Friday, June 29, 2012

Building Community - Vancouver

Four years ago, I moved from Israel to Vancouver. I left my family and friends back home. Today I owe many of my present relationships and some of my new skills to the vibrant young Jewish community of Vancouver. Due to the fact that I grew up and lived in Israel most of my life, Jewish culture and ideals are strongly embedded in my lifestyle and are second nature to me. After I finished my army service I went travelling around the world for a few years. Everywhere I landed I found amazing unique Jewish experiences. I found Jewish communities that were more than willing to help me out in any way possible. It was through these experiences that learned the importance of helping others in need and welcoming new comers to the community. I quickly came to realize that being Jewish is not only a privilege but also a responsibility. During my first year in Vancouver, my close friends and I saw a need for more tailored Jewish events and programming. We took upon ourselves to independently create such events. We hosted many busy Shabbat dinners and a 30-plus guest Passover Seder among others. The visions and values which spurned these events coincided with other Jewish organizational missions of building a strong Jewish community. Not only did these events help strengthen friendships, but they also allowed newcomers to meet an already thriving young adult Jewish community. After a year of successful gatherings we decided to apply to Moishe House. Thankfully our application was accepted and we obtained founding for our house and events. This has allowed me, my roommates and the community to take our Jewish values to the next level. Now we have at least two Tzdakah and Tikkun Olam events a month and a Shabbat and other social events as well. The help and skills that we get from the Moishe House is unbelievable. Moishe House has helped us build a stronger community that is proud to help the greater community grow and thrive. This drive to create and maintain community is integral to my personal Jewish identity. By being part of Moishe House I am able to give back to the same community that helped and supported me back when I was travelling. I wouldn’t have made it this far, if it weren’t for all the invaluable help of my Jewish community. Thank You Moishe House for all your help and support!! Rotem Tal Moishe House Vancouver B.C

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