Saturday, November 27, 2010
Last week, Moishe House Boston experienced a major first - our first baby. When Moishe/Kavod House member Katie went into labor, Evan, the soon-to-be-dad and former community board president, sent Moishe House Boston's key leadership an email telling us to root for them. Within minutes, a flurry of emails started racing back and forth - our chesed team sprung to action, planning who would coordinate meals for the new parents. I got email updates during the labor, in which Evan shared how grateful he was to be going through this experience supported by friends and community. Now that baby Gavi has entered the world, the whole community is celebrating her as our own, bringing meals, laughing with the parents, and working to create a baby naming/blessing ritual.
Then, in sad news, on Thursday, the father of one of our members passed away. I'll call this member Josh, for privacy's sake. During Thanksgiving dinner, I received an email from Josh to share the bad news. A few hours later, I found myself sitting in his family's living room in Westchester, on a detour on the way home from visiting family in CT. Though I love Josh, if it weren't for Moishe House and my leadership role there, I never would have been to his home. But as soon as I heard, I knew that this is what I needed to do, because that is what it means for me to be in community - to be there for people through joyous and painful times. And I wasn't the only one - two of our other leaders contacted me right away to figure out how they could get to the shiva. Even though of course I wish I didn't need to go and I wish Josh wasn't in pain, I felt immensely blessed to be invited in as a friend and comfort during this painful time. I also felt blessed to have something to do - letting our chesed/caring team know that Josh needed meals when he returned from shiva, and thinking about a way to welcome him back into community and give space to honor his father's memory.
Everyone knows that Moishe House is worthwhile because of the interesting programs we throw and the dynamic young people we attract. But it is in weeks like these, when we comes together to witness joy and pain, to support each other and give space for whatever people are going through -- that is when I know we are really a community.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Thanks for all the good times and memories, Moishe House Cleveland! House closing/ Raychel's (October) exit blog
My Moishe House experience was unforgettable, in so many ways. It began when Moishe House Cleveland opened in September 2008, as a place I'd go to spend time with my friends and make new ones. It grew to be and include the majority of my social circle and a place I'd spend time at, even when there wasn't an event going on. It was a place that brought me naches. Eventually, in January of this year it became my residence.
Over the summer we realized that we’d need at least two new housemates for September as three of the housemates were moving on. I would be the only constant in the house, and would continue to hold down the fort. This search began in late June and ended in mid-October, when it became clear that the house would have to close after attracting only one new housemate. The house was full of upheaval in September and it was distressingly difficult to be the only one staying put! By the end of October we had to say goodbye to our dearly beloved community house.
In memory of Moishe House Cleveland I’d like to share some of my favorite memories and most memorable events. Seeing Matisyahu in concert- we did this twice and both times I managed to meet him and get a picture with him. One time I prayed with him. He is so humble and low key, it was really nice to be in his presence. Election watch party 2008- completely unforgettable, in part due to the fact that we were watching The Daily Show/Colbert Report Indecision Special on Comedy Central at the time the election was called and we weren't sure whether to believe the results or not until we had checked some other stations. Post confirmation the rejoicing commenced! Jewish Christmas- We would gather around the projector in the living room and put on 12-hour movie marathons, complete with Chinese take-out ordered twice throughout the day. My favorite Jewish Christmas celebration was the year we had a Tarantino marathon. The clothing swap- there was an over abundance of clothes at that event, and from just a handful of participants to boot! Everyone got to take some “new” stuff home and we donated bags upon bags to the needy. The now infamous wine and painting socials- so much beautiful art came out of those and turned our house into a communal art gallery. Some took their art home or gave it away. Most painted, even if they didn’t see themselves as talented in that way and there was just enough wine to inspire them. Magnet Making Party- another event in which some surprising talents shined and everyone got to take home a mini work of art, with many being left behind to decorate our refrigerator. Multi-Moishe House camping trip- there are few better times than camping with good friends! I really just wish that Hoboken, Silver Spring and Cleveland were geographically closer to each other so we could have done more joint events.
Honorable mentions include: the article about our house in The Plain Dealer (http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/05/kibbutz-style_living_fills_a_v.html); hamantaschen baking nights; a plethora of karaoke sessions; multiple Rock Band nights; Shabbat dinners, especially those cooked by Shiah, those in the back yard or on the back deck, those that were themed and those that were sponsored by Birthright NEXT; card nights, specifically Spades; regional director Jeremy’s visits; game nights, especially Blokus; Ti's vegan water challah; meteor shower watching, or at least trying; painting Talya & Jeremy’s new apartment; volunteering at The Cleveland Food Bank; chalk related events; various seders; Moishe House Cleveland’s kitchen at the National Rainbow Gathering in Pennsylvania; and my Mexican birthday celebration Shabbat dinner. I can’t forget, the National Moishe House Retreat this past Spring and the Eastern Regional Moishe House Retreat this Fall.
I am quite saddened over the closing of our house, but am really excited to begin this new chapter in my life and see what lies ahead! I am so incredibly grateful for the community that I was able to build and participate in and all the things that I learned along the way! L’hit raot, Moishe House Cleveland. You will live on in all of our memories and hopefully be restored through the need and will of Cleveland’s young Jewish community. To the rest of the Moishe House communities globally, chazak, chazak, v'nit chazek!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
A New Year, A New MoHo…The first six months of MoHo Dallas laid the foundation for a unique and versatile network of young Jews in the DFW area. Although MoHo is based out of Uptown, many come from all over the metroplex to participate in MoHo events, whether its coming from Mesquite for a Shabbat Dinner or coming from Fort Worth to BBQ and watch polo match, MoHo is attempting and succeeding in creating a diverse community. Yoni’s departure from MoHo definitely left an impact on the MoHo D experience, with Yoni’s keen sense of humor there was never a dull moment at the MoHo. However, Yoni had to leave MoHo to begin putting that talent to work at NYU Film School. Yoni is missed, but Austin has added a great dynamic to the MoHo trifecta, a childhood friend like Yoni, transition was really a non-issue. Austin has brought with him tremendous culinary skills, which has vastly upgraded our Shabbat menu. We have also incorporated more food based events such as the Ironman Chulent contest after services on Saturday. MoHo as a whole has also evolved over the past quarter incorporating different types of events into its lineup. We had an extremely successful Human Rights Benefit which attracted a substantial crowd and also partnered with AIPAC in a Middle East briefing for young professionals in Dallas. Shabbats have been and continue to be a great success at MoHo. MoHo Charity Poker is beginning to catch on and the more participants, and the larger the pot the more money that goes to charity, the winner gets to choose the charity. The retreat in San Francisco was a great time, and informative. Meeting other fellow Moishe House participants gave great insight and ideas into how to make MoHo Dallas an even better Moishe House.
Shabbat Shalom y’all
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I am so blessed to be a resident at Moishe House Great Neck. Being a resident has given me the opportunity to help make a difference in other peoples lives, and I'm very thankful for that. I am also blessed to live with unbelievable roommates; they constantly inspire me, and I know that I have become a much stronger Jew because of them.
Rabbi Vaknin from our Moishe House Monthly always teaches that our generation is unique compared to the generations before us. Unfortunately, our generation is not as knowledgeable in Judaism compared to our previous generations; however, our generation excels in the Mitzva of "Gemilut Chasadim;" We are a generation that truly cares about others; whether it's giving to charity, hosting people at our house, or performing other great acts of kindness to our fellow Jews. Gemilut Chasadim is essential for uniting the Jewish people, and there has never been a more essential time for us to be united. Through Moishe House, we have all been given the amazing opportunity to unite.
Moishe House Great Neck
Hello Moishe Crew,