Moishe House

Moishe House’s mission is to provide vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers.

Location:
Year founded: 2006

Description

Moishe House provides vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers.

We envision Moishe House as the global leader of pluralistic Jewish life for adults in their 20s. We facilitate a wide range of experiences, so that they have the leadership, knowledge and community to enrich their Jewish journeys.

Moishe House Phoenix

About

Moishe House Phoenix opened its doors in June 2013 with the intent of serving as a relatable, go-to hub of Jewish life for Jewish 20-somethings in the Phoenix metro area. Since that time, the house has hosted thousands of people through hundreds of home-based programs. Today, Moishe House Phoenix is leading the way in providing community building opportunities for Jewish young adults in the area, as well as connecting those adults to the greater Jewish community.  

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Mission: Moishe House provides vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers.

Moishe House Phoenix is home to five dynamic residents who live together as roommates and host an average of one to two programs every week for other Jewish young adults in exchange for a modest rent subsidy and programming stipend. The residents are all 20-something professionals outside of Moishe House and dedicate their free time as volunteers who are building community from their home. They come from a variety of Jewish backgrounds and geographic locations and are all committed to bringing vibrant, relatable community to their peers.

The purpose of Moishe House Phoenix is to help more Jewish young adults live vibrant Jewish lives. Because Moishe House Phoenix is home-based and peer-led, it provides the opportunity for Jewish young adults, even those not active in organized Jewish life, to find a community that they can relate to, creating a long-term trajectory for involvement. Moishe House has found that having one 20-something invite another 20-something to a program that they are leading or involved in, whether it is a Shabbat dinner, community service event, Jewish learning session or anything else, has a much deeper impact than having a staff person try to participate in this same outreach. Moishe House Phoenix specifically targets Jewish 20-somethings in the greater Phoenix area, both transplants and natives, from all backgrounds and levels of religiosity.


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Program Description

Moishe
House Phoenix provides a unique, peer-led and home-based community for local
Jewish 20-somethings. By leading at least seven relatable, engaging programs
every month, Moishe House Phoenix serves as a go-to hub of Jewish community for
young adults and provides an attractive and accessible entry point into
communal Jewish life, both in the greater Phoenix community and beyond. The
high frequency of quality programming ensures greater diversity of engagement
methods and allows the house to reach a higher number of participants. The
peer-to-peer nature of Moishe House Phoenix makes its programming approachable,
appealing and relevant for Jewish 20-somethings in the area, regardless of
their backgrounds or levels of religiosity. 

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Demonstrated Need

The Jewish community, including in Phoenix, has created
infrastructure for engaging young Jews from early childhood through college and
then once again if and when they choose to start Jewish families. However, in
the years between their time on campus and starting families, young adults have
limited compelling opportunities to connect with the Jewish community in meaningful
ways that fit their unique stage of life. This is particularly relevant today because the current generation of young adults in their 20s is very
different than the generations before them:

  • They
    are more mobile, transient in their careers and are waiting longer to marry and
    start families.
    According
    to the 2014 Pew Research Center’s “Millennials in Adulthood,” only 26% of
    18-to-33-year-olds are married (a 72% decrease from Gen X in 1997). Additionally,
    a number of other studies have found that Millennials plan to change their jobs
    more frequently than other generations and are more excited about traveling
    than settling down.
  • These emerging adults often do not associate
    with institutions.
    In another study by the Pew Research Center
    titled “Survey of U.S. Jews” from 2013, only 24% of Jewish adults under 30 are
    members of a synagogue; 41% say they have no denominational affiliation and 32%
    report having no religion (although they see themselves as Jewish on the basis
    of ancestry, ethnicity or culture).
  • They are seeking new methods for involvement. Reports also
    indicate that a significant segment of younger Jews are seeking to create new
    avenues of, and opportunities for, Jewish involvement that do not replicate
    older patterns of Jewish communal participation (Kelman, Schonberg, 2008). This
    is also evident in “Survey of U.S. Jews” which indicates that despite such a
    low percentage of Jews under 30 connecting to the community in traditional
    ways, 73% still participated in a Seder last year.

Moishe House has developed an effective model of pluralistic
Jewish community building and leadership training that is moving the needle and
proving that Jewish 20-somethings do want to be involved and
active in their Jewish community – just not necessarily in the same ways as
earlier generations. Moishe House is a data-driven organization that was born
out of the increasing need for meaningful Jewish engagement amongst Jewish
20-somethings. Extensive research into the trends of the Jewish community and
of young adults poises Moishe House as an expert in the field of young adult engagement. Moreover,
programming through Moishe House acts as a conduit between non-institutional
and institutional activities in Phoenix and is leading the way for the next
generation of Jewish leaders and active, inspired community members with the
potential to influence the entire Jewish community.

Moishe House has been successful in reaching a
growing cohort of emerging adults (Millennials) who are in-between college and
settling down.
This
model builds upon the strong investments made locally by bridging the gap in
engagement and effectively serving as the missing link to an elusive, new
demographic in the Jewish community. Moishe House’s innovative, peer-driven
approach resonates with a generation that thrives off authentic relationships.
Moishe House Phoenix has the opportunity to impact the lives of many hundreds
of local Jewish 20-somethings as it continues to grow, evolve and flexibly meet
local needs while building community from the ground up. In April 2015, Moishe
House completed an organization-wide external evaluation. Sample findings,
which were mirrored by Moishe House Phoenix, include:

  • 65%
    of residents adopted a tradition, ritual, behavior or practice in their own
    lives since becoming involved in Moishe House.
  • Residents’ self-perception as
    leaders in the Jewish community increased by 100+% (from 38% prior to
    involvement to 83% now).
  • The number of residents who
    participate in local activities for young Jewish adults other than Moishe House
    increased by 54% (from 46% prior to Moishe House involvement to 71% now).


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Program Accomplishments

From
the very start, Moishe House Phoenix has been one of the top-performing houses
among the entire network of Moishe Houses worldwide. Since opening, the house
has hosted more than 6,600 in total attendance through 282 unique programs (26%
of which were held in partnership with another organization). These high
numbers are a testament both to the eager, young Jewish population of the
greater Phoenix area and their desire for accessible, peer-led Jewish
programming, and to the hard work of the residents, who are leading the way on
the ground every day through unique and innovative programming that
continuously attracts their peers to Moishe House Phoenix.

Other
notable accomplishments have included high participation numbers among
residents and community members in Moishe House’s Learning and Leadership
Development Retreats and Moishe House Phoenix’s dedication to philanthropy and
giving back to the organization. Each year, Moishe House hosts an annual resident-driven
campaign (the WE ARE campaign), aimed at philanthropically
engaging MH residents, community members and their friends/family. The 2014 WE ARE campaign saw
100% participation from Moishe House Phoenix’s residents and many participants,
and the house was among the top houses, raising more than in $1,300. During the
2015 WE ARE campaign, which launched at the end of August and runs through
October 31, the house has already raised more than $1,000.


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How do you measure the success of your program?

In
order to measure Moishe House Phoenix’s progress and success there are annual
benchmarks guiding the house’s growth, including:

  • Host a minimum of 84 diverse programs.
    By hosting at least one to two programs per week on average at Moishe House
    Phoenix, the house will be able to build long-lasting Jewish community with a
    very wide variance of programming.In addition to the regular
    programming stipend, residents are eligible to apply for special micro-grants,
    provided by outside supporters, to help host programming specifically for
    Jewish holidays and Israeli culture programs.
     
