Monday, April 25, 2011

Kin-ect

Kin-ect
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.

--MHSD

Sunday, April 24, 2011

MohHoLalalal

Shavuah Tov!

Julie here from MoHoLA :) My house just picked up and moved into a new, amazingly beautiful house in West Hollywood and I can't help but feel extreme gratitude for my current living situation.

I find it to be absolutely amazing that in our new house, we held our largest Shabbat Dinner yet, with more than half of the attendees being first timers. On Friday night, I truly felt the impact of the Moishe House Mission. Our goal, as Moishe-house-nicks, is to build a Jewish community wherever we live. It is our mission to help introduce like-minded young professionals to one another, and I am so proud to be a part of this organization. I find it amazing, that in our old house, we had a beautiful community, but in our new house we were already able to tap into a new community with the blast of one short e-mail. This just makes me wonder how many other communities have not yet been tapped into..

I feel so blessed to be able to live in this beautiful house, to work my dream job, and to build, my own, beautiful community. My first year in the Moishe House flew by, but kept me grounded in my Judaism, in my community, and as an individual. I look forward to the coming year, the new friendships, the new community, and the new opportunities that are to come!

To feeling alive,

Julie

Thursday, April 7, 2011

MoHoLo APRIL Mailout

Hi People

So here comes the month of spiritual freedom and food slavery! After a long winter we are blessed with some sun and are finally able to make a good use of our wonderful garden! Our communal garden project has been nominated for international national and cosmic awards at the THE BIG GREEN JEWISH WEBSITE please VOTE for US , here!  and as per usual we invite you to have a look and join our event this month.
 
10 April

MoHoLo Edible Gardening

Where:MoHoLo (aka Moishe House London)
When:10 April from 13:30 to 15:30
Your RSVP:Awaiting reply (edit)
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19 April

Grassroots/MoHoLo Community Seder

Where:Moishe House London, Willesden Green (address given upon booking)
When:19 April from 19:30 to 22:30
Your RSVP:Awaiting reply (edit)
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24 April

Hang Out at the House

Where:MoHoLo
When:24 April from 13:00 to 18:00
Your RSVP:Awaiting reply (edit)
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27 April

Fine Words & Wise Ale (Mimouna@MoHoLo)

Where:MoHoLo
When:27 April from 19:30 to 22:30
Your RSVP:Awaiting reply (edit)
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It is with much exhaustion and dread that we say Au Revoir to Laura who has been with us for the past two month . BUT, it is with smiles and joy that we are able to welcome Brett back to the house after his world tour.

Much Love and happy Pessach from all residents

XAlli, Aviad, Brett, Joel, and Rachel









Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stimulating and Relevant - Jack Cohen - MH East Bay

Living in a cool place, with cool people, where other cool people come to commune in my home is kind of ideal. The two words that I find myself using most often to describe this communing are “fun” and “meaningful,” and the past few months have been a more deliberate effort at combining these two. One form this takes is a monthly open learning group of sorts that we call Torah the Explorah. It has been incredibly rewarding to learn Torah with friends and have really exciting discussions, to discover that "learning Torah" can be stimulating and relevant and affect our lives in some way, and so on. Recently, for example, we had a really interesting discussion looking at ways of dealing with anger appropriately, using as a jumping off point the way G?d and Moses respond to the Golden Calf incident. No expert in Torah myself, I am challenged as the facilitator of this group to develop—our house often, in fact, offers facilitators new to their roles the chance to practice with willing participants, be it in Jewish learning, social entrepreneurship, or creative writing. Another manifestation of our growing intentionality is the Jewish Meditators Group that we started in our home last week. Meditation practice is no stranger to Jews in the Bay Area, where a list of spiritual teachers reads like a Hebrew school roll call, so we are working to integrate practices that already resonate so strongly in ways that fit in with our Jewish lives. As we do so, we see our community growing and becoming more active in making MH East Bay into a center for spiritual and social community.

