Monday, July 2, 2012

Gabi Altamirano - Johannesburg

Moishe House has always been an open one for the Jewish twenty-something’s in Johannesburg. Pairing Moishe House and Habonim creates a bustling, dynamic and interesting house that has a constant stream of fascinating and diverse people constantly running in and out. A Friday and Saturday night hardly go by without a take-away and some wine, before going out or enjoying each others' company in the house. The house is not just host to social events but educational ones too - with a strong focus on Jewish learning and Israeli current affairs.

This year Roxanne, Browde and I decided to provide a more cultural experience and try to accommodate everyone. So we’ve had a fun, jammed packed year, filled with unique events, such as a girls night which involved 18 girls coming together over cocktails and dinner to listen to a sexologist help us regain our “power”. We have hosted a delegation from Israel coming out against Israel Apartheid week. We have done regular dinners, had amazing guest speakers (from lawyers working at the constitutional court, to heads of the Jewish community speaking on the role of youth within the community). We have celebrated in true Moishe House style, all chagim through elaborate dinners, late night text discussions, and parties.

I think this year we have managed to cater better for everyone and at some point during every month there has definitely been something appealing for a wide variety of people.

I think Moishe is definitely one of the most challenging but exciting things I’ve done. It’s taught me to branch out, engage with people I wouldn’t otherwise engage with, and challenge my thoughts and opinions. And it's ensured that I cater for my desire to help my community, by attending weekly tutoring sessions.

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