Thank you Moishe House! Gracias!! =)
Monday, April 30, 2012
Thank you Moishe House! Gracias!! =)
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Zvi at the Moishe House National Conference and quickly realized that I'd been missing out on his weekly nuggets of Torah gold. He presented teachings to our group in a way that paid tribute to the words that have been studied for ages but boiled it down to relatable, modern ideas and ways to bring these lessons into our daily lives, however we see fit. It was really refreshing.
So yesterday, Zvi sent another email and I marked it unread. But this afternoon I read it and I'm so glad I did. It was about the counting of the Omer which is something I'd never heard of before. I read the article he attached and then put his webinar on in the background while I updated my production schedule. I was really inspired by the conversation that he led and decided to pitch an idea to my roommates that we incorporate the counting of the omer into our events between Passover and Shavuot by collecting food items in our SOVA bin, with the goal to collect 49 lbs of food to donate. And at the end we can deliver the food and have a celebratory dinner with food we've grown on our rooftop garden (planted on Tu B'Shevat!) as a symbol of our own harvest.
The greatest thing about Moishe House that I took away from the National Conference is that the organization gives its residents access to a plethora of valuable resources and our job is to take advantage of them however we see fit. I heard it several times this weekend, but the Conference did sincerely make me feel like part of a huge, tight-knit network. I love the community that we've started to create in Moishe House West LA, and even more the community that the three LA houses have created by bringing their communities together, but this weekend took that feeling to a whole new level! I realized that our West LA house has just scratched the surface and that the resources that Moishe House offers us are ours for the taking. Rent subsidies and monthly budgets are just the beginning. It's really the knowledge and ideas and passion for the work that the Moishe House staff does that makes this organization so special and unique. But the most amazing part, as a resident, is that they're encouraging us to take all of their resources and gifts and make them our own, however we see fit.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Moishe House San Diego also recently experienced its first personnel change. The four original residents have lived together and planned events together since the inception of the house. This has been great and we have worked hard to help facilitate community growth, so we were not sure what the dynamic would be when someone moved out. In February we found out. It was hard to say goodbye to one of our roommates, but it was exciting to bring in a new mind and heart with fresh ideas and invigorating passion. Our new roommate reminded me of the excitement that I had when the house started and the transition prompted me to take a moment to reflect on our progress as a community. Seeing someone new come into the role of community leader so effortlessly gave me renewed hope that as each of us transitions out of living in MHSD, we will be replaced with someone equally devoted to the goals of the house. This shows me that we are a sustainable community and not just the product of four roommates. I am not sure how we as a community reached this point, but I am proud to know that I have been a part of it. Now, I look forward to seeing how Moishe House San Diego continues to grow and what we are capable of achieving together.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Living in Moishe House – A home in foreign country
I would like to start with a short intro about myself, in order to emphasize the uniqueness of my experience living in MH Cape Town.
My name is Ido Shapira, I’m 23 years old and I’m from Israel.
Like most Israelis, after finishing my service in the IDF I packed a bag and went traveling. But just a bit before I started my trip in South America, I volunteered in a Jewish summer camp in Texas USA.
I was exposed to a side of the Jewish world that I barely knew, the bigger side - Jews in the diaspora. After two and a half months of working in Texas and eight and a half months of thinking (while traveling in South America), I decided that before I’m going to start studying, I want to explore this side of the Jewish world a bit more.=
Six months ago I arrived in Cape Town and joined MH.
I’m volunteering in the Jewish community in Cape Town, working for the Jewish schools, the Union of Jewish students in the University of Cape Town (UCT), the various Youth movements and other Jewish organizations in Cape Town. My job is to strengthen the connection between Israel and the Jewish community of Cape Town.
Living in a foreign country is always a hard thing, but trying to integrate in a Jewish community in a foreign country is even harder.
Moishe House gave me the opportunity to mix and mingle with people of my age (more or less) and through them to get to know the community (and to get the community to know me).
When growing up in Israel, Judaism is taken for granted; only when leaving Israel can you perceive the difficulties of being and maintaining one’s Jewish identity in the diaspora. Moishe House allows young people to interact and meet other Jews and actually makes it easier for them to be Jewish. Participating and leading activities that deal with Jewish culture and tradition, practicing Jewish values through outreach programs or just creating a Jewish group of friends (a thing that sometimes can be really hard considering the size of the Jewish community in SA) - all of this is a result of a changing group of people who have lived or are still living in one Moishe House in Cape Town.
Looking back over the last six moths, knowing that there are six left to go, I have no doubt that I made the right choice. Living in MH puts me at the center of things and allows me to accomplish my main goal – getting people to know Israel and strengthening their Jewish identity, while experiencing living in a Jewish community in the diaspora.
Who knows, maybe when I’ll be back in Israel I’ll open an Israeli MH.