  • Engage a minimum of 1,250 in total
    attendance
    . Strong
    community is built at Moishe House Phoenix by Jewish young adults coming to a
    program, having a meaningful experience and then wanting to share it with their
    friends. This kind of grassroots marketing increases awareness of local
    opportunities for 20-somethings, as it has been proven that word-of-mouth
    serves as the most effective way to get more young adults involved
    (network-wide, more than 80% of all participants first heard about Moishe House
    from a friend). Additionally, for the first time, Moishe House is now tracking
    unique participant numbers, which will provide a new perspective on the scope
    and reach of Moishe House Phoenix’s programming.
  • Collaborate and partner with local
    Jewish organizations for 20% of all programs.
    EachMoishe House will only be successful if the greater Jewish community is
    successful, and it is important that residents feel connected and empowered to
    take on leadership roles outside of their micro-communities. Participation in
    Moishe House programming often serves as a springboard into involvement in the
    greater Jewish community. Based off findings from a 2014-2015
    organization-wide evaluation, our model bridges the gap between formal and
    informal Jewish engagement and helps Jewish young adults become involved in the
    wider community. For
    example, network-wide, participants’ knowledge of how to get involved in
    activities or organizations open to young Jewish adults increased by 66% since
    becoming active in Moishe House (from 47% prior to involvement in Moishe House
    to 78% now), according to a 2014-2015 external evaluation conducted by
    Informing Change.
  • Provide the framework to cultivate
    strong Jewish leaders.
    Moishe House Phoenix’s residents and
    community members will have opportunities throughout the year to attend
    trainings and convenings designed to help them become empowered Jewish leaders.
    Moishe House offers Learning and Leadership Retreats in cities around the
    country, including in the greater Phoenix area, on a monthly basis, at no
    charge to attendees. Residents and community members will be eligible and
    encouraged to participate in these Retreats while the residents will also all
    attend an annual Resident Training Conference along with their counterparts
    from other North American Moishe Houses.
  • Further instill a culture of
    philanthropy amongst Moishe House residents.
    In
    addition to the dollars that residents spend out of pocket for home
    furnishings, rent and utilities, all
    Moishe House Phoenix residents will be encouraged to make a contribution to the
    organization, showing their commitment to the model and its future.

Moishe
House Phoenix has been very successful to date, consistently reaching and
surpassing its programming and attendance goals and setting a prime example of
what a flourishing and impactful Moishe House looks like. The impact and
success of Moishe House Phoenix and its ability to accomplish these annual
goals is measured in a number of ways including through:

  • The
    Mintranet
    Moishe
    House’sonline proprietary database provides information on every
    program hosted. Residents are required to upload all relevant information
    (including the number of attendees, number of unique participants, a
    description of the program and photos taken) within 10 days of hosting a
    program in order to receive a reimbursement for dollars that they spent on the
    program and to have the program count towards their monthly quota. Through this
    system of tracking, the
    Mintranet is constantly accurate and enables
    Moishe House staff to provide beneficial oversight to the residents and their
    communities while maintaining a lean national infrastructure.
  • Regional
    Director site visits –
    In
    addition to the
    Mintranet, Moishe House’s program staff also provides
    in-person site visits to Moishe House Phoenix residents throughout the year to
    ensure that they have all the tools and resources necessary to lead interesting
    programs and engage their peers. The Southwestern Regional Director, Eden
    Banarie (a former resident of Moishe House Los Angeles – West Hollywood), who
    oversees Moishe House Phoenix’s progress, and Moishe House’s Jewish education
    staff and other specialists help the residents feel supported and able to lead
    meaningful programming for their peers.
  • Internal
    and external evaluations –
    Moishe House will continue to seek feedback through
    internal and external evaluations, including input from Moishe House Phoenix residents
    and participants.

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Moishe House Phoenix

About

Moishe House (MH) Phoenix uniquely enables Jewish 20-somethings to create inclusive leadership opportunities and redefine Jewish engagement for their generation through accessible, relatable programming. MH Phoenix’s peer-to-peer approach creates a low-barrier entry point for Jewish 20-somethings, even those on the periphery of communal engagement, into the greater Jewish community. MH Phoenix is led by a core cadre of residents (Jewish 20-somethings) who live together in a rented home, which they turn into a community gathering space for programs that they plan and lead at least seven times per month. Through events such as themed Shabbats, Sukkah building, Jewish learning with local rabbis and Challah baking, MH Phoenix is creating systemic change in their local Jewish community by redefining Jewish life; enabling diverse Jewish experiences and programming around Shabbat, Jewish holidays and more; and training and empowering the next generation of passionate leaders and active community members.


Additionally, Moishe House’s Jewish education model equips the residents of MH Phoenix with experiences, resources and connections that aid in their development as local Jewish educational leaders.  Since Moishe House was first founded in 2006, the organization has experienced rapid, demand-based growth and significantly expanded its reach and impact, including placing Jewish education/immersive Jewish experiences at the heart of the organization’s work. Through the Jewish education agenda, Moishe House works to provide Jewish young adults with:


  • Increased knowledge, confidence and resources to lead Jewish festival, Shabbat and other spiritual and ritual-based programming;
  • Facilitation skills to lead deep and meaningful Jewish learning for their peers; and
  • Expanded access to Jewish resources and educators in their local cities.

This includes Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats that train young adults on specific Jewish holidays, rituals and practices to use through existing Moishe House structures back home, as well as: additional resources for Jewish education programming for residents and community members; incentive grants, which enables the residents of MH Phoenix to host quality Jewish programs throughout the year; scholarships for residents and alumni to participate in Jewish learning through high-quality programmatic partners; and Regional Jewish Educators, who work directly with the residents to provide ongoing Jewish educational resources and guidance.


Through the proposed support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s NowGen Giving Circle, Moishe House will aim to build off the strong momentum already generated in Phoenix to sustain and grow MH Phoenix’s Jewish Education agenda, and further advance the incredible work of the young adults leading the change on the ground.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Jewish education is one facet of the 84+ programs run by MH Phoenix every year, in addition to the myriad opportunities available to MH Phoenix’s residents and community members through initiatives sponsored by the umbrella MH organization. Through the proposed support of the NowGen Giving Circle, MH Phoenix residents and community members will be able to fully utilize the Jewish education opportunities available to them, connecting their community to Judaism in ways that make sense to them. Through the Moishe House Jewish education agenda, the residents of MH Phoenix will be better equipped to sustain and grow vibrant Jewish young adult life in Phoenix. During the proposed 2019 grant term (from January – December 2019) MH Phoenix will reach a broad spectrum of participants, including young adults who have not previously or recently been involved in Jewish communal life through several Jewish education initiatives:


  • Direct Jewish learning with the community as part MH Phoenix’s ongoing, vibrant programming;
  • Working directly with MH’s West Coast Regional Jewish Educator to further strengthen and guide the Jewish education taking place at MH Phoenix;
  • Building and strengthening relationships with local Jewish educators in the greater Phoenix area;
  • Hosting meaningful and engaging programs for chagim throughout the year, utilizing MH’s incentive grants program;
  • Participating in and recruiting Phoenix community members for MH Jewish Learning Retreats, all of which are available to community members ages 22-32 for free with a generous travel stipend.

With the achievement of these goals, Moishe House anticipates creating an emerging generation of empowered, knowledgeable and confident Jewish leaders; a plurality of exciting peer-led options for Jewish young adults in Phoenix; and a more cohesive and diverse network of wider local Jewish opportunities, all of which leads to more Jewish young adults living vibrant Jewish lives and building Jewish homes.