MHDC!

Another Jewish activity, really? A thought I often find lodged in my mind when I decide to participate in Jewish groups, activities, programs, and events. Having been raised to put a premium on multiculturalism, diversity, and coexistence, I am at ideological odds with myself when I choose to participate in anything exclusively Jewish, which I do, frequently. So, when I moved into Moishe House last December, this old philosophical quandary emerged once more. If I am committed to the idea of diversity, why am I moving into an exclusively Jewish home?

Four years of college had taught me that the angst I was feeling would be too exhausting to indulge. Instead, I put it aside and let myself enjoy the amazing opportunity Moishe House was providing me as I began life in a new city. To my surprise, the next few months helped to quell what I had once thought to be cognitive dissonance.

One Shabbat, we hosted an Kenyan cooking lesson and themed dinner. The main chef -- Mama Kamao – is the director of the African Immigrant and Refugee Fund (AIRF), an organization which helps African immigrants with their transition to American life. Mama Kamao had invited a number of these new Americans to our Shabbat Dinner. Both Moishe House participants and the group from AIRF were playing the roles of ambassadors – explaining our respective traditions and finding exciting similarities between them. People were mashing the lentils, peeling the ginger, cutting the kosher chicken, and adding masala as they prepared a meal which we would say the motzi over. Mama Kamao lit the Shabbat Candles. My friend Lily helped prepare the special Kenyan tea. This was diversity.

In the past few months, we have hosted an Indian shabbat, an udon noodle lesson, and an art show displaying work from artists from all different backgrounds. Our home can be a place that celebrates other cultures, but also allows us to reconnect with our own. These events have shown me that Moishe House can be a forum for multiculturalism – especially its delightful gastronomic benefits.

Trips 2011/12 invites

Hi,

 

Our trips provide an unforgettable insight into Jewish history plus the rich culture exploring the world that once existed, whilst concentrating on the present through the remaining communities. Join us and learn about the astonishing contribution the Jewish communities once made and enjoy the main sites of each particular country :-

 

Krakow3 Chazons & choir week-end opening of Jewish heritage festival 24th June 2011

This will be the 21st Jewish music festival recognized the world over as the best for the quality of the invited performers. See the website for a film of last year's 20th anniversary and schedule of events, which include films and lectures www.jewishfestival.pl (...think Edinburgh festival with a wholly Jewish interest). The ruach in Krakow pours out of its cobbled streets and lends itself to make the experience of this week-end one that you will never forget. See Tour 8 on our website with a full programme for the weekend which had to be altered as the Auschwitz-Birkenau trip is now on Monday with the shtetl tour now cancelled as on Sunday at the Galicia museum The Israel Embassy are hosting YAD VASHEM righteous gentile awards to those who hid my father for 3 years – limited places left so book now

KRAKOW Klezmer climax conclusion of festival 1st July 2011 A lot of fun culminating with the world famous Jewish music extravaganza, starting  on Saturday in the main Jewish square at 6 p.m. and ending in the early hours of Sunday morning. This will be enjoyed by some 15,000 people...a site to behold. We also visit Auschwitz-Birkenau on the Sunday – See tour 9 on our website for the full programme and cost

ROME – the Eternal city 2nd September 2011 Week-end in Rome consisting 3 days of ancient, classical and ghetto tours, staying in Hotel overlooking the Forum Rome – A 3,000 year multi layered museum under the open sky with the worlds oldest continuing Jewish community outside Israel. The former ghetto is fascinating & thriving again with some of the best kosher restaurants in Europe. See www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk for full agenda and cost

 

Romania, Moldova & Bessarabia trip for 7 days leaving on 15th September 2011 Romania & Moldova covering the former Bessarabia & beautiful Transylvanian region of a former once vast Jewish presence where still communities exist and synagogues are being restored. We fly with Wizz airline to Cluz airport in the North West of Romania returning from Bacau in the North East by Blue Air. We will have the use of minibus and guide at all times, staying in 3+ star hotels in interesting towns and areas of natural beauty. If you are interested please indicate ASAP which towns or areas you wish to visit in order that we may adjust the itinerary in what promises to be a great trip - See www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk for full agenda and cost

