Tuesday, September 4, 2012

MHLA - Jon Shoer

Recently, for the first time, I had the pleasure of spending a Shabbat at a different Moishe House, one that is not even in my country. I am approaching my one year anniversary of living in the Los Angeles Moishe House on September 1, 2012 and I have been thinking about how far my community has come in that time, and where I would like to see it go in the year ahead. Being able to spend a Shabbat at the Moishe House in Vancouver B.C. was a great way for me to take a step back from my house and asses my time... as well as experience one of the most amazing Shabbats in my life! It was significant for me to be there while approaching my 1 year anniversary, but it was also significant as this was one of the last Friday night Shabbat dinners the original residents of this house were having together. I have to give a huge shout out to Moishe House Vancouver; Kiki, Baruch, Jacob, and Rotem - It was a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat service in their garden with guitars, bongos, and violins followed by a huge pot luck dinner followed by more sing-a-longs and dancing. A truly amazing night. While our cities and communities may vary, our general role as community leaders is universal. I always ask the same question to new comers at our events and that is, "How did you hear about us?" and I always get interesting stories about how a friend, of a camp friend's sister, met her fiance at a Moishe House event somewhere and they have been meaning to come for a long time. I live in a city where there are a lot of Jews... A LOT... and three different Moishe Houses all within 30 minutes of each other. When asking this question in Vancouver, people spoke to me about how there is a big Jewish community, not as large as LA but still pretty big, and Moishe House is the only place for them to gather in such a fun and organic way. Many thought it was the only house of its kind and were shocked when I told them that I live in one too and there are over 40 houses, in 14 different countries. It really put things into perspective for me and reminded me of the responsibility we have as Moishe House residents and as Jewish community leaders. When you get those guests who drove 45 minutes, or an hour, just to be at your event to share time with Jewish peers, that is when we are doing our best work. I found Moishe House by having a resident (who is now my roommate) spill my drink in a bar on accident. I was brand new to the city and Moishe House soon became the center of my world. I now take it on myself to not only provide a venue and events for Jews to gather, but to get the word out there and make people aware of what we do. I love being apart of the Moishe House family and I truly believe that we are a family in a big worldwide Moishe House! Much Love, Jon Shoer MoHoLA

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