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Program Description

MH Phoenix engages Jewish young adults through a peer-led, home-based model of Jewish community building. All programming is created by the residents, who are uniquely aware of the needs and interests of their peers and community. The residents of MH Phoenix are volunteers, with outside careers or graduate studies, and are supported by Moishe House staff. Residents are empowered with the tools and support they need to design and lead the programs that fit best for their community. With the opportunities and guidance provided by Moishe House’s Jewish education agenda, MH Phoenix is effecting systemic change throughout the Phoenix Jewish community and transforming a generation of Jewish practice, with unprecedented cohorts of emerging Jewish leaders and active community members stepping up, creating a lasting impact into the future through:


  • Mini-Grants

o   Chag Holiday Incentive Grants – With Chag grants, residents fuse innovation and tradition to create their own activities and celebrations for holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot and more.


o   Activate Local Learning Grants – Microgrants for residents to create robust, text-based Jewish learning sessions for young adults in coordination with a local Jewish educator and/or rabbi they identify.


o   Israeli Culture Grants – Israeli Culture Grants allow Moishe Houses to host programs that focus on Israel’s rich culture, education about Israel, and engagement with Yom Ha’atzmaut.


  • Scholarships

o   In addition to the Incentive Grants program, Moishe House seeks to promote a cross-pollination of ideas and study through many partner organizations, who offer exceptional Jewish educational programs outside of Moishe House. Moishe House wants to support the efforts of residents and alumni participating in high-quality Jewish learning experiences, within the organization and outside of it. Moishe House offers scholarships for Jewish young adults to take advantage of Jewish learning opportunities throughout the year, including other convenings, classes, retreats, trainings and more.


  • Regional Jewish Educators

o   In order to make Jewish education more accessible to Jewish young adults, Moishe House has three Regional Jewish Educators that work directly with the residents to provide ongoing Jewish educational resources and guidance and visit Moishe Houses across North America to enhance and deepen residents’ Jewish learning and leadership skills. The Regional Jewish Educators are studying Talmud over Skype with residents, reaching out before holidays to houses in their regions with specific textual resources they might find interesting, and offering ways to incorporate Jewish text and creative programming ideas, in addition to approving Chag grants. MH Phoenix’s Regional Jewish Educator is Hadar Cohen, an Israeli-born artist based in the Bay Area.

  • Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats

o   Jewish Learning Retreats bring young Jewish adults together for a transformative weekend that trains and nurtures their Jewish ritual and program skills, giving them specific tools to build and develop their own Jewish community back home. Due to high demand and popularity of Moishe House’s Retreats led by staff, Moishe House developed a Peer-Led Retreats model, which builds off the established staff-led model of immersive Jewish Learning Retreats, enabling passionate Jewish young adults to take their leadership skills to the next level and design and execute their own immersive Jewish experiential and educational weekend for their local peers. All Moishe House staff-led Learning Retreats are free for community members ages 22-32, with a generous travel stipend available. Moishe House traditionally hosts at least one retreat annually in Arizona; in May 2018, Moishe House hosted a Mindfulness Jewish Learning Retreat in Oracle, AZ at C.O.D. Ranch for 29 participants. 


  • Moishe House Without Walls (MHWOW)

o   Building off the momentum of successful peer-led programming, Moishe House has evolved and expanded various other opportunities, including MHWOW, Moishe House’s alumni engagement mechanism that enables participants to lead Moishe House-style Jewish programming for their peers, has become the fastest-growing program within Moishe House. By giving young Jewish adults who do not live in a Moishe House the opportunity to create and lead programs for their peers, Moishe House is reaching an entirely new and growing demographic of 22-32 year olds in Phoenix. Since the first MHWOW program was held in Phoenix in January 2015, MHWOW hosts have led 75 diverse programs for 668 in total attendance. In 2017 alone, eight hosts planned and executed 41 MHWOW programs for 415 in total attendance, including 209 unique participants.

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Demonstrated Need

A 2014 study conducted by City Observatory found that the young and educated population of Phoenix increased by 19.4% between 2012-2016 (and projected continued growth). However, as young adults today settle down later than ever before, an entirely new demographic of 20-somethings has emerged who do not fit the patterns of earlier generations. Today’s young adults tend not to associate with institutions, are more mobile and transient in their careers, are waiting longer to marry and start families, and are seeking new methods of involvement.


Furthermore, millennial Jews are seeking new methods for involvement. Although Jewish 20-somethings are shying away from legacy institutions/traditional community involvement, they feel pride in being Jewish and are looking for new ways to express this. Rabbi Mike Uram, author of “Next Generation Judaism,” notes that millennial Jews, by and large, want the same type of specification and customization in their Jewish experiences that they want in other aspects of their lives. Moishe House’s unique investment in the next generation bridges the engagement gap and sets young adults on a trajectory for long-term involvement and leadership in the Jewish community.

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Program Accomplishments

Thousands of Jewish young adults have found their niche in the Jewish community through Phoenix’s peer-led and home-based programming. Since opening in June 2013, MH Phoenix has engaged 11,600+ young adults in total attendance through 500+ programs. In 2017 alone, 88 programs reached 2,032 young adults in total attendance, including 335 unique participants. The residents of MH Phoenix are changing the local landscape for Jewish young adults in Phoenix, engaging Jewish young adults through peer-led programs. Moishe House’s Jewish education agenda has enabled the residents to increase the number of programs that focus on learning and experiencing Jewish holidays throughout the year, including:


·         Creating peer-led Jewish programming using the Incentive Grants Program – A sampling of programs MH Phoenix residents led using Incentive Grants include:

  • March 2017 | Purim Party | 65 attendees
  • April 2017 | Passover Jewish Learning | 17 attendees
  • September 2017 | Rosh Hashanah Celebration | 65 attendees
  • October 2017 | Sukkot Party | 90 attendees
  • December 2017 | Hanukkah Party | 38 attendees
  • February 2018 | Hamentaschen Baking | 16 attendees
  • April 2018 | Matzah Pizza | 19 attendees

·         Utilizing the support of Regional Jewish Educators to assist with program planning, ritual training, experiential Jewish learning and more – In February 2018, Regional Jewish Educator, Hadar Cohen, assisted MH Phoenix resident, Jake Khazanovich, in planning a learning session on Parshat Tetzveh. Hadar offered support on guiding questions as well as providing him with resources on the parsha.

·         Attending various Jewish Learning Retreats to empower a new cohort of Jewish 20-somethings with the energy, skills and knowledge to return to their home communities with the ability and desire to lead relevant programming for their peers – Since January 2017, there have been two Retreats in/around Phoenix, for 65 participants, including the Shabbat Re-Vision Retreat (January 2017) and the Mindfulness Retreat (May 2018). Additionally, there were seven Phoenix-area residents and community members who attended a Retreat across the globe during this time period. Each of the community members are now eligible to receive funding to run MHWOW programming in their own homes, fostering new leadership throughout the Phoenix Jewish community.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Moishe House tracks its progress, outputs and growth in Phoenix for the desired/intended outcomes through:


  • Quantitative data analysis – A central aspect of Moishe House’s ethos is resident empowerment. In order to track progress of programming on the ground, the organization uses a central, online evaluative tool, the Mintranet, which is a propriety database for attendance numbers, program content, and photographs related to programming. Through the Mintranet, residents and staff can together track progress towards quantitative goals in real-time.
  • Staff support and guidance – By investing in people rather than programs, the residents of MH Phoenix will be trained and empowered to become communal leaders for their peers, while receiving ongoing and dedicated support from board and staff members throughout the year. This includes bi-annual site visits from the Southwestern Regional Manager, and ongoing support from the Jewish education team. Staff will also track MH Phoenix’s outreach (including their monthly newsletters, Facebook pages and other marketing) to ensure that the residents are working toward meeting program goals by reaching a diverse audience through creative programming.
  • Qualitative data analysis through local and network-wide surveys and evaluations – Every three years, Moishe House conducts a system-wide external evaluation that measures the organization-wide trends of the target demographic along with the larger impact of Moishe House’s programs and approach. Moishe House is gathering results from the 2018 external evaluation, which includes input from MH Phoenix residents, alumni and community members. Additionally, the 2018 external evaluation includes a longitudinal study component, as 150+ respondents from the last evaluation (in 2015) agreed to be contacted again for the 2018 evaluation. The evaluation measures changes in young adults regarding their involvement in the Jewish community, confidence as leaders, knowledge of Jewish ritual, and more to gauge impact.

