Looking back on our goals and plans from September, MHP has done a great job at following through with our blueprints. With the NYTimes article in February, we are comfortable saying we are now one of the premiere Jewish organizations in the city. We have had more requests for partnerships, more contacts about people coming here from other cities looking to get involved and our existing constituency is thriving.
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!