When I returned to St. Louis after college and work, I had been away for almost six years, and I quickly came to the realization that my friends were scattered around the country. I had one truly close friend who dragged me to a Jewish Federation event, a happy hour for young, Jewish professionals. That event represents a turning point in my life that led me to Moishe House STL. At that happy hour I met a group of individuals who partnered with me in the creation of Next Dor STL, a nonprofit organization aimed at building Jewish community. Over the next year, I met hundreds of Jewish, young adults and watched as they developed relationships with each other. I was intrigued by the way these relationships extended beyond the platform that had been built by Next Dor STL. It was a really organic way of creating and building community.
I then began to look at Next Dor STL and the Jewish community as a whole. In an effort to provide more to the community, I began to hold speaker series and entrepreneur roundtables. I began to attend events at Washington University, and recruit speakers and mentors for community members of Next Dor STL. My goal at that point was to help nurture the Jewish community, and to assist people in making connections necessary to stay in St. Louis, as well as strengthening the partnerships and communication between the three major young Jewish Groups in St. Louis; Next Dor STL, the Jewish Federation’s Young Professional Division (YPD), and Moishe House STL. I understood the role and importance of having more than one organization aimed at this segment of the community.
In January 2011, I was approached by Moishe House STL, and was offered a chance to move into the Moishe house. After much consideration, I moved into the house in February 2011. Currently, I still serve on the board for Next Dor STL in an effort to increase cooperation between the two organizations. In my time in Moishe House STL, I, along with Jordan Mandel and Ben Levinson, have succeeded in hosting a plethora of programs ranging from community service to religious and social events. These events have consisted of Shabbat dinners, Cardinals games, volunteer work, and going bowling among many others. We have proudly partnered with YPD and Next Dor STL on programming ventures in order to have more Jewish, young adults involved in community events. Having been a part of our recent success, I can’t help but feel optimistic about the future, and I hope we are able to build even stronger relationships, and an increased sense of community with young Jewish adults.