim, a learning center in Philadelphia and the suburbs, and have been invited to work with them again. For Hanukkah, we rocked out to Moshav, a concert that never would have happened, or drawn in more than 200 people from the community, without our strong alliances to other groups. We have also built up our connections in West Philadelphia, a thriving Jewish community just over the bridge, by spending multiple Shabbatot there and recently hosting an open mic.
As we look back, we must also look forward. The next three months will bring a lot of change to MHP. Alissa is leaving us in June, for a summer in Israel and then a move to Seattle to start her Ph.D. We wish her the best of luck, but are going to miss her enthusiasm and open heart very much. Brian will also be leaving us at the end of July to focus on co-chairing next year’s LimmudPhilly (you should all come!) – but he will stay actively involved. With these pending transitions, we hope to bring in some great new people and plan out our fall quarter, building on the success of the past year and looking to do even more.
We are partnering with a few other groups for a summer learning series in a local park called Topics on Turf and already have some great speakers/sessions lined up. We hope to expand our networks even more and have talked about working in the outlying suburbs – areas where we know there are a lot of young Jews who don’t often make it into Center City but would love the community programming we do as well. It is very important for us to have a smooth transition as we accept new residents so that we are a strong, cohesive house moving forward. It is also a goal of our house to do more Social Justice programming and we will be looking to the other houses who have had success in those events for guidance. As we continue to further our partnerships, we hope to continue building our constituency base and increase our presence in the city. We are really excited about the next three months and want to keep growing!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
We have also been very successful in building our community through programs with our partnerships. We have truly formed a strong partnership with the Bet Torah V'Ahava
(BTA) organization. We have done many programs with them, and as we thought, the Jewish learning programs with the BTA have helped create a tight community at Moishe House Great Neck. We are looking forward to as great summer with some great programs planned.
Wishing the Moishe House community all the best,
Moishe House Great Neck
If your house was not active in September, please use this blog as an opportunity to discuss your goals for your Moishe House for the next year. three years and five years.
Quantitative goals - We want to invite every month not less then 20 new guests.
Our goal is to make more than 6 programs monthly. We want to increase the number of organizations we collaborate with. Our goal is to make more regular programs (special guest, movie night etc.)
We have in plans realization of one social project per 3 months.
Qualitative goals - In future we have a plan to open a Jewish library in Moishe House. In plans we want new types of programs as sport games, picnic or going to Jewish places in Moldova. We are looking forward collaborating with other MH in FSU.
We want our MH to become a place uniting Jews with different points of view and life positions.
I think I can say with confidence that as residents we meet regularly and we discuss a myriad of things that are going on. House events, budgets, house maintenance, roommate relationships, future of the house. We've been meeting almost once a week for the past several months! This has been great for the functionality of our house. So even though it's just me writing this, I feel like I can speak for the whole house since we talk about all things Portland Moishe House so regularly.
When we talked about Moishe House in August/September and thought about our goals for a year from now, a lot of them had to do with transitions. Our founder and elder, Jodi, will be leaving us in not too long, so the transition of her departing with her legacy and finding a replacement is important. At the time, I think our goals were to have Jodi transition out effectively, find a good replacement, and continue the house mission. Portland has a unique mission, seeing as Jodi founded us as a Shomer Shabbat, Shomer Kashrut, Shomer Chag house. Because it's been so successful, and Jodi has brought into creation this wonderful model of inclusion, we all feel its important to keep on this mission over time, even after we are gone. So a year from now, we hope the mission is still in place, and also again in 5 years from now. We'd also like to see more involvement from participants. It would be great to have folks other than residents leading events. It would be great to have even more people involved in our events and on our listservs, and to have the house functioning well as an independent organization. I honestly cannot remember if we discussed fundraising in our conversation or not!
Sooo now fast forwarding to present moment, we can talk about how we've addressed these goals. I think we've definitely made some headway. Jodi's been gradually transitioning out, which is the way to go since she's so majorly involved in so many programs. Making the transition gradual allows her to appoint leaders to her projects and discuss changes with us. We've identified a potential future roommate and we're really excited about her, we think she'll be a really great fit! In addition to keeping to the integrity of the mission of the house, we also talk about gender balance within the house and at programs. We hope to keep some balance of men and women in the house to continue to attract diverse participants. So this means we also have to keep an eye out for future male candidates and consider the gender and personality balance of any resident combination.
