I've been in Portland for a little over a year and it is the perfect size for me as a community member, young professional, and Moishe House resident. My house - as the center of my life - has been the incubator for my involvement in the community. My roommates include a musician, a life skills coach, a chef, and a puppy...home life has never been better. They are all talented community builders and I'm blessed to live and work with them.
In our Jewish community of about 40k, there really isn't much going on for young Jewish adults. Most of the young adult groups that exist are affiliated with an organization or they have a political agenda. They largely aren't agile, they don't have their own space, or any national support. In fact, the one thing they all have in common is their use of our Moishe House. We have taken on a new role in this community as a connector, a venue, and a support group for the other young adult seed programs around town. Portland is unique because we don't keep track of membership and thus we aren't plagued by the "turf-battle" that cripples the majority of our community. Many people here are worried about flat or declining membership rates at synagogues or the JCC, people are tired of hitting up the same donors and attending the same benefit dinners, but young adults in this town don't have to worry about consequences of collaboration. We all seem to work very well together and often times Moishe House is making the most significant moves.
The four of us are proud to be community builders and I'm excited to see how we continue to impact this community. We've gone through a serious process of rebranding and we've gained significant traction. Now with the upcoming re-energizing forces of Tribefest + National Convention we're going to bring some fresh material to P-Town.