By Liza Moskowitz, MHWOW Program Manager
With fewer Jewish holidays and summer travels pulling people in different directions, MHWOW programming definitely sees a summer slump. However, why not bring MHWOW with you? MHWOW is all about ultimate flexibility – create Jewish experiences however, whenever, and wherever. Check out how some MHWOW hosts have taken their MHWOW programs outside of their home communities and around the world.
Avi Fuld (New York) & Becca Boroda (Boston)
Hosted programs in the Virgin Islands and Barcelona
Avi and Becca take a trip every year with a group of Moishe House friends as a reprieve from the winter cold, and this year they traveled to the Virgin Islands. While there, they hosted both a Shabbat lunch and Havdallah. They all love hosting Shabbat, and being able to do it in a beautiful place made it even more special. For their impromptu Havdallah in Puerto Rico, let’s just say they got creative and used Avi’s deodorant for the b’samim (spices).
A couple weeks after returning from the Virgin Islands, Becca was in Barcelona with another group of friends. She wanted to host a Shabbat experience there, and the group had a Shabbat picnic in a park.
David Schoenholtz (San Diego)
Hosted a program in the Bay Area
David was attending a Moishe House Retreat on the West Coast and decided to add a visit to his brother in the Bay Area. Living in D.C. at the time, David wanted to make the most out of his trip and see friends while he was in town but quickly realized he couldn’t see that many people in the short period of time (#popular) . He realized he could gather everyone he wanted to spend time with at a MHWOW program.
Fortunately, David was used to hosting in other people’s homes and his brother lent his apartment for the program. Hours after getting off the plane at SFO, David was welcoming people in for a night of games and catch-up conversations.
Luanna Azulay (New York)
Hosted programs in Israel and Brazil
Luanna is based in New York City but has also hosted programs in Israel and Brazil while visiting family. Luanna’s Jewish identity has evolved and developed since growing up in Brazil, and she said her family doesn’t know her Jewish identity as well. She said she wanted to host a Shabbat dinner while away because hosting is a part of her identity, and MHWOW allowed her to merge these two identities in an accessible way.
Avi, Becca, David, and Luanna offered 5 MH Know-Hows on how to host MHWOW programs while away.
- Your program can be simple and smaller scale! Remember, things don’t need to be elaborate and you only need 4 people (you + 3 others) to qualify for MHWOW support.
- Be aware of food availability. Wherever you are in the world, there might not be as diverse of food offerings as you are used to. Plan ahead and do some research or buy some items before your trip to bring with you.
- Connect with the local community to invite people who might not be part of MHWOW already. Some Jewish communities have a local shaliach, and shout out to Facebook groups like Jewish Girls Travel that connect people while they are on the road.
- Carve out time in your trip schedule to host the MHWOW programs. Just like you would plan your sightseeing adventures, build your MHWOW program into your plans. This will alleviate stress and help you be prepared as possible.
- If you can’t have your own MHWOW program, you can still attend other people’s events. Reach out to the local Moishe House and the MHWOW Facebook group for any hosts in the area to see if they are hosting a program.