Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Year? Wow!

I started Moishe about a year ago, and I feel like I have learned so much, it’s almost impossible to process it all. I have made a ton of new friends, discovered so much more of Chicago, and reconnected with and explored my Judaism. It has been an awesome, difficult, and breathtaking last year. And I am really excited to continue it all again!

I graduated from college a year ago, and I knew I was coming back to Chicago. Even though it’s my hometown, I was definitely nervous. Trying to bridge the gap between old and new friends felt a little overwhelming – old friends who hadn’t been in my life for years and new friends who I had yet to meet. Moishe House turned out to be the perfect solution to what I was facing. I was able to make Moishe House my home base and build (or rebuild) my relationships from there. I felt so safe in the space my roommates and I created, and I met tons of great community members, so my friendships just fell in place. I was able to bring my old friends from high school and my new friends from work into the community as well. One of my favorite things to see is all the people I care about most getting along and spending time together.

Being from Chicago, I have certainly seen my fair share of the city. But in a huge place like this, with a million things to do, you never feel like you’ve seen enough. Or you feel like you’ve seen everything and forget how much is out there. With Moishe House, I am constantly exploring new places and introducing newcomers to my favorite spots. Other people told me that they have returned home after college and felt like they didn’t belong. I, on the other hand, am rediscovering how much there is going on in this amazing city of mine.

I also wanted Moishe House as a chance to open myself up to reevaluating my identity as a Jew. I was never raised particularly religiously, and I didn’t get involved with Jewish activities on campus. However, when I graduated, I wanted to start exploring again. This year, I have gone to services, studied texts, learned about new holidays and met so many different kinds of Jews. Everyday I learn a new Hebrew word, and every month I learn a new tradition. A whole world has been opened up to me, and I can’t wait to see what else I learn this year.

I am thrilled that I get the chance to live here another year, so I can keep making friends, seeing new parts of the city, and finding out more about who I am as a Jew.

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