As a co-founding resident of Moishe House San Fernando Valley (in Los Angeles), I am proud to say we are on our sixth month and going strong! The past few months have had their ups and downs, with many challenges being overcome and even more success achieved. Having experienced other programs at nearby Moishe Houses, I've gained a pretty good understanding of what my particular group of residents does exceptionally well, and I think it's important that these "trade secrets" are shared.
Most Moishe House residents can relate to the super busy and demanding schedules that my roommates and I share. Finding time to have a planning pow-wow to schedule the month's programs, as well as several prep meetings to plan out individual programs is something that we all struggle with- and we find planning meetings to be especially hard to schedule given our conflicting work schedules and social calendars. So what do we do that is so unique at our house?
The greatest strength of our house's dynamic- the thing that makes our house's programs get churned out and hum along like a well oiled machine- is trust. Of course, we communicate as much as we can to plan our programs, but a 4 hour meeting once a month is something that we can't really get done. Emails, group text messages, and conversations over hooka during commercial breaks are where we brainstorm ideas and plan out our month, but that really just puts the barebones together.
When it's time to get the programs going, we know that everyone will do their best, and we also know that there is a 100% chance that something will not go according to plan. Like I said, we aren't quite able to have meetings and plan out everything to the tee, so when impromptu decisions need to be made, it goes without saying that every resident has the leeway to make the call on what changes need to be made.
We have had Shabbat meals change from BBQ to Brunch on the day of the program, compensation plans go in totally different directions, programs planned for two dozen people yield over 40 participants, and residents not being able to be a part of every program due to other obligations. If one of us can't make a program, it goes without saying that the others will be there to pick up the slack and do what needs to be done, without any planning, any discussion, or any scorekeeping of who did what when.
Eugene - MH San Fernando Valley