Tuesday, August 31, 2010
To start with I recently obtained my series 7 general securities license which puts me one step closer to starting a career where I will hopefully obtain a sense of financial freedom and the ability to one day provide for a family. I have also been part of Moishe House OC in Laguna Beach where we host between 7-10 events a month that cater to our local Jewish community. From my conversations with our guests I would claim that they primarily come for four different reasons including: 1) meeting new friends 2) networking for business contacts 3) entertainment 4) finding that special someone.
I have had the fortune of all 4 of these reasons happening to me over the past year. I have meet hundreds of great individuals and been reacquainted with some old friends from temple that I haven’t seen in roughly 15 years. I have become close with my housemates who have helped build our community and host some amazing events if I may be so obliged to say. And I have met an amazing girl that makes me extremely happy and that I can only hope I bring her the same happiness.
I guess I have come to the realization of looking at Moishe House in a new way... After my first few months of living in the house I would say to myself, look at all the good you have done for MH and the community but now I realize it is Moishe House which has done so much for me.
Monday, August 30, 2010
With my new roommates settled and helping me steer this endeavor, I have a newfound passion for Moishe House. The STL branch is more organized, energetic, and it's looking to grow with leaps and bounds! Lee'at, Ben, and I have such different personalities, ideas, and perspectives that we're able to combine all 3 to create unique and interesting programs and keep visitors wanting more, and bringing more visitors with them.
One initiative we'd like to instill is to partner with other organizations more, both locally and nationally, to branch out and make Moishe House STL a household name. I'm excited for the upcoming year with my new roomies and to unveil all that MHSTL has to offer!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Hope you have been enjoying the crazy summer season. We have been taking full advantage of the weather having many days of reggae garden sessions, late night jams and general summer warmth.
We have an exciting month of bringing a fresh slant to the festival season. We are supplying an alternative way to experience and connect to the high holidays and beyond. Come and reflect in a way that you never have before, come and enjoy services that are inclusive, fresh, colourful and dare I say, exciting! Then come and party in our Succah, which will be bigger and better than it has ever been....Now there's a challenge!
So, we would firstly like to welcome Alli Zionts our new house mate who has come all the way from Pittsburgh, USA. It has only been a few days and we have already found out she bakes incredible Challah. She has come in as we have said goodbye to Tali, who is now parading the deserts of Nevada, and after saving lives in South America.
We also have Jess Lenza with us for a month while Rachel is spinning yarns in Edinburgh and Jess has already been getting down on the guitar and livening up the last few events with her tunes and singing.
So, onwards with the events....
| LOTS OF MOHOLO LOVE TO NEW AND OLD, AND FROM NEW AND OLD,|
X AVIAD, ALLI, RACHEL, JESS, JOEL & BRETT
Monday, August 23, 2010
While I'd never been a card-carrying Costco member myself, the enthusiasm my former room mates held for the store was completely contagious. By the time they moved out I LOVED the place. But alas, I'm not on top of my game enough to get my act together and go just sign up for my own membership. July rolled around, and Dan, Ariel (the two newest MHSF additions!), Kiki and myself found ourselves lacking, and figuring out how to plan for Shabbat. Just in time -- I swear, literally the exact requisite 9 days in advance to sign up online -- the Birthright Israel NEXT partnership launched. We signed up our Shabbat, and boom, in a second, we had basically tripled our shabbat allowance. Whew. We could buy food!!!
