Moishe House

I’m on the board of directors of a wonderful organization called Moishe House. This is the only organization I am on the board of and I feel very strongly about it. There is a real crisis in the Jewish world, in which young people are turning away from synagogues and organized religion and the way their parents have practiced religion because it provides no meaning for them. And many of them no longer have a connection to the Jewish world.

Moishe House Foundation subsidizes some or most of the rent for young Jews in their 20s so that they can open up their homes to provide Jewish programming and events to their larger community. The residents decide their own programming, such as Shabbat dinners or Jewish movie night and how many events they want to hold. By allowing young Jews to create their own experience and to operate not out of a synagogue but their own homes is creating an amazing dynamic. There are Moishe Houses all of the world from San Francisco to Buenos Aires to London.

The Jerusalem Post just featured Moishe House Londonon the front page of the paper. Here is a snippet:

BY PRIDING themselves on their pluralistic approach to both Jews and the Jewish faith, Moishe House London has earned itself a reputation of being “Chabad House without Chabad.” “We have a space where all different types of people can mix together. We don’t bring the baggage that other organizations bring. I think there’s an atmosphere of respect for where people are coming from,” says Brett Leboff, 30, who runs a music management and production company. “We’ve all had different experiences in terms of Judaism and this is a melting pot where it all comes together, which makes it very interesting from a creative point of view.”

Despite not being financially self-sufficient, the community benefits from creative independence. “They [funders] realized that they will get better results by allowing it to run independently, but the organized Jewish community hasn’t always made that connection,” Finlay explains. “Autonomy is the key, it’s not dictated by rabbis or funders. It’s happening in America where funders are more innovative, but the UK is a bit behind.”

Here is the link to the article: Jerusalem Post Article on Moishe House

And finally here is another link from an episode from PBS in which Moishe House was featured.

Moishe House on PBS