Magical Morocco Marrakesh CHILL-OUT weekend 27th October 2011 - Following a hugely successful sold out 2011 trip, and further enquiries, demand will be huge for our next Morocco trips. We suggest you book early, as limited rooms available. We will be staying at the magnificent KSAR ANIKA RIAD with gourmet kosher food in evenings and shabbos, with only 1 or 2 guided walks planned. Four days 3 nights at a cost of £485 - See www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk for full agenda and cost

DANUBE Luxury 8 day river cruise from Budapest from £999 per person in November 2011 JHTee is proud to announce that we have negotiated with a leading cruise Company a truly exciting trip on an exceptional boat, and at an affordable price. This amazing offer will navigate 4 countries and the 3 capital cities of Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna before concluding in Germany, and flying home from Munich or the reverse trip flying home from Budapest - See www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk for full agenda and cost

FULL Morocco tour 16th February 2012 is now confirmed for full 12 day trip, including Sahara desert. The way the trip has been planned only allows a return flight home after 8 days when we arrive in Marrakesh, for those not wishing to stay for the full trip. Our guide for the entire time is Raphael Elmaleh [excellent raconteur] who is responsible for the only Jewish museum in the Arab world and involved in the restoration of shuls and cemeteries and Jewish artifacts.
Tunisia including Djerba island – Planned for March 2012

ISTANBUL Turkey 26th April 2012

BALTIC states trip 15th May 2012 Vilnius Lithuania, Riga Latvia and Tallinn EstoniaTravelling 3 countries and capitals over 7 days - See www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk for full agenda and cost

UKRAINE Autumn 2012 - 10 days covering everything from Lvov to Odessa - See www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk for full agenda and cost

Poland – Central Poland Warsaw Lodz & Lublin 8th June 2012 to coincide with Euro Championships

Incredible INDIA November 2012 - See www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk for full agenda and cost

 

    Marcel Manson
 

Jewish Heritage Tours

6, Golf Close

Stanmore

Middlesex

England    HA7 2PP

Tel No   0044 0 208 9545074

Fax No 0044 0 208 954 5074

Mobile N0 0771 2290520

e-mail:     marcel@jewishheritagetours.co.uk

Web site: www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk

 

Spring - Gil from MH Denver

As spring settles upon us, it is a great time to look at what's ahead. Everything is blooming and rejuvenating. So to, if any of you is feeling sluggish from the winter hibernation, let this be a wake up call. The weather is warm and the sun is shining so get your tuchus off the couch and make some moves. Plan some cool events, previously impossible because of the gloomy grays of winter.
The winter was great. Don't get me wrong, we all had some good times. You've got all those holidays smushed in there, with endless meals and celebration. Of course New Years and Christmas time is fun no matter where you are. And yes there was sledding and skiing and even some caroling, drinking warm cocoa by the fire and that good stuff. But let's be honest... outdoors is where it's at, the way G-d intended.
At Denver Moishe House it means that frisbee season is back, among other things. We make sure at least every month we have a relaxing outdoor activity, usually in the park. It's good for you, good for soul, your neshama, your Qi' if you will. Grab some snacks, a blanket and your friends. Put down the blackberry. I promise it will be ok. Life is all good.
Check out Hazon to find out about community gardens in your area. Go out for a day of planting and harvesting. It feels good and you can eat the benefits of all your hard work. Spread the joy of spring to everyone you know. Do some Tikun Olam or something! Just get out there. This is the true cry of Spring. And it is upon us, so all head. Make sure to keep that smile wide as you step outside into the sunny blue skies. Ya they'll be a rainy day here or there... but that's life baby!

