Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Moishe House Hoboken - Samantha Vinokor

For over twenty years, from the time that I was born, until the day that I graduated from college, I found that I had a spot carved for me within the Jewish community. Many of the various positions that I found myself in were handed to me, as well as many others: student, bat mitzvah. Others I created for myself, many of these being leadership positions that I worked for: youth group president, Hillel leader, Israel
advocate. Still, all of the roles that I had up until the time that I graduated from college existed within a pre-established environment, one that had a structure, a leadership, and a clearly defined place in the greater Jewish community.

Upon graduation, I was thrust into the role of young professional, an arena of the Jewish community that has not yet been fully defined. My involvement in the Jewish community at this stage of my life has been twofold, as I have chosen to pursue a career as a Jewish professional, and continue to participate in the Jewish community on a personal level as well. Given these dual roles, I have had to figure out how to create a Jewish identity that includes my personal and professional pursuits, and allows me to find fulfillment in both arenas. Key to this goal has been my search for a community that I can relate to and share my Jewish experiences with.

Becoming a part of the Moishe House community in Hoboken, and particularly becoming a resident of the house, has provided me with the opportunity to be a key member of the development of a Jewish community that provides a place of comfort and familiarity for people to explore their Judaism and connect with it in a positive way. My involvement with Moishe House has given me the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people, each of whom comes from a different background, and for who Judaism and the Jewish people has a different meaning and significance. Moishe House gives all of us the opportunity to come together in a pluralistic, open way, as Jews, for the shared goal of creating a community in which we can all be comfortable to explore ourselves, our beliefs, and our bonds to Judaism.

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