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Moishe House Phoenix

About

Moishe House Phoenix (MHP) is a vibrant home-based and peer-led community, providing opportunities for Jewish young adults in Phoenix – even those not otherwise active in organized Jewish life – to find a relatable community, creating a long-term trajectory for involvement.

Since opening in June 2013, MHP has served as a constant and consistent source of Jewish life for young adults, engaging 9,400+ in total attendance through 400+ programs. MHP is led by a core cadre of four residents (Chase Alyeshmerni, 25; Rachel Corcos, 27; Jakob Khazanovich, 23; and Josh Traulsen, 28) who are all Jewish 20-somethings and live together in a rented house, which they turn into a community gathering space at least seven times every month for programs that they plan and lead. Through events such as Summer BBQ Shabbat, Sukkah Building, Hanukkah Party, Volleyball with Moishe House, and so much more, MHP is helping create systemic change on the ground and shifting how Jewish young adults gather, connect and learn Jewishly. MHP is part of a larger, global network of 100 Moishe Houses worldwide. With its proven model, Moishe House has learned that frequency is a crucial ingredient for creating impact, and MHP focuses on enabling ongoing programming aimed at consistently engaging young Jewish adults throughout the year.

MHP resident Jakob Khazanovich, 23, explains the importance of having a Moishe House in his community, stating, “While Phoenix has many Jewish programs for young professionals, I believe Moishe House is the most impactful. Having been involved in the Jewish community in Phoenix my whole life, I have gotten to know the community members who are actively involved in the Jewish community and those who tend to stay away from anything Jewish. When MoHo started in Phoenix, they managed to reach so many people who I know rarely if ever had been involved in the Jewish community previously. This is why MoHo is so important. It is a place where Jews from all walks of life come together and it is a place that has something for everybody. Some people only come to sports events or women’s events or nature events, but what matters most is that they are staying engaged with the Jewish community. Reaching the currently unengaged Jews in Phoenix is where MoHo succeeds, and that is why I think it is so important to the community.”

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Moishe House’s mission is to provide vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers. Moishe House aims to sustain and grow MHP as a unique, vibrant hub of Jewish life for local Jewish 20-somethings. Ultimately, this program will build a pipeline for young adult leaders who will lead the Jewish community for many years to come. Moishe House is confident that this requested grant from the NOWGen Giving Circle will continue to pay dividends in the future.

In 2017, MHP aims to:

  • Strengthen Jewish community for young adults – The residents will create ongoing Jewish programming that contains a wide variety of different approaches to Jewish community building, ranging from ritualistic, religious and spiritual to cultural and social, including Shabbat dinners, Jewish holiday celebrations, community service activities, social justice opportunities and more. Each program will be peer-led, pluralistic, and open to all local Jewish young adults, creating a realistic and viable entry point into Jewish life.
    • Program goal – 84+ programs
  • Build and sustain spaces for creative Jewish engagement – Through the ongoing program opportunities, MHP will strive to engage over 1,250 young adults in total attendance (including 350+ unique individuals during each full calendar year) over the course of the requested grant.
    • Attendance goal – 1,250 in total attendance (including 350+ unique participants each full calendar year
  • Create a more collaborative Jewish community – MHP will partner with other local and global organizations to co-host at least 15% of all programming. This kind of cooperation strengthens the community from within, and helps more Jewish young adults become active beyond involvement in Moishe House. By becoming ingrained in the framework of local Jewish life, young adults will have a say in guiding the community’s trajectory and will be more likely to be a part of that framework for years to come.
    • Partnership goal – 15% of all programming
  • Train the next generation of informed and dynamic leaders – Moishe House will provide ongoing Jewish educational and leadership trainings for the residents and participants of MHP through an annual Resident Training Conference and dozens of weekend-long immersive Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats throughout the year.
  • Promote philanthropy and tzedakah – The residents of MHP will help drive their community members to engage philanthropically through an annual giving campaign each fall called WE ARE. Moishe House has found that this campaign is often the first time many young adults are making a philanthropic donation and has the potential to inspire them to also give for longer and with greater breadth.

With the achievement of the above goals for MHP, the organization anticipates the following impact over the grant term: An emerging generation of empowered, knowledgeable and confident Jewish leaders; a plurality of exciting, dynamic peer-led options for Jewish young adults in Phoenix; a more cohesive and diverse network of wider local Jewish opportunities, all of which leads to more Jewish young adults living vibrant Jewish lives.

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Program Description

Using alternative approaches, MHP residents engage other Jewish young adults by thinking creatively and leading the programming that they themselves would want to attend. MHP residents turn their home into a center for Jewish life one to two times a week, on average. Programs are geared towards building Jewish community and are open to young adults of any background or level of religiosity.

A sample of programs from 2016 include:

  • January 2016 – Tu B’shevat Hike // 14 attendees
  • March 2016 – Shabbat Ski Trip // 31 attendees
  • May 2016 – MoHo Phone-a-thon Volunteering (partnered with the Federation) // 35 attendees
  • June 2016 – Shavout Learning (partnered with Rabbi Jordan Brumer of Ahavas Torah) // 13 attendees
  • September 2016 – Volunteering with Lost Our Home Pet Foundation (partnered with NOWGen) // 15 attendees
  • October 2016 – Sukkot Party // 103 attendees

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Demonstrated Need

Moishe House is tackling a problem that many communities now face: how to engage young adults and ensure continuity with programming that evolves and develops to meet the values and behaviors of Millennials. Overall, with a few exceptions of localized initiatives that Moishe House is proud to partner with, in the years between their time on campus and settling down, young adults often have limited compelling opportunities to connect with the Jewish community. There are even fewer opportunities that are peer-led and give young adults the resources and empowerment to create community as they envision it. This need is acutely felt in the Jewish community as studies show more Jews are becoming less institutionally involved and are increasingly likely to live with little Jewish involvement, either socially, religiously or culturally.

MHP is forging the path to create the space and opportunity for Jewish 20-somethings to explore their own narratives and Jewish identity in meaningful and relevant ways, which as the potential to influence their long-term involvement in the greater Jewish community.

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Program Accomplishments

Since opening in 2013, MHP has made significant strides towards:

  • Redefining Jewish life for many hundreds of Jewish young adults – From June 2013 – March 2017, MHP engaged more than 9,400 young adults in total attendance through 400+ dynamic programs. In 2016 alone, MHP reached 1,839 in total attendance, including 367 unique participants.
  • Enabling diverse programming around Shabbat, Jewish holidays and more – MHP hosts diverse, high-quality programs that cover a wide range of interests. There are many different entry points to Jewish life and MHP has seen young adults come through each of these doors. MHP has made Jewish life more accessible for Jewish young adults through monthly Shabbat dinners, education sessions with local rabbis, an annual Sukkot celebration and volunteering opportunities.
  • Training and empowering the next generation of passionate leaders and active community members – Through immersive Jewish Learning Retreats (held 20+ times per year, in locations around the country, including Phoenix), off-shoot Peer-Led Retreats (smaller-scale convenings led by trained Jewish young adults) and an annual Resident Training Conference, MHP has made great strides towards training and empowering the next generation, with built-in follow-up through existing Moishe House structures.

In Phoenix, and throughout the entire global network, internal and external evaluations have repeatedly shown that Moishe House is paving a path in largely uncharted territory for young adult Jewish communities that feed into the greater Jewish community with impact far beyond those who are directly served.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

MHP is uniquely filling a deep-seated need for peer-led, low-barrier Jewish community that is both impactful and cost-effective.

