Moishe House residency is awesome. I love it. We, as a house, create our ideal Jewish community. And that means it's fluid. It's the residents' own personalities that feed each house.
Residency isn't easy, no. But where else can four very different (or, very similar, for that matter- depends on the house) young people collaborate on, create and support their ideal anything? If there's a job like that, please, let me know. For now, I'll take my career with a side of Moishe.
As I started my third year here in MHP, I thought I was fairly settled in. I've been able to create, plan and host events that were meaningful to me (tikkun olam, rec league sports, sukkah-building), and supported our more 'mainstream' events- holiday meals, shabbat potlucks, Torah study and game or movie nights. But we started Fall 2012 a little different. 3 new roomies, and each pretty new to the Philly Jewish community.
I made the mistake- from which I have taken valuable lessons- to push on and assume it was Moishe-as-usual. Oops. What'd I say earlier? Fluid. Why weren't we working together as well? Why did some feel lost or disconnected with the mission and, really, where was that family feeling I'd grown to love? I won't drag this out, especially because it's probably obvious. You can't fit people into pre-existing models. Moishe House residents can share their individual passions with the community, but it really should start with each other. Then you get that big a-ha moment. Plus, honestly, that warm fuzzy feeling moment, too. I love watching a fellow resident introduce an evening's event, share their interest and glow as the event comes together.
We hosted an arts salon a few months ago. It took awhile to explain the idea to me, because I had no idea what that was. And honestly, I was hesitant- yes, excitedly curious, too- until the artists came a couple hours prior to the start of the event. I knew immediately that these were my type of people. Sure, uninvolved in the Jewish community, but friendly, giving, full of love and ready to share their passions with others. And that's an awesome part of our community- willingness and desire to share one's passion with others.