Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Montgomery County Community in Action

Last year at this time, MHMoCo was unpacking, revamping and making a final decision about our name change. Decisions were made, new sofas acquired and boxes unpacked (with the help of our community members). We even discovered that our old dining room table had built in leaves that allowed the table to accommodate up to 20 people. We were a bit uncertain what would happen to our community and how it would change when we moved from one side of the D.C. metro to the other but were excited for the adventure. In our new Moishe House on Luxmanor Road, we welcomed newcomers and old timers alike, folk who were thrilled by our backyard, deck, two fire places and a close proximity to the metro and many local synagogues but the best part about our new-old Moishe House is the community itself.

Following the move, housemates discussed our interest in getting our community members more involved in planning and dictating the types of programs and activities they wanted to see. That is all fine and good, but our community members have gone above and beyond. In the last six months, our community members have shown their commitment to Moishe house, as well as demonstrated their individual skills, talents and interests, the elements that make up our diverse community.

Reflecting on the past six months, and some of the programs we planned, our community m embers were what made each of these events successful as well as unique. On Shavuot, Erica Allen wowed us with her Torah and Tanach knowledge, leading a winning team in Torahial Pursuit. During World Refugee Shabbat, Emmalee June and Bella Flores amazed us with their exceptional chopping and cooking skills and for dishes that they’d never even heard of. When we hosted a local photographer and art show which brought over 80 people to MHMoCo, Ilana Schafer graced us with her harp playing, Jessica Simon moved us with her poems and Mario Stylianou amazed us with his awesome photography. Throughout the summer, our BBQ’s were a hit, helped by Adam Marker and Jeffrey Reynolds participation in a brew test and with Andrew Brenner’s hammock village. As we moved into the high holidays, our community members continued to amaze us. Rebecca Lemus and I worked together to lead a reflective writing experience for Slichot. Ellen Abramowitz and Tamar Vardi were essential in the construction of a Kosher and standing Sukkah. Amy Egan rescued us from a maze of corn and Briana Levine co-created a do-it-yourself Zumba with Rachael. Jared Tannenbaum is so patient while teaching games at our monthly game nights and Eli Allen makes sure all of our bonfires are safe and properly extinguished. Alex Tharp made fabulous sufganiyot over Hannukah and Abby Robinson talked all about Jewish online dating just before Hamza Khan facilitated an intergroup discussion with the Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society of Greater Washington.

I am so lucky to live in MH MoCo and have such wonderful, talented individuals around me in my community. I look forward to seeing what our community members will do in 2012.

-Jordy Snyder

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