October 12, 2006
‘Moishe Houses’ provide post-Hillel hangout for 20-somethings
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Ipp says that even though most of what the San Francisco house sponsors is social, "there's an intentionality, an effort to make meaningful moments."
At Friday night dinners, for example, people are asked to reflect on their week.
"There are deeper conversations going on," she said.
Brady Gill, founder of the new Oakland house, says that for him, being Jewish means welcoming the stranger.
"I really love being a host," he said. "I didn't go to synagogue much, I wasn't raised religiously. I learned to be Jewish watching my mom and dad having people over. They were always so generous. That's how I perceived what it is to be Jewish."
It works out well for the entire Jewish community, Cygielman says: For the same money it would take to hire one full-time Jewish professional, a Moishe House funds four people doing non-stop youth programming and provides a space to hold the events.
The Moishe Houses aren't permanent living situations. Those who live in them know they have a sweet deal that will expire as they age. While Zones can't conceive of forcing someone out after a milestone birthday, there probably will be a natural progression as people move on with their lives.
"I can't imagine people in their 30s wanting a bunch of people coming over their house all the time," he said.
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