As a house we've spoken about our mission statement a lot. We're all on board and I think we've identified how future potential housemates could or could not be a good fit. We've also talked about how to sustain our model with external parties, like a board, a "house mom" or "house dad" or a representative from the synagogue we go to. We haven't quite gotten a move on this one yet, but it's an ongoing conversation.
I think recruiting more folks to do events has been a natural part of our growth over the last few months and it's been going well!
We have had some pressing issues come up in the meantime. We are hitting a bit of a low in participation. So I think I can safely speak for my housemates when I mention some goals for the next few months:
1) Come up with a housemate support system for when events fall through or when life happens
2) Brainstorm exciting new events to pull in new people and to serve as "marquee" main big exciting events
3) Increase participation, reach out to groups we haven't before.
We actually discussed a lot of these goals in greater detail for a grant we worked on, so thankfully we've even sketched out some concrete ways to reach these goals.
1) Continue our weekly meetings so we have the time together to discuss all these things. We also try to make some of our weekly meetings out at bars or restaraunts so it can be a fun thing to do together and bond.
2) In terms of reaching out and advertising: using news resources like the Willamette Weekly, Portland Mercury, Jewish Review, Southwest newspaper, etc. Going into coffee shops in neighborhoods and putting up flyers. Doing phone-banking. Being consistent on our newsletter. Planning out our calendar 2 months in advance.
We met last week and we know we've got a lot on our plate. I think we're all dedicating to setting aside the time and chipping away at our goals.
Another goal we had was to do more partnerships. We are lucky to have strong ties with the progressive Jewish community here in DC and we have partnered with Jews United for Justice, Avodah and Theater J in the past several months. One challenge to these partnerships is that Shabbat really seems to be a natural place to co-sponsor. But our community is very used to the MHDC Shabbat, straight no chaser. They enjoy the way we run things and though we have had a lot of praise for our co-sponsored Shabbats, there certainly is a call in the community for the more standard style. This is a challenge we will be working with as we look to our goals in the future.
Finally, we had a goal of doing more programming out of the house. Through the Snowpocolypse and general dreariness of DC winters, we were doing a lot of events that were some form of “come over, sit on couch, eat.” While the weather is getting nicer, we have branched out to the park, local bars, rock climbing gyms and museums to meet this goal.
As a house, we still find these goals incredibly relevant and will continue to work towards them over the next three months. I would say at this point, given our excitement coming off the retreat and the way we are inspired by Rabbi Scott’s learning sessions, bringing in more Jewish content and a space for group learning is certainly at the top of list. We are constantly thinking of new ways to make Shabbat special and spiritual and also hope to contact local rabbis for a learning session with our community.
Only good things ahead for the the MHDC!
We also think one of our other big goals is to carry on with some of our regular events. Our members enjoy consistency, so events like the Documentary of the Month, and the Book Club would be very valuable to continue. Establishing some kind of routine with those types of events will also help us to achieve our first goal because as more people attend those regular events, they begin to form part of our core group of members.
Another goal for perhaps the next year to three years is to fix up the house a little. We have a very big space which we are fortunate to be able to use for our larger events but it is not in the best condition. We would like to fix a few things up, and make it a little more homely and user-friendly. We think we can have a few fun events involving our members in the process so that they feel a part of the change that they will see, and that they will feel that the Moishe House is just as much theirs as it is ours.
Lastly, a goal for the next five years is to pass on the tradition of running a Moishe House in Johannesburg. We hope that the community continues to thrive from it and appreciate the work that we do here. Bringing in more people, and continuing the connection we have with those who already attend so that when the residents of the house change, we still have a solid connection with our members. We feel the presence of Moishe House is very important here, and we hope that our current members will consider being residents themselves one day to continue the work that we do.
When looking backwards and trying objectively to evaluate our progress in the past few months, we clearly see that there are fields that we have fully accomplished our goals and we are progressing towards the right direction and there are some fields, obviously, that we still need to improve.
#In a respective to all the things that concern to Judaism, we are following our targets: we have weekls lectures and Shabat every two weeks, we make special events for the holidays and many people from the community automatically contact us before a holiday or a Shabat cause they know that Mishe House is usually organazing something, the future goal in that direction would be to preserve that.
another goal was corporate with other organizations and it is something that we are starting to see the outcome as we just had a great Lag-Baomer BBQ for (!!!) 150
people with 2 more organizations from Vienna, and there many events ideas for the future
Where we need some improvement:
We did not really advance with the internet (we have a Facebook page but that can use some more work and planning)
Not so relevant anymore:
We see that our 'market share' within Vienna is more valuable right now, so we prefer on focusing on our own community for the time being, and with the current resources that we have, we realize now that doing the next step of expanding our activities, is something that needs some time , and should be done on a later stage.
