In 2006, a group of Jewish young adults had a problem. They wanted to more actively engage in the Jewish community and were too old for Jewish life on campus and too young for the traditional young adult and family programming being offered. Fortunately for those young adults, Morris Squire, a philanthropist in Santa Barbara gave them the opportunity to create it for themselves. David Cygielman, now CEO of Moishe House, worked with Morris and young adult Jewish friends in the Bay Area to host a Shabbat dinner. That one Shabbat dinner turned into a wide variety of peer-led Jewish programs and from there, the first Moishe House was born. It was a simple concept: a group of young Jewish adults, living together in a house, hosting Jewish programming for their friends and community. From that one house, the model spread and expanded its scope. Now, 11 years after those first Shabbat dinners in Oakland, the Moishe House network spans 27+ countries and reaches more than 60,000+ unique young adults around the world every year. Click here to find a Moishe House near you.
As Moishe House continues to grow, the organization pilots innovative initiatives to meet the interests and needs of the young adults participating (and those not yet engaged). Over the years, Moishe House has provided training for these community builders through Jewish Learning Retreats and created a platform for former residents and other strong leaders to host Moishe House–style programs from their own homes (now Moishe House Without Walls or MHWOW).
Moishe House is now the global leader in peer-led Jewish young adult engagement. Every year, thousands of young Jews experience innovative, engaging, exciting Jewish programming. All programming is planned and executed by their peers, creating countless opportunities for young adults to connect with their own Jewish identities, their friends and their wider communities. By 2020, Moishe House will dramatically extend its impact on Jewish young adults by scaling our community building programs, expanding alumni efforts and successfully experimenting with innovative programs that engage new segments of the young adult population. Moishe House is providing an important pathway for young adults to take part in — and create — Jewish homes and communities.