Friday, September 7, 2012

Rachael Freedman - Moishe House MoCo

Our evolution as a group has been pleasantly surprising and amusing to experience. In addition to its entertainment and insight value, this process has enriched my own leadership, and I've watched the effects of this permeate other programming roles I hold and professional relationships in which I am involved. It has been interesting to realize that my e-mail communication style in quasi-professional situations has been influenced -- molded, even -- by my Moishe House e-mail involvement -- and, yes, "involvement" is an appropriate expression of the exponential number of e-mails exchanged within the house. (It's a good thing we aren't charged for those by the kb. ['There goes our month's MH budget....']) One of my favorite Moishe House leadership development gleanings is courtesy of our housemate Leana: our tradition of "Around the Rooms", wherein we take turns at the end of each meeting to share fun and positive (usually), though sometimes mundane or even troubling, "current events" in our lives. I love what this brings to our relationship: a chance to connect on a personal level, to be friends, to know each other as people the way friends and acquaintances get to know each of us: through a more causal lens of who we are, and less of how we operate. It's a perfect way to unwind after an hour-plus of programming discussions, teasing out house-related matters, and evaluating longer-term goals, and this other-side perspective strengthens us as a team. From a macro-MH perspective: the regional, national, and newly-introduced learning conferences have been absolutely invaluable. Thanks to the very first MH Pesach learning retreat held this past Spring, I acquired tools in a warm and friendly, casually observant, Jewishly enriched, fully experiential learning format I'd never yet experienced in all my Jewish leadership and educational training and that bolstered my understanding of, connection to, and passion for Pesach and our family's that instilled in me and polished my confidence, knowledge base, and improvisation skills enough to enable me to lead a seder for my extended family that incorporated family tradition, elements I pocketed from non-family seder experiences, and gems from this retreat that brought new joy and inspiration to our family seder and, without my asking for it, crowned me the new seder leader for our four-generation clan -- a role I accept with honor, and with deep gratitude to Moishe House.

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