By Ben Romaner, Expansion Manager
Opening a brand new Moishe House is wayyyyy different now than it was in the organization’s early days. 13 years ago, it was pretty simple: Is there a group of young adults that are excited about building Jewish community? Is there at least 50% local funding? Is there a demand from the young adult community? GREAT. Here’s your house!
Now, our programmatic reach has grown so much that expansion must be more intentional. Like a good program, opening a new house requires a goal-oriented, thoughtful approach to ensure we are meeting a demographic, geographic, and programmatic need.
For example, I recently began a new search for a second Northern Virginia house. I began by connecting with the Director of House Programs – East, Molly Cram, to learn everything I can about the area, including nicknames (NoVA), organizational partners, fellow young adult engagement orgs, MHWOW hosts, the local MoHo residents and much more. I gather information so that I can get a clear picture of the ethos of the metro area’s Jewish population. Without it, how can I possibly speak to the life of a local community builder?
Jewish homes are about residents and community members. Without the amazing people that comprise these communities, building Jewish homes becomes just housing people. Therefore, it is my responsibility to set our candidates up for success so that they can flourish and reach their potential. I spend time getting to know applicants and learning what they are about. Combine that with the knowledge I gather from the community and we have the chance to give someone an avenue to be courageous and leave a lasting impact on their community and themselves. I have the luckiest job in the world. Every time a new city gets added to my list I light up at the chance to get to know another community and its people on such an intimate level.
I need your help to open new Moishe Houses!
If you know anybody moving to these cities or people who live in these cities please talk to them about the experience of being a resident. When you are speaking with your community members, speak to the experience of living in a Moishe House because you never know who might become the next group to start a new MoHo! If you know anybody who you think would be a good fit or be interested in these opportunities, please put them in touch with me and I will share what we are looking for.
We are currently looking for new residents to start houses in:
- Boston (Somerville and Back Bay)
- Northern Virginia
- Charleston, SC
- St. Louis
- East Bay Area, CA
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Brussels, Belgium
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- France (except Paris)
- Germany (except Berlin and Munich)
- London, UK (looking for Russian-Speaking Jews!)
There are so many more communities that will be added to this list, and even if you don’t live in a city we are currently searching, I am always looking to meet with people who want to impact their community through intentional Jewish programming. Apply to open a house here!