Ben Levinson-Moishe House St. Louis

Hey Everyone,

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been 8 months since I have moved into Moishe House. It seems like just a couple weeks ago that I was talking with Lee'at and Jordan about filling their last available slot. Now, all of a sudden, I am a veteran of the house for more than half a year. A lot has changed in my life since I have joined, I have a girlfriend now who is unbelievable, I have been promoted at work, and I became the vice chair for social activities at SLIC (Saint Louis Israel Connection, Israeli advocacy group).


I think about becoming a Moishe House resident daily and I always eventually come to the conclusion that I've been having such a great time and am so much better for it. Before I came to Moishe House I was quite a lazy person. I had plenty of friends that were involved with Jewish organizations around the community and did their best to involve me in all of them but the only thing on my mind was getting back to the couch to watch the game. I would never seek out things to do actively and mostly waited around the house after work until someone called me up with something to do.


Now that I am in Moishe House I have so many more opportunities to go to different events, specifically to represent the house and introduce new people, and see if I would like to become more involved with the different things I'm being exposed to. For instance, I was approached by an Orthadox synagogue a month ago to help out with an Indian Shabbat they were planning. Me, not being a very religious person, most likely would have shrugged them off not being very interested in the event had it been only for myself. Now that I am in Moishe House, I have a vested interest in developing creative programming that attracts Jewish young adults from all different denominations and saw this as a great idea to reach out to more observant Jews in the area. At the event I was greeted warmly by the congregation (the Rabbi actually friended me on Facebook prior to the event) and had a wonderful time.

I'm happy to have Moishe House in my life and be such a driving force behind it because it allows me to explore new things that I most likely wouldn't have wanted much to do with. It has opened me up to new friendships and keeps me thinking about better ways to connect the community. For all of this, I am very thankful!

Ben Levinson

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MH MoCo

Hi all!

Moishe MoCo.... in the past few months we've moved to Rockville, brought together a new and changing demographic, had an easier walk from the Metro, and met up with SPRING! Not only have I personally gained so much from a moving from the basement to the master bedroom, but the house can now boast an elaborate backyard perfect for BBQ's and flag football (and slip n' slide?) We're already taking advantage of the warmer weather with picnics and outdoor Shabbat dinners.

The new neighborhood is beautiful, friendly, and most importantly JEWISH. We just got a Mishloach Manot from our neighbors down the block and partnered with the local Aish rabbi for Jewish learning opportunities. We live within a mile of four synagogues, and two miles from the JCC and Federation. How great is it to go to the JCC gym and see people working out in kippas and speaking Hebrew?


Micah Saiger - MHLA

Before I get into how the LA Moishe House is doing I’d like to give some background on how I ended up living here. A little more then a year ago I was soaking in the sun on the Tel Aviv beach, getting lost a bit, having a good time. I was there to get away, relax, meet new people. After being in Israel for around five/six months I got a call from my friend Jon (miss you buddy, he’s now living in the Portland Moishe House). He started talking to me about Moishe House. I heard about it before and had known a couple people living in the previous La House, which had now disbanded. So Jon and I emailed back and forth, got a group together, applied and luckily got the gig. I packed up my stuff and left Israel a week later excited to get started - little did I know how big of an impact this decision would have on my life.
I’ve been living in the LA house for a year now, and it’s really amazing to see how much this house has grown. The house naturally started off with each resident bringing their circle of friends to events. Which was great and a good time, but we didn’t get the feeling like we were reaching out enough. Slowly through gaining a good reputation from a mix of well planned events, and creating a relaxing environment for people to hang out in, we were able to really branch out and create the community we’d hoped for. We’ve done everything from hosting a Shabbat dinner and concert at our house, to dodger gaming, to learning how to pickle, and much much more. It’s been a wonderful year for me, I’ve met amazing people in my community. People with very different backgrounds, that I most likely wouldn’t have ever crossed paths with if it wasn’t for Moishe House. It’s been really unbelievable, and I feel honored to live here. But none of this, the success of the house and the events, could have happened without my wonderful roommates. We have our differences, Julie being a raw chef, Sonia being a teacher, Rodrigo being a screenwriter, Jon who’s now working in the non-profit world, and me, a freelance graphic designer. Pretty eclectic group. They work hard to make these events work, and really have an effect on the Los Angeles young Jewish community. I applaud them for putting up with me, and for pushing this house to the limits. This is a great group of people, and this house’s success is a result of their hard work. I’m looking forward to the future of this house. If you’re reading this and haven't been to an event, don’t hesitate, we’re just some good people looking to have a good time.

