Moishe House

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Moishe House Horizontal Logo

Moishe House is an international non-profit organization made up of a collection of homes throughout the world that serve as hubs for the young adult Jewish community (with an emphasis on ages 21–32). It provides a rent subsidy and program budget to Moishe House residents who then use their home to create their ideal Jewish communal space.[1]

Mission and Vision[edit]

Moishe House’s mission is “to provide meaningful Jewish experiences for young adults around the world by supporting leaders in their 20's as they create vibrant home-based Jewish communities.” Moishe House envisions itself as the global leader of pluralistic Jewish life for adults in their 20's. Moishe House facilitates a wide range of experiences so that young adults have the leadership, knowledge and community to enrich their Jewish journeys.[2]

Background[edit]

Moishe House was created in Oakland, CA in January 2006 by David Cygielman, Moishe House CEO, and American philanthropist Morris B. Squire. Two weeks after opening its first house in Oakland, a second house opened in San Francisco.[3] The idea for Moishe House came from Cygielman's observation that there was a lack of programming options for Jews who had graduated from college but had not yet settled down with a family. To fill this void, Moishe House has developed a creative, cost-effective and scalable model for building vibrant, peer-based Jewish communities and learning opportunities designed for Jewish young adults in their 20’s.

From its inception until 2008, Moishe House was solely funded by Squire. In 2008, when Squire could no longer support the organization on his own, Cygielman secured non-profit 501(c)3 charity tax status for Moishe House and the organization was then able to start receiving tax-deductible donations and grants.[3]

Challah at a Moishe House Shabbat

The Concept[edit]

Three to five young adults turn their home into a Moishe House with the financial assistance and guidance of the organization. In exchange for a rent subsidy, the residents agree to host a specific number of programs per month (typically 5-7) such as holiday celebrations, community service and social events.[4] Moishe House aims to promote new Jewish leadership by providing young adults the opportunity to create and develop their own communities.[5] Moishe House focuses on creating community for Jewish young adults by allowing residents to design and lead programs and activities that they deem relevant and interesting, without regard to a specific branch of Judaism. These programs include Shabbat dinners, social action activities, social events and more.[6][7]

A Moishe House Havdallah

Impact[edit]

The recently published results of a two-year comprehensive evaluation conducted by The TCC Group and sponsored by the Jim Joseph Foundation found that Moishe House’s model is having a profound impact on Jewish young adults internationally.[8] The evaluation focused on both Moishe House residents’ and participants’ perceptions and opinions prior to becoming involved with Moishe House and since becoming involved. The percentage of participants who reported being aware of local opportunities for Jewish young adults to participate in fun and meaningful activities nearly doubled since becoming involved with Moishe House, while residents overwhelmingly noted that they have gained knowledge and skills related to Jewish traditions and customs.[9] Moreover, residents’ affirmative responses more than tripled when asked if they consider themselves to be leaders in their Jewish community since becoming active in Moishe House. Both residents and participants feel more strongly about leading an active Jewish life since becoming involved with Moishe House.[10]

Moishe House also has an alumni program to keep former residents engaged in the Moishe House community.[11]

Growth[edit]

There are currently 63 Moishe Houses around the world, incorporating more than 200 residents. In the United States there are over 40 houses including three specifically designed for Russian-speaking Jews – one in Chicago, one in New York City and one in San Francisco.[12] Administratively, there are 25 staff members and three Moishe House offices:

American cities with at least one Moishe House include:

Internationally, there is a Moishe House in:

Supporters[edit]

Originally funded solely by Morris B. Squire, Moishe House now receives funding with nearly 300 foundations, Jewish Federations, and private funders from around the world. Moishe House also has a number of national partners, including Birthright Israel Next, Upstart Bay Area, and Repair the World.[13] In recent years, local Federations have become increasingly involved in the funding of some Moishe Houses.[4]

Moishe House also partners with different organizations to provide educational resources to its large network of residents, alumni, and participants.[14] "Seeking to help Moishe House implement a new Strategic Growth Plan to broaden and deepen its impact on Jewish young adults in their 20’s, the Jim Joseph Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (CLSFF), Leichtag Foundation, Genesis Philanthropy Group and Maimonides Fund today announced a total of $6 million of investment to the international organization." [15]

References[edit]

External links[edit]