During the grant term, Moishe House will measure MHP’s annual goals in a number of ways, including through:

  • Quantitative data analysis – A central aspect of Moishe House’s ethos is resident empowerment. In order to track progress of programming on the ground, the organization uses a central, online evaluative tool, the Mintranet, which is a propriety database for attendance numbers, program content, and photographs related to programming. Through the Mintranet, residents and staff can together track progress towards quantitative goals in real-time.
  • Staff support and guidance – By investing in people rather than programs, MHP residents will be trained and empowered to become communal leaders for their peers, while receiving ongoing and dedicated support from board and staff members throughout the year. This includes bi-annual site visits from the Southwestern Regional Director, Josh Hillinger (a former resident of Moishe House in Los Angeles), and ongoing support from the Jewish education team. Staff will also track each house’s outreach (including their monthly newsletters, Facebook pages and other marketing) to ensure that the residents are working towards meeting program goals by reaching a diverse audience through creative programming.
  • Qualitative data analysis through local and network-wide surveys and evaluations – Every three years, Moishe House conducts a system-wide external evaluation that measures the organization-wide trends of the target demographic along with the larger impact of Moishe House’s programs and approach. The next external evaluation will begin in late 2017 and will include input from MHP residents, alumni and community members. Additionally, the 2017-2018 external evaluation will include a longitudinal study component, as 900 respondents from the last evaluation (in 2015) agreed to be contacted again. The evaluation will measure changes in young adults regarding their involvement in the Jewish community, confidence as leaders, knowledge of Jewish ritual, and more to gauge impact.

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Moishe House Phoenix

About

Moishe House Phoenix is home-based and peer-led, providing opportunities for Jewish young adults in the Phoenix and surrounding areas – even those not active in organized Jewish life – to find a community that they can relate to, creating a long-term trajectory for involvement. Moishe House specifically targets Jewish 20-somethings from all backgrounds and levels of religiosity.

All programs will be created, driven and led by the four residents of Moishe House Phoenix, who embody the personality of their community through meaningful, relevant activities. Moishe House Phoenix residents are unique in that they have a Community Board made up of both residents and community members that meet once a month to coordinate programming. This ensures that programs are diverse and that the community has the ability to add input and vocalize what type of events they would like to attend.

Ultimately, Moishe House envisions that by sustaining a vibrant Moishe House Phoenix, more Jewish adults will live active Jewish lives inside their homes, within their communities and as part of a global Jewish community. In these efforts, Moishe House aims to:

  • Build opportunities for Jewish young adults to connect with Jewish culture, heritage and community as well as a space to network with their peers.
  • Create innovative entry points into Jewish life, thereby attracting individuals who might not be drawn to other programs.
  • Empower Jews in their 20s with the confidence and skills necessary to be active leaders, able to pass their enthusiasm onto their peers.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Moishe House Phoenix strives to make the following impact:
Create an emerging generation of empowered, knowledgeable and confident Jewish
leaders; a plurality of exciting, dynamic peer-led options for Jewish young
adults in Phoenix; a more cohesive network of wider local Jewish opportunities
in Phoenix, all of which leads to more Jewish young adults living vibrant
Jewish lives.

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Program Description

The four residents of Moishe House Phoenix turn their home into a center for Jewish life one to two times every week, on average. Through game nights, community outings, sporting events, holiday learning sessions, specialized Shabbat dinners like Summer BBQ Shabbat and Southwest Shabbat, and more, MH Phoenix residents and community members are effecting systemic change in the Jewish community as hundreds of young adults make connections, sustain and create new traditions and become part of the larger Jewish framework in Phoenix. In addition to ongoing house programming to teach and empower young adults to be successful and knowledgeable leaders for their peers, Moishe House provides ongoing Jewish educational and leadership trainings.

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Demonstrated Need

Moishe House is tackling a problem that many communities now face: how to engage young adults and ensure continuity with programming that evolves and develops to meet the values and behaviors of Millennials. Overall, with a few exceptions of localized initiatives that we are proud to partner with, in the years between their time on campus and settling down, young adults often have limited compelling opportunities to connect with the Jewish community. There are especially very few opportunities that are peer-led and give young adults the resources and empowerment to create community as they envision it. This need is acutely felt in the Jewish community as studies show more Jews are becoming less institutionally involved and are increasingly likely to live with little Jewish involvement, either socially, religiously or culturally:

  • Today’s young adults are more mobile, transient in their careers and are waiting longer to marry and start families. According to the 2014 Pew Research Center’s “Millennials in Adulthood,” only 26% of 18-to-33-year-olds are married (a 72% decrease from Gen X in 1997). Additionally, a number of other studies have found that Millennials plan to change their jobs more frequently than other generations and are more excited about traveling than settling down.
  • They often do not associate with institutions. In another study by the Pew Research Center titled “Survey of U.S. Jews” from 2013, only 24% of Jewish adults under 30 are members of a synagogue; 41% have no denominational affiliation and 32% report having no religion (although they see themselves as Jewish on the basis of ancestry, ethnicity or culture).
  • They are seeking new methods for involvement. Reports also indicate that a significant segment of younger Jews are seeking to create new avenues of, and opportunities for, Jewish involvement that do not replicate older patterns of Jewish communal participation (Kelman, Schonberg, 2008). This is also evident in “Survey of U.S. Jews” which indicates that despite such a low percentage of Jews under 30 connecting to the community in traditional ways, 73% still participated in a Seder last year.

Since Moishe House Phoenix opened in June 2013, their attendance numbers have confirmed that there was a clear need for an innovative approach to engaging young adults in Phoenix and that peer-led Jewish life is an answer to that need.

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Program Accomplishments

Since opening in June 2013, Moishe House Phoenix has
engaged more than 8,900 in total attendance through nearly 400 dynamic
programs. In 2016 alone, the house engaged 367 unique participants. In both
Phoenix and throughout the entire network, internal and external evaluations
show that Moishe House is paving a path in largely uncharted territory for
young adult Jewish communities that feed into the greater Jewish community with
impact far beyond those who are directly served.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Moishe House defines and measures success by a house or program’s ability to meet its annual goals and its impact on young Jewish adults around the world, as measured by quantitative and qualitative analysis, including evaluations. During the grant term, the impact and success of Moishe House Phoenix and its ability to accomplish its goals will be measured in a number of ways including through:

• Quantitative data analysis – With a central aspect of Moishe House’s ethos being resident empowerment, staff members do not attend the vast majority of Moishe House programs in Phoenix. In order to track progress of programming on the ground, the organization’s central evaluative tool, the Mintranet, provides attendance numbers, program content, and photographs related to programming at Moishe House Phoenix throughout the year. Residents and staff can together track progress towards quantitative goals in real-time throughout the grant term.
• Staff support and guidance – By investing in people rather than programs, Moishe House residents in Phoenix will be trained and empowered to become communal leaders for their peers, while receiving ongoing and dedicated support from board and staff members throughout the year. This includes monthly conference calls with each house’s residents, bi-annual site visits and ongoing support from the Jewish education team. Staff will also track each house’s outreach (including their monthly newsletters, Facebook pages and other marketing) to ensure that the residents are working towards meeting program goals by reaching a diverse audience through creative programming.
• Local resident and community member surveys – In addition to the ongoing check-ins and support, Moishe House staff will periodically send out evaluation surveys to both residents and community members in Phoenix to measure impact in the community as related to programmatic goals. These surveys will focus on the impact of Moishe House Phoenix on young adults’ leadership development and connection to Judaism, as well as changes to their Jewish communal life. Individual evaluations also take place at the end of each Retreat and Conference. Further, every three years, Moishe House will conduct a system-wide external evaluation that will measure the organization-wide trends of the target demographic along with the larger impact of Moishe House’s programs and approach. The process of conducting the next external evaluation will begin during the proposed grant term (in 2017-2018).