Micah Saiger

Los Angeles Moishe House

Portlandia by Jonathan Morgan MH Portland

Portlandia has become an attraction for young adults. I've been here for a month and about half the young adults I meet are in similar shoes. This city is filled with transplants like myself who were attracted to green living, youth culture, night life, Powell's City of Books, and so on. It's actually a totally awesome city and so far it's been a wonderful move. Aside from my exodus from Los Angeles, I also came here to become involved in a growing and relatively underdeveloped Jewish community personally and professionally (part-time at least). I think it is important to grow our presence and unite as a community wherever there is a critical mass of Jewish people. Having spent time in the Bay Area, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, it is empowering to know that I'm a bigger fish in a community that isn't perceived as a developed hub of Jewish life even though there at 40,000 Jews among 2,000,000.

As a resident of Moishe House, I have had a unique advantage as a new Portlandite for a few reasons and I completely credit my current roommates Becca Cigan, Julia Gazdag, Rachel House and (unofficially) Freddy McSteady and previous residents like Jeremy Rogers and Jodi Berris for building a vibrant presence and following. Anyone who is even remotely involved in Portland Jewry knows about Moishe House. We are spotlighted as the thing for young Jewish adults to seek out. Upon my move, I was instantly introduced to many established Jewish organizations in town and invited to several people's homes who had heard about me. What a crazy concept! There was even an article published in the Jewish Review about us http://www.jewishreview.org/local/Moishe-Houses-fresh-faces-expand-young-adult-options.

For those of you who don't know, Portland has an unemployment situation that is more depressed than most major US cities because of the influx of young people in search of higher quality of living without a job in mind. I am certainly in this category, but because of Moishe House connections I have an advantage that exemplifies the welcoming experience I've had so far.

The air here is crisp, there is no sales tax, and the beer flows like the Willamette. There is a lot of work to be done because most Jewish people here are uninvolved, but Moishe House is here to fill that void. Until I am outside of the target audience for Moishe House programming, I know it will continue to be an integral part of my social and Jewish life and I am proud to further its mission.

Stephanie - MH Orange County

I’ve graduated from College, moved back home with my parents, feel all alone… NOW WHAT?!

This is a common story for many young adults that are in their “awkward” years. No, this is not Junior High but the period in your life where you do not have your OWN community. You are too old to attend Hillel and other college events and too young to join a synagogue where the majority of members are married and have children.

I was in the same boat. After graduating school in Boston, I moved back with my parents in Orange County, California. All my college friends were 3,000 miles away and I was left alone all day searching for jobs and hanging out with my only friends at home – my dogs - Pretty thrilling after college life!

I was then introduced to the Moishe House where I finally had somewhere to go, ALL THE TIME! I love my dogs, but you can only play fetch so many times. This was the place to be to make friends, connections, and even network! Because of Moishe House I was able to find my current job in one of the worst economies!

Soon I was asked to move into the Moishe House and become a Resident. Being a Resident is completely different that a participant. I am obligated to plan 8 events a month, attend all events, and know everyone’s name – OY, What an obligation! Yes, but it’s also been the greatest Mitzvah that I have had the privilege to/and will continue to participate in. The opportunity to grow and enhance the Orange County Jewish Young Adult community is something I never even dreamt I could participate in, never mind lead!


Moishe House is a necessity for the survival of the growing Jewish Community.

Stephanie