Friday, June 4, 2010
Being where we need to be
After being Providence Moishe House host and hostess together for a year and a half (and after having been host with Jesse Stout for another for another year and a half prior), Nathaniel and I are preparing to hand the baton off to the next Moisheniks at the end of this summer. We adore Moishe, of course, but Nathaniel is starting medical school this fall, and we're ready to transition out. So as one of our programs for this month, we decided to host an information session, with dinner included, to teach prospective Moisheniks about the priveleges and responsibilities that accompany Moishe House. We promoted the information session both nationally through the Moishe list, and locally through local synagogues, Jewish student groups like Hillel and J Street U, Jewish organizations like the JCC and J Street U and JFed, a new awesome online resource for 'all things Jewish' in Rhode Island called ShalomRI.org, and our ever-expanding email list and Facebook community. But when the evening came - last night, on June 3rd - no one showed. My first reaction was, understandably, disappointment. But as I thought about it further, I considered the situation meaningful. At the East Coast Moishe Retreat last November, David Cygielman showed us some absolutely amazing videos sent in by people wanting to create Moishe houses in their home city (I distinctly remember ones from Kiev and Jerusalem). I remember being awed by how much people in cities worldwide want to start Moishe Houses, and feeling incredibly lucky that we have a Moishe House in Providence (ok, there was a lil Jewish guilt there too). There are many, many more cities that want Moishe than there are resources to fund them. We're in touch with a few people who are interested taking the baton and were unable to make it last night, but it may be meaningful that no one showed up. And although I feel sad, I also feel comfortable surrendering to the possibility that it may be time for Moishe to dissolve in Providence and re-emerge in another city.