I have now spent an hour combing through the Moishe House blog, to find the goals we laid out in September, one month after moving into MH. But alas, I'm beginning to recall that technical difficulties prevented us from posting. So I'll use this time to reflect on goals that arose from a recent internal retreat we had to formally debrief our experience at the national retreat. Many of us were newly reinspired about the potential our house has in Chicago to build community and engage Jews in the city based on shared values.
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.