Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reppin the Motor City

Moishe House flat out gets it.

I have been living in the Detroit Moishe House for about seven months now, but I have been entrenched in the organized Jewish community’s struggle with engaging individuals in their 20s and 30s for a few years. For some reason they (the organized community) just do not understand that being Jewish means fundamentally different things for my generation. Israel is not relevant, traditional synagogues do not interest this demographic, and like it or not, there are more and more mixed religion and intra-cultural marriages. Further, the US Census estimates that by 2050, the majority of Americans will be minorities. We have one choice as American Jews, we can continue to resist these large macro trends that are out of our control and continue to push the next generation away, or we learn how to embrace these differences and give young people as many entry points to discover their Jewish identity on their own terms.

Moishe House allows for this to happen on so many different levels. Be Jewish however you want to be Jewish. What a novel idea? The idea is simple, the execution is relatively simple, but I am convinced David C. and the Moishe House in 30 years will be looked at as a major reason why the organized Jewish community will be successful in the long run. Friendships are made, relationships are started, and movements of young creative people are developed.

Beyond the philosophical aspect of Moishe House, when you look at inputs and outputs (inputs being financial resources put forth, outputs being the results and touchpoints of the inputs), nothing on the national (and even international) scale compares. I am honored to be a part of this innovative program and I hope the Moishe House organization and staff stays true to their roots to let us Moishe House residents create with limited oversight and structure. This is how the magic happens.

Jordan Wolfe, Motor City Moishe House

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