We are confident in Moishe House Phoenix’s success and look forward to continuing to watch it grow as the community is ever-changing. Resident transitions are a key to Moishe House’s prosperity and in the year ahead we look forward to positive changes and a continuing growth of the young adult community.

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Moishe House Phoenix

About

Moishe House (MH) Phoenix uniquely enables Jewish 20-somethings to create inclusive leadership opportunities and redefine Jewish engagement for their generation through accessible, relatable programming. MH Phoenix’s peer-to-peer approach creates a low-barrier entry point for Jewish 20-somethings, even those on the periphery of communal engagement, into the greater Jewish community. MH Phoenix is led by a core cadre of residents (Jewish 20-somethings) who live together in a rented home, which they turn into a community gathering space for programs that they plan and lead at least seven times per month. Through events such as themed Shabbats, Sukkah building, Jewish learning with local rabbis and Challah baking, MH Phoenix is creating systemic change in their local Jewish community by redefining Jewish life; enabling diverse Jewish experiences and programming around Shabbat, Jewish holidays and more; and training and empowering the next generation of passionate leaders and active community members.


Additionally, Moishe House’s Jewish education model equips the residents of MH Phoenix with experiences, resources and connections that aid in their development as local Jewish educational leaders.  Since Moishe House was first founded in 2006, the organization has experienced rapid, demand-based growth and significantly expanded its reach and impact, including placing Jewish education/immersive Jewish experiences at the heart of the organization’s work. Through the Jewish education agenda, Moishe House works to provide Jewish young adults with:


  • Increased knowledge, confidence and resources to lead Jewish festival, Shabbat and other spiritual and ritual-based programming;
  • Facilitation skills to lead deep and meaningful Jewish learning for their peers; and
  • Expanded access to Jewish resources and educators in their local cities.

This includes Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats that train young adults on specific Jewish holidays, rituals and practices to use through existing Moishe House structures back home, as well as: additional resources for Jewish education programming for residents and community members; incentive grants, which enables the residents of MH Phoenix to host quality Jewish programs throughout the year; scholarships for residents and alumni to participate in Jewish learning through high-quality programmatic partners; and Regional Jewish Educators, who work directly with the residents to provide ongoing Jewish educational resources and guidance.


Through the proposed support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s NowGen Giving Circle, Moishe House will aim to build off the strong momentum already generated in Phoenix to sustain and grow MH Phoenix’s Jewish Education agenda, and further advance the incredible work of the young adults leading the change on the ground.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Jewish education is one facet of the 84+ programs run by MH Phoenix every year, in addition to the myriad opportunities available to MH Phoenix’s residents and community members through initiatives sponsored by the umbrella MH organization. Through the proposed support of the NowGen Giving Circle, MH Phoenix residents and community members will be able to fully utilize the Jewish education opportunities available to them, connecting their community to Judaism in ways that make sense to them. Through the Moishe House Jewish education agenda, the residents of MH Phoenix will be better equipped to sustain and grow vibrant Jewish young adult life in Phoenix. During the proposed 2019 grant term (from January – December 2019) MH Phoenix will reach a broad spectrum of participants, including young adults who have not previously or recently been involved in Jewish communal life through several Jewish education initiatives:


  • Direct Jewish learning with the community as part MH Phoenix’s ongoing, vibrant programming;
  • Working directly with MH’s West Coast Regional Jewish Educator to further strengthen and guide the Jewish education taking place at MH Phoenix;
  • Building and strengthening relationships with local Jewish educators in the greater Phoenix area;
  • Hosting meaningful and engaging programs for chagim throughout the year, utilizing MH’s incentive grants program;
  • Participating in and recruiting Phoenix community members for MH Jewish Learning Retreats, all of which are available to community members ages 22-32 for free with a generous travel stipend.

With the achievement of these goals, Moishe House anticipates creating an emerging generation of empowered, knowledgeable and confident Jewish leaders; a plurality of exciting peer-led options for Jewish young adults in Phoenix; and a more cohesive and diverse network of wider local Jewish opportunities, all of which leads to more Jewish young adults living vibrant Jewish lives and building Jewish homes.

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Program Description

MH Phoenix engages Jewish young adults through a peer-led, home-based model of Jewish community building. All programming is created by the residents, who are uniquely aware of the needs and interests of their peers and community. The residents of MH Phoenix are volunteers, with outside careers or graduate studies, and are supported by Moishe House staff. Residents are empowered with the tools and support they need to design and lead the programs that fit best for their community. With the opportunities and guidance provided by Moishe House’s Jewish education agenda, MH Phoenix is effecting systemic change throughout the Phoenix Jewish community and transforming a generation of Jewish practice, with unprecedented cohorts of emerging Jewish leaders and active community members stepping up, creating a lasting impact into the future through:


  • Mini-Grants

o   Chag Holiday Incentive Grants – With Chag grants, residents fuse innovation and tradition to create their own activities and celebrations for holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot and more.


o   Activate Local Learning Grants – Microgrants for residents to create robust, text-based Jewish learning sessions for young adults in coordination with a local Jewish educator and/or rabbi they identify.


o   Israeli Culture Grants – Israeli Culture Grants allow Moishe Houses to host programs that focus on Israel’s rich culture, education about Israel, and engagement with Yom Ha’atzmaut.




  • Scholarships

o   In addition to the Incentive Grants program, Moishe House seeks to promote a cross-pollination of ideas and study through many partner organizations, who offer exceptional Jewish educational programs outside of Moishe House. Moishe House wants to support the efforts of residents and alumni participating in high-quality Jewish learning experiences, within the organization and outside of it. Moishe House offers scholarships for Jewish young adults to take advantage of Jewish learning opportunities throughout the year, including other convenings, classes, retreats, trainings and more.




  • Regional Jewish Educators

o   In order to make Jewish education more accessible to Jewish young adults, Moishe House has three Regional Jewish Educators that work directly with the residents to provide ongoing Jewish educational resources and guidance and visit Moishe Houses across North America to enhance and deepen residents’ Jewish learning and leadership skills. The Regional Jewish Educators are studying Talmud over Skype with residents, reaching out before holidays to houses in their regions with specific textual resources they might find interesting, and offering ways to incorporate Jewish text and creative programming ideas, in addition to approving Chag grants. MH Phoenix’s Regional Jewish Educator is Hadar Cohen, an Israeli-born artist based in the Bay Area.




  • Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats

o   Jewish Learning Retreats bring young Jewish adults together for a transformative weekend that trains and nurtures their Jewish ritual and program skills, giving them specific tools to build and develop their own Jewish community back home. Due to high demand and popularity of Moishe House’s Retreats led by staff, Moishe House developed a Peer-Led Retreats model, which builds off the established staff-led model of immersive Jewish Learning Retreats, enabling passionate Jewish young adults to take their leadership skills to the next level and design and execute their own immersive Jewish experiential and educational weekend for their local peers. All Moishe House staff-led Learning Retreats are free for community members ages 22-32, with a generous travel stipend available. Moishe House traditionally hosts at least one retreat annually in Arizona; in May 2018, Moishe House hosted a Mindfulness Jewish Learning Retreat in Oracle, AZ at C.O.D. Ranch for 29 participants. 




  • Moishe House Without Walls (MHWOW)

o   Building off the momentum of successful peer-led programming, Moishe House has evolved and expanded various other opportunities, including MHWOW, Moishe House’s alumni engagement mechanism that enables participants to lead Moishe House-style Jewish programming for their peers, has become the fastest-growing program within Moishe House. By giving young Jewish adults who do not live in a Moishe House the opportunity to create and lead programs for their peers, Moishe House is reaching an entirely new and growing demographic of 22-32 year olds in Phoenix. Since the first MHWOW program was held in Phoenix in January 2015, MHWOW hosts have led 75 diverse programs for 668 in total attendance. In 2017 alone, eight hosts planned and executed 41 MHWOW programs for 415 in total attendance, including 209 unique participants.

