September 2009 Blog Summary
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.