Providing space and time to foster connection has been one of the most important components of my Moishe House life. The San Diego Jewish Film Festival was held in February. We San Diego residents (through the generosity of the Leichtag Family Foundation) were gifted passes to attend the festival, and invited to meet and mingle with some of the folks involved in the film Yes, Miss Commander. The film is about a special training center, Havat Hashomer, where the opportunity to complete basic training (and effectively, to have a fresh start) is offered to young men with troubled backgrounds--- histories of violent crime, imprisonment, drug issues, and many who come from abusive families. While both men and women hold higher ranks at the base, the commanders directly in charge of the soldiers are all female and roughly the same age as their charges. It is through love and compassion, the commitment to not giving up on each individual that drives so many transformations and success stories at the base. The strength, grace, dedication, and sensitivity that each of the commanders possess was extremely moving. One of the commanders from Havat Hashomer was in town for the screenings, and as Moishe House residents, we were afforded the opportunity to spend time with her and get to know this wonderful woman. This connection across the globe will never be lost. Learning about this special program and share its existence with our community members, and to connect with this inspiring woman are incredible gifts that have left a beautifully indelible mark.
Moishe House San Diego also hosted THE Joshua Walters (of MHEB) and several community members came to the house to get their laugh on during his House Concert (coming soon to a Moishe House near YOU?!?!?!). Connecting with other house residents, discussing various ways to run programs and house logistics, learning new ways of doing things is a wonderful opportunity that doesn’t necessarily have to wait for our national and regional retreats.
After an evening event, a few of us were enjoying each other's company so much-- sipping tea and relaxing, dancing, and playing music, YouTubing, philosophizing, having deeper conversations-- that by the time we closed down for the night it was already pushing on 2am. Foregoing work-night shut-eye in favor of enjoying the company of Moishe House community certainly says a lot in my book on the value of connections forged through the Moishe House experience. Many thanks.