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Demonstrated Need

A 2014 study conducted by City Observatory found that the young and educated population of Phoenix increased by 19.4% between 2012-2016 (and projected continued growth). However, as young adults today settle down later than ever before, an entirely new demographic of 20-somethings has emerged who do not fit the patterns of earlier generations. Today’s young adults tend not to associate with institutions, are more mobile and transient in their careers, are waiting longer to marry and start families, and are seeking new methods of involvement.


Furthermore, millennial Jews are seeking new methods for involvement. Although Jewish 20-somethings are shying away from legacy institutions/traditional community involvement, they feel pride in being Jewish and are looking for new ways to express this. Rabbi Mike Uram, author of “Next Generation Judaism,” notes that millennial Jews, by and large, want the same type of specification and customization in their Jewish experiences that they want in other aspects of their lives. Moishe House’s unique investment in the next generation bridges the engagement gap and sets young adults on a trajectory for long-term involvement and leadership in the Jewish community.

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Program Accomplishments

Thousands of Jewish young adults have found their niche in the Jewish community through Phoenix’s peer-led and home-based programming. Since opening in June 2013, MH Phoenix has engaged 11,600+ young adults in total attendance through 500+ programs. In 2017 alone, 88 programs reached 2,032 young adults in total attendance, including 335 unique participants. The residents of MH Phoenix are changing the local landscape for Jewish young adults in Phoenix, engaging Jewish young adults through peer-led programs. Moishe House’s Jewish education agenda has enabled the residents to increase the number of programs that focus on learning and experiencing Jewish holidays throughout the year, including:


·         Creating peer-led Jewish programming using the Incentive Grants Program – A sampling of programs MH Phoenix residents led using Incentive Grants include:


  • March 2017 | Purim Party | 65 attendees
  • April 2017 | Passover Jewish Learning | 17 attendees
  • September 2017 | Rosh Hashanah Celebration | 65 attendees
  • October 2017 | Sukkot Party | 90 attendees
  • December 2017 | Hanukkah Party | 38 attendees
  • February 2018 | Hamentaschen Baking | 16 attendees
  • April 2018 | Matzah Pizza | 19 attendees

·         Utilizing the support of Regional Jewish Educators to assist with program planning, ritual training, experiential Jewish learning and more – In February 2018, Regional Jewish Educator, Hadar Cohen, assisted MH Phoenix resident, Jake Khazanovich, in planning a learning session on Parshat Tetzveh. Hadar offered support on guiding questions as well as providing him with resources on the parsha.


·         Attending various Jewish Learning Retreats to empower a new cohort of Jewish 20-somethings with the energy, skills and knowledge to return to their home communities with the ability and desire to lead relevant programming for their peers – Since January 2017, there have been two Retreats in/around Phoenix, for 65 participants, including the Shabbat Re-Vision Retreat (January 2017) and the Mindfulness Retreat (May 2018). Additionally, there were seven Phoenix-area residents and community members who attended a Retreat across the globe during this time period. Each of the community members are now eligible to receive funding to run MHWOW programming in their own homes, fostering new leadership throughout the Phoenix Jewish community.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Moishe House tracks its progress, outputs and growth in Phoenix for the desired/intended outcomes through:


  • Quantitative data analysis – A central aspect of Moishe House’s ethos is resident empowerment. In order to track progress of programming on the ground, the organization uses a central, online evaluative tool, the Mintranet, which is a propriety database for attendance numbers, program content, and photographs related to programming. Through the Mintranet, residents and staff can together track progress towards quantitative goals in real-time.
  • Staff support and guidance – By investing in people rather than programs, the residents of MH Phoenix will be trained and empowered to become communal leaders for their peers, while receiving ongoing and dedicated support from board and staff members throughout the year. This includes bi-annual site visits from the Southwestern Regional Manager, and ongoing support from the Jewish education team. Staff will also track MH Phoenix’s outreach (including their monthly newsletters, Facebook pages and other marketing) to ensure that the residents are working toward meeting program goals by reaching a diverse audience through creative programming.
  • Qualitative data analysis through local and network-wide surveys and evaluations – Every three years, Moishe House conducts a system-wide external evaluation that measures the organization-wide trends of the target demographic along with the larger impact of Moishe House’s programs and approach. Moishe House is gathering results from the 2018 external evaluation, which includes input from MH Phoenix residents, alumni and community members. Additionally, the 2018 external evaluation includes a longitudinal study component, as 150+ respondents from the last evaluation (in 2015) agreed to be contacted again for the 2018 evaluation. The evaluation measures changes in young adults regarding their involvement in the Jewish community, confidence as leaders, knowledge of Jewish ritual, and more to gauge impact.

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Moishe House Portland

About

Moishe House Portland (MHP) is a vibrant home-based and peer-led community, providing opportunities for Jewish young adults in Portland – even those not active in organized Jewish life – to find a relatable community, creating a long-term trajectory for involvement.

Since opening in 2008, MHP has served as a constant and consistent source of Jewish community for young adults, engaging 14,400+ in total attendance through 700+ programs. MHP is located in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, and helps make inclusive Jewish community more accessible and inviting for local Jewish 20-somethings, through a peer-to-peer, home-based model. MHP is led by a core cadre of five residents (Jewish 20-somethings), who live together in a rented house, which they open up at least seven times every month for programs that they plan and lead. Through Shabbat dinners, Jewish holiday celebrations, community service, Jewish learning and so much more, MHP is helping create systemic change on the ground. Further, with its proven model, Moishe House has learned that frequency is a crucial ingredient for creating impact, and MHP focuses on enabling ongoing programming aimed at consistently engaging young Jewish adults throughout the year.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Moishe House’s mission is to provide vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers. Moishe House aims to sustain and grow MHP as a unique, vibrant hub of Jewish life for local Jewish 20-somethings. Specifically, the requested grant from the Women’s Giving Circle would directly support Shabbat programming in 2017. At least once a month, MHP residents and community members will gather to celebrate Shabbat in ways that makes sense to them. These dinners, which will range from traditional to celebrations with an innovative twist (such as themed Shabbats) will help connect more participants to both their fellow community members and Shabbat traditions that have existed in Judaism for centuries. For young adults seeking community amongst their peers, Shabbat dinner at Moishe House is often the first step towards meeting new Jewish friends and plugging in to the larger Jewish community.

In 2017, in addition to hosting meaningful Shabbat programming, MHP aims to:

Strengthen Jewish community for young adults – The residents will create ongoing Jewish programming that contains a wide variety of different approaches to Jewish community building, ranging from ritualistic, religious and spiritual to cultural and social, including Shabbat dinners, Jewish holiday celebrations, community service activities, social justice opportunities and more. Each program will be peer-led, pluralistic, and open to all local Jewish young adults, creating a realistic and viable entry point into Jewish life.

  • Program goal – 84+ programs, including 12 Shabbats, hosted at Moishe House Portland

Build and sustain spaces for creative Jewish engagement – Through the ongoing program opportunities, MHP will strive to engage over 1,250 young adults in total attendance (including 350+ unique individuals during each full calendar year) over the course of the requested grant.

  • Attendance goal – 1,250 in total attendance (including 350+ unique participants each full calendar year)

Create a more collaborative Jewish community – MHP will partner with other local and global organizations to co-host at least 20% of all programming. This kind of cooperation strengthens the community from within, and helps more Jewish young adults become active beyond involvement in Moishe House. It is important that Moishe House residents and participants are both a reflection of the greater Jewish community and are recognized as an integral part of it. By becoming ingrained in the framework of local Jewish life, young adults will have a say in guiding the community’s trajectory and will be more likely to be a part of that framework for years to come.

  • Partnership goal – 20% of all programming

Train the next generation of informed and dynamic leaders – Moishe House will provide ongoing Jewish educational and leadership trainings for the residents and participants of MHP through an annual Resident Training Conference and dozens of weekend-long immersive Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats throughout the year, Moishe House will help empower Jewish young adults to be confident, knowledgeable and excited leaders, with tangible skills and experiences that will positively impact the local community.

Promote philanthropy and tzedakah – The residents of MHP will help drive their community members to engage philanthropically through an annual giving campaign each fall called WE ARE. Moishe House has found that this campaign is often the first time many young adults are making a philanthropic donation and has the potential to inspire them to also give for longer and with greater breadth.

With the achievement of the above goals for MHP, the organization anticipates the following impact over the grant term: An emerging generation of empowered, knowledgeable and confident Jewish leaders; a plurality of exciting, dynamic peer-led options for Jewish young adults in each area; a more cohesive and diverse network of wider local Jewish opportunities in each location, all of which leads to more Jewish young adults living vibrant Jewish lives. Beyond increasing the sheer number of participants, Moishe House also has a strong commitment to ensuring high-quality and frequent participation in peer-led approaches to building Jewish community that will strengthen the pipeline of involvement for the next generation.

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Program Description

Using alternative approaches, MHP residents engage other
Jewish young adults by thinking creatively and leading the programming that
they themselves would want to attend. MHP residents turn their home into a
center for Jewish life one to two times a week, on average. Recent programs
include a Newcomers Happy Hour, Tu B’Shevat Seder, International Holocaust Remembrance
Day Discussion, Cajun Shabbat, Bowling Night, Latke Ball, Story Slam, Swing
Dancing Lesson, Rosh Hashanah Nosh, Yom Kippur Break-the-Fast, and much more.
MHP programs are geared towards building Jewish community and is open to young
adults of any background or level of religiosity.

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Demonstrated Need

Moishe House is tackling a problem that many communities now face: how to engage young adults and ensure continuity with programming that evolves and develops to meet the values and behaviors of Millennials. Overall, with a few exceptions of localized initiatives that Moishe House is proud to partner with, in the years between their time on campus and settling down, young adults often have limited compelling opportunities to connect with the Jewish community. There are especially very few opportunities that are peer-led and give young adults the resources and empowerment to create community as they envision it. This need is acutely felt in the Jewish community as studies show more Jews are becoming less institutionally involved and are increasingly likely to live with little Jewish involvement, either socially, religiously or culturally: they are more mobile, transient in their careers and are waiting longer to marry and start families; they often do not associate with institutions; and they are seeking new methods for involvement.

Since MHP opened in January 2008, attendance numbers have confirmed that there is a clear need for an innovative approach to engaging young adults in Portland and that peer-led Jewish life is an answer to that need.

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Program Accomplishments

Since opening in 2008, MHP has engaged more than 14,400 in total attendance through 700+ dynamic programs. In 2016 alone, the house engaged 313 unique participants and hosted 16 unique Shabbat programs, including Earth Day Shabbat; Turkish Shabbat; Grown in Oregon Shabbat; and a Vegan Shabbat. In Portland, and throughout the entire global network, internal and external evaluations show that Moishe House is paving a path in largely uncharted territory for young adult Jewish communities that feed into the greater Jewish community with impact far beyond those who are directly served.

Specifically, Moishe House recently conducted an internal evaluation of MHP to assess trends and impact on the ground. A representative sample of 30 young adults responded to the survey, with findings including:

  • Participants’ connection to the Jewish community in Portland increased by more than 100% (from 8% prior to involvement in MHP to 81% now).
  • Participants’ awareness of local activities in the community for Jewish young adults increased by more than 100% (from 19% to 85%).
  • Residents’ feeling of belonging to a relatable Jewish community increased by more than 100% (from 25% to 100%).
  • Residents’ reported participation in Jewish communal activities increased by more than 100% (from 0% to 100%).

Further, because of involvement in MHP, more Jewish young adults are viewing themselves as leaders and are becoming active in local synagogues/temples:

  • Participants’ self-perception as leaders increased by more than 100% (from 19% to 50%).
  • Residents’ self-perception as leaders increased by more than 100% (from 0% to 100%).
  • The percentage of participants who report attending services/being members of a temple/synagogue increased by more than 100% (from 12% to 35%).

The impact of a successful MHP can be felt rippling throughout the greater community.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

As mentioned above, MHP is uniquely filling a deep-seated need for peer-led, low-barrier Jewish community that is both impactful and cost-effective.

During the grant term, MHP will measure annual goals in a number of ways, including through:

  • Quantitative data analysis – With a central aspect of MH’s ethos being resident empowerment, staff members do not attend the vast majority of MHP programs. In order to track progress of programming on the ground, the organization uses a central, online evaluative tool, the Mintranet, which is a propriety database for attendance numbers, program content, and photographs related to programming. Through the Mintranet, residents and staff can together track progress towards quantitative goals in real-time.
  • Staff support and guidance – By investing in people rather than programs, MHP residents will be trained and empowered to become communal leaders for their peers, while receiving ongoing and dedicated support from board and staff members throughout the year. This includes bi-annual site visits from the Northwestern Regional Manager, Aliza Minkina, and ongoing support from the Jewish education team. Staff will also track each house’s outreach (including their monthly newsletters, Facebook pages and other marketing) to ensure that the residents are working towards meeting program goals by reaching a diverse audience through creative programming.
  • Qualitative data analysis through local and network-wide surveys and evaluations – Every three years, MH conducts a system-wide external evaluation that will measure the organization-wide trends of the target demographic along with the larger impact of MH’s programs and approach. The next external evaluation will begin during the proposed grant term, in late 2017, and will include input from MHP residents, alumni and community members. Additionally, the 2017-2018 external evaluation will include a longitudinal study component, as 900 respondents from the last evaluation (in 2015) agreed to be contacted again. The evaluation will measure changes in young adults regarding their involvement in the Jewish community, confidence as leaders, knowledge of Jewish ritual, and more to gauge impact.

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Moishe House Portland

About

Moishe House Portland (MHP) is a vibrant home-based and peer-led community, providing opportunities for Jewish young adults in Portland – even those not active in organized Jewish life – to find a relatable community, creating a long-term trajectory for involvement.

Since opening in 2008, MHP has served as a constant and consistent source of Jewish community for young adults, engaging 14,400+ in total attendance through 700+ programs. MHP is located in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, and helps make inclusive Jewish community more accessible and inviting for local Jewish 20-somethings, through a peer-to-peer, home-based model. MHP is led by a core cadre of five residents (Jewish 20-somethings), who live together in a rented house, which they open up at least seven times every month for programs that they plan and lead. Through Shabbat dinners, Jewish holiday celebrations, community service, Jewish learning and so much more, MHP is helping create systemic change on the ground. Further, with its proven model, Moishe House has learned that frequency is a crucial ingredient for creating impact, and MHP focuses on enabling ongoing programming aimed at consistently engaging young Jewish adults throughout the year.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Moishe House’s mission is to provide vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers. Moishe House aims to sustain and grow MHP as a unique, vibrant hub of Jewish life for local Jewish 20-somethings. Specifically, the requested grant from the Women’s Giving Circle would directly support Shabbat programming in 2017. At least once a month, MHP residents and community members will gather to celebrate Shabbat in ways that makes sense to them. These dinners, which will range from traditional to celebrations with an innovative twist (such as themed Shabbats) will help connect more participants to both their fellow community members and Shabbat traditions that have existed in Judaism for centuries. For young adults seeking community amongst their peers, Shabbat dinner at Moishe House is often the first step towards meeting new Jewish friends and plugging in to the larger Jewish community.