We still could not, however, buy our trusted, well loved, Costco whole rotiserie chickens that had become a quick, easy, cheap Shabbat staple at our house. What to do? I'm excited to say that we took the opportunity to get cooking. We went big. We went huge. Not only did we cook a feast of both veggie and non-veggie options, but we were able to buy wine (thank you Moishe House and Birthright Israel NEXT for enabling our 2-buck-chuck habit!!), and most importantly, COOK OUR VERY OWN ROAST CHICKEN! I know it sounds silly, but it was a work of art. We got creative. We made a beer-butt chicken, with garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, and PBR. It was gorgeous, and delicious, and a team effort that was really a lot of fun. And it only happened, if you follow the string of events back to the very start, because of the roommate transition. Everyone loved it, and we celebrated Shabbat with our new roommates in style. Needless to say we didn't have any left over chicken. Change is hard, but great things can come of it. Especially if you like poultry.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
The biggest Jewish scene in Texas on a friday night has nothing to do with football. Candle light replaces bleacher blare as Jewish twenty-somethings fill Moishe House Dallas to capacity. They stir, and mingle, and drink wine in anticipation for the Shabbat meal. The MoHost's gather everyone around three full-length tables to sing the traditional Friday night blessings, followed by Kiddush and Ha'Motzi. Each time new faces mix in with the ever-increasing number of “regulars” at MoHo Shabbat dinner. Jews from all over the Dallas Metroplex walk over from down the block or drive-in 45 minutes to be at MoHo, beer or wine in hand. It is the singular event that speaks to every one who comes to MoHo Dallas seeking a true Jewish community of their peers.
This past Shabbat, a now-regular occurrence happened that made me think of the extraordinary affect MoHo Shabbat dinner is having on people's lives. Hillary, a 24 year old post-Communications major now living in Dallas walked through the MoHo doors. This was her second Shabbat and her smile revealed her instant comfortability. By her side was her friend Brian, an import from Miami. While at first a bit anxious, Hillary introduced Brian to friends she met at the previous Shabbat. By the end of the night Brian was mingling through the crowd on his own.
Raymond - Moishe House Dallas
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
For me personally, Moishe House is most powerful because it is a welcoming community. And in this community is energy, contagious energy, that people (even adults with families who mostly find their jewish communities in synagogues) want to be a part of for a night every once and a while. I felt lucky to be able to take part in this event and to know that I was a part of this unique community.
Even better follow up to this event was running into one of the Shabbat attendees, Dr. Anne, at a labor rally downtown. We were able to reconnect over our interest in worker justice. This was a further solidification of the way that Moishe House can bring people together. If we had not held the intergenerational Shabbat, Dr. Anne would just have been another face in a crowd.
I'll end this blog with another feel good story. It's also about community. You might even say that I'm developing a theme here. Last friday evening before Shabbat I got a wonderful phone call. It was from Karin, a moist house regular who had moved out of the Chicagoland area calling from her summer post as a camp counselor. She was wrestling with the possibility of moving back to Chicago, and wanted to know if there were any spots in the Moishe House that were open. "If there were, I'd move back in a heartbeat, it would make the decision so easy," she said. She continued by saying that Moishe House was her community in Chicago, and a community that she hope to recreate if she stayed on the East Coast. It felt amazing to hear feedback about the positive impacts of the community; the fact that Moishe House was a marker for her about feeling settled in a city speaks to the power and importance of Moishe House.
But before I share that, I'd like to share something else -- also, it turns out, involving Jews, the woods, and MH Cleveland.
I just returned from my first Rainbow Gathering, held this year in the Hearts Content (of course! :) ) section of the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. I had an idea what to expect, knew people who had been before, knew a few people who were supposed to be there the same time as me (-- not that we'd necessarily find each other, with no mobile service and 20,000 people spread out over an entire national park)...and I had done the whole camping / potty-in-the-woods thing...yet I was still a little apprehensive, not entirely sure I'd feel fully "there" or part of the community.
There were so many people and so many cars, we had to park at least a mile from the "front gate", and then walk over a mile and a half to the main center of activity. As I lugged my gear closer, I saw and heard signs of the Gathering: friendly greetings and "Welcome Home"s, offers of assistance and refreshment, some already packing out, latecomers like me on their way in, distant drums...and, then, a Moishe House sign! Cardboard, tied to a tree, a rainbow of colors decorating the Moishe House logo -- and I thought right away I'd be OK.