We thought of subscribing Moishe House Vienna as a host to to an internet site that offer Jewish people who are traveling the opportunity to eat a Shabat dinner, however, on a second thought we have many people from our own community that are on a first priory and we have to provide them the chance to spend a Shabat (hopefully on a regular basis) with us. The idea of hosting people is still very important but as a vision we would like first to make sure we give 100% to our own community.
That is more or less all the targets for the long run are still the same, we hope to write again in a few months and talk about a similar progress as we had in the past 5 months!
Warm Regards from the not so warm Vienna,
Danny, Michi and Tal
"I think In one year our Moishe house is still going to be a vivid center o Jewish young adults in Warsaw. We are getting better in organizing diffrent events so in one year I guess thinks will be still getting better I hope we will be cooperating with even more diffrent people and organizations to give young people more opotunieties to do something jewish in their lives.
In three years our Moishe house will be located somewhere else probably, in a biger apartament with more space. We will be still active members of Jewish comunity in Warsaw so probably todays tennagers will be old enough to visit our events and have fun with us
I cant tell if we will be still running our Moishe House in five years maybe there will be some younger people taking it over from us when some of us will be to old to be a Moishe house resident. 5 years is really long time but Im sure that even if Im not going to be a resident anymore for sure there is going to be a cool Moishe House in Warsaw"
Im not sure wether member of a Moishe House is a good person to juge if it achived it goals but I think we are dooing weel. We where maiking shabbat dinner, letures, jewish hollidays, swap partes, picniks and more. We are aslo getting more known in Polish Jewish comunity. There are people from other cites who are comming to moishe house to celebrate hollydays with us so it is a plece from young people from whole Poland not only from Warsaw and I find it cool that we are aible to sosialize with people not only from Warsaw.
What are our goals for the next tree mounths? I hope Moishe House its going to benefit a lot from a good wether and finaly we will make evwents in parks again! I really love playing fresbee in a Park and Im really happy that it is going to be pissible soon for example for Jom Ha-Acmaut! And ofcourse dooing our best like always.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
characteristics, such as: social and economic features, environmental resources, available
services and facilities, and existing land use. In addition to examining existing characteristics,
another important tool in the development of community goals and objectives is to identify
Each month MHSF sits down to plan the next month's events, and I'm sure many houses around the world share this practice. However, I'm not sure how much our conversations mirror those of other houses. We're all very busy and it's difficult for us to find a time when the 5 of us can sit down and meet, much less a time that's not late in the evening where we're all thinking about sleeping or watching the newest South Park episode (by the way, the last one where they stage an intervention for Towelie was amazing). Our conversations focus exclusively on the events for the next month, and we don't ever discuss how we're doing as a house besides the events themselves. What I mean is that we're not tossing around who is doing what, and more importantly who feels comfortable doing what.
I think having everyone understand their capabilities and what it takes to successfully run a Moishe House is critical to the sustainability of the project, and I think we're lacking a little in that respect. Obviously not everyone will remain in a Moishe House forever, and eventually each house will be turned over to less experienced people. That's not a bad thing at all, and in fact the organization requires that model to succeed. However, certain houses may be exposed to quite a hitch following a roommate or two moving out if they're not made aware of their responsibilities and capabilities during their time as a resident.
I'd love to see our house discuss more issues relating to sharing of work and responsibilities so that our house can remain productive and a model for Moishe House prosperity.
As we planned in our last September blog some point were achieved and some of them are still not reached. Moishe House Buenos Aires is a well know place to have fun and come to activities, but when it comes to Jewish learning or tzedaka events, numbers show that people don’t commit as much as they do when it comes to having fun. We do reach the goal of having a Pesaj Seder in our house, and also a Pizza party when pesaj was over. We try to have one shabbat dinner every month and we plan to keep with that and get new people involve with it.
Regarding the next three months, we plan to have shabbat dinner as usual, more Jewish learning events (like a tikun in shabbuot) and since a few weeks we are going to a charitable dinner space and more and more people are joining us. Evaluating our goals in numbers is pretty hard, we prefer to take our energies on the idea of opening the spaces for people to come and not putting the goals in numbers.
In the past the best activities where the ones that we organized with more organizations, like Hillel or Cool Am or Hacoaj, cause it brings us the opportunity to reach new young jewish people and explain them what is Moishe House about. Continuing with this we are planning many events together with other communities or institutions.
In our brief time at the helm of MoHo Dallas we have already achieved two goals we set to accomplish from the start. We have spread the word throughout the community about Moishe House Dallas, punctuated by a feature news article in the Texas Jewish Post and have helped to secure our continued existence as a flagship city, made possible by the generous financial contributions of area philanthropists.
We will build on these early successes by continuing to provide a variety of interesting and exciting events in a welcoming and inviting atmosphere to promote a sense of community among the area's young Jewish adults.
At the end of our first year we fully expect MoHo Dallas to be a household name within the Dallas Jewish community, but more importantly, a household sought out by the flourishing young adult population.
In the next three years we are certain that the roots being established now will continue to bear fruit, either by original MoHo Dallas members or by those who will have taken the torch from us. In the next five years we will be too old to run a Moishe House of our own and will perhaps be at a life stage where MoHo Dallas no longer fulfills a direct personal need. However, we will continue to support and take tremendous pride in the continued successes of Moishe House Dallas and the Moishe House Organization.
Yoni Sallmander - MoHo Dallas
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We need to think of ways in which we can progress for the next couple of years. In the past 2 years a lot of our guests for events are people who have been attending our activities regularly. I'm sure having a series of events, with a continuity every month (beside our successful book club) would be awesome and could attract more and more people. We are, as Moishe House Cape Town can have a few events with the different Moishe Houses around the world. Although South Africa can be problematic with Internet connections, I'm sure a house meeting with one of the other houses around the world would contribute to us and the other houses.
The year so far has been amazing. We’ve had really great and interesting programs; we kept in touch with most of our friends throughout our activities. This is something we need to continue with, integrate fun and Jewish education into our programs and keep it young and vibrant.
The question of the next 3 to 5 years is much more difficult! When we had our Moishe house meeting the other day discussing our goals we couldn't really think of a really better goal rather than keep Moishe House Cape Town as it is.
Every day we are thinking of new topics, new methods to upgrade our programs. We believe our programs as they have been should be centred on and related to Judaism, Zionism, Jewish life in South Africa that is both relevant to young adults and contemporary.
We are 100% sure we can fulfil our goals within the next year… 3… and 5…
Monday, May 3, 2010
We came out of the retreat with a desire to develop a mission statement for our house. We're still in the process of hammering out the exact wording, but here's what we have so far: MH Chicago aims to build a diverse, progressive, and inclusive community in an egalitarian Jewish context and is committed to working towards a more just society. The MH Chicago community organizes at least eight programs a month that focus on social justice, Jewish learning, Jewish community, and enjoying the beautiful city of Chicago.
Looking toward the future with our new articulated vision for MH Chicago, we want our programs to reflect the interests of our community and we want them to be rooted in a greater context and mission of social justice. We are hoping to implement an organizing model (heeeeey Boston!).
So for the next three months, we are planning to have one-on-one meetings with members of our community, as well as people we think might be more involved if they knew more or if the programming was different. We want to get a sense of what young Jews in Chicago expect from Moishe House.
Additionally, we want to develop strong partnerships with other organizations in the city, ranging from groups like Young Chicago Authors to the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs to 20s and 30s groups at synagogues. Our goal is to co-host/sponsor events with them.
We are meeting more regularly as a house to devise specific goals -- how many one-on-ones should each house member have each month, how many co-sponsored events do we want to have per month, etc. We are also committing ourselves to doing more specific outreach -- personal invitations to members of the community in order to increase participation. The general e-mail to the listserv just doesn't do it! We are also now on twitter and facebook -- we are embracing the cultural revolution of social networking and using it to improve our communications.
That's all for now. To sum up -- we want to deepen our relationship with our community members and work with them, and other organizations in the city, to develop programming that is meaningful and that works to bring about a more just society and that also strengthens young Jews connection to their community.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
In the next three months we have three specific goals. Firstly, we will identify community members to take on the privileges and responsibilities of being MHPVD residents. We will also facilitate the transition of residents to ensure that MHPVD programming is not interrupted. Secondly, we will make extra efforts to increase attendance at mid-week programs by 100%, effectively doubling participation. Thirdly, we will solicit more co-planners and partners in our regular program offerings. The events lined up for May, June and July will require an extra level of community participation which will enrich the diversity and appeal of MHPVD programs.