I immediately sought my fellow MHers. Turns out Raychel of MH Cleveland + friends had established a vegan kitchen Moishe House camp. I had a safe home base, a connection, a family, and a Moishe House-style Jew Crew (open, welcoming, inclusive, casual) to enjoy the Gathering by. It was excellent to have a "family" at the Gathering already...immediately reassuring. I also got to tell people about Moishe House and connected with a few Jews over this very clearly Jewish-affiliated camp.
THANKS, MOISHE HOUSE!
(P.S., the two blessings I mention at the end of the article, I said over bioluminescent fungus a friendly Rainbow-er pointed out to me glowing on my way back to Moishe House camp. Seeing something glow in the dark in the woods is very, very cool. :) )
Moishe Monthly - June 2010
Nature. Jews. Community. Turtles?
Back when spring weather was still a hopeful glimmer, Josh Einstein of MH Hoboken asked me and MHSS [Moishe House Silver Spring] if we'd be up for another MH East Coast camping trip. (Einstein's previous multi-Moishe feats span the seasons and the mid-Atlantic, combining Judaism and Jewish community in peer-led, outdoors-centered gatherings.) When the dust had cleared and the scores were tallied, MHs Hoboken (NJ), Silver Spring (MD), and Cleveland (OH) (yes, Cleveland -- hadn't you heard? Cleveland's been relocated to the coast!) had signed up for Einstein's next multi-MH event.
Again at French Creek State Park, again waking at 6:30am courtesy of our neighborly Boy Scouts, again celebrating Shabbat in the Great Outdoors -- but this time we were both greeted AND sent on our way by shell-dwelling reptiles. On Friday afternoon we encountered a box turtle (spotted by Taliesin of MH Cleveland) which was clearly thrilled with our tactile adoration ("ooo, I want to pet it!" "Someone take a picture! Quick! Gather 'round the turtle and smile!" "Can we take it home?"); Sunday morning, we awoke to the following incrementally awesome immersed-in-nature experience:
- a snapping turtle
- making her nest and laying her eggs
- on our campsite!
Herbal / botany nature walks (and the resulting tea), cross-MH bonding, storytelling (and cooking) by the campfire -- constructing an eruv around trees with rope, and performing the mitzvot of hamotzi and kiddush under the canopy of dark -- were all wonderful to experience and fulfilled my vision of how our second East Coast Moishe House camping trip would play out; yet I was struck most by this turtle choosing our campsite to lay her eggs. For me it was an exciting, amazement-infused first -- almost surprising, given my life-long infatuation with turtles; and, though I endorse self-explorative expression and personal concoction of blessings of gratitude and wonder, I am proud to have in my heritage both an offering of thanks for reaching a certain moment, and a declaration of wonder for encountering or experiencing an element of our natural world that strikes the heart or spirit.
Shehechiyanu, V'kiymanu, V'higiyanu, Lazman Ha'zeh -- may you continue to reach miraculous, joyous moments, and recognize and experience them as such;
Oseh ma'aseh b'reishit -- and may you continue to enjoy the works and the process of Creation.
And, may I express a blessing of life for our little turtle friends: may all the eggs remain intact, and hatch healthy, and may all the little ones find their ways safely to water, and grow up living happy turtle lives -- perhaps inspiring awe or wonder in others along the way.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Its sunday and I am so excited about my trip to Israel, only two days left. I am going there to be a madricha on taglit birthright so I hope to meet many new potential Moishe House Warsaw visitors! Reaching out for new participant is very important to us, and now (its almost two years of our MH) is even more important. Since last two years we gathered a big community, or I can say family of people that are involved in our projects. But its always refreshing to see some new facec right? In August we have scheduled many interresting things, for example we orgnized screening of movie and a party for those taglit newcomers in warsaw famous cafe.
Yesterday we spend almost whole day searching for a nice place to fix up Rosh Hashana celebrations! Oh, another thing I meer very nice girl, her name is Marysia and she and her friends are thinking about etsablishing MH in Łodz!
So Rosh haShana is just around the corner and I'm wishing everyone really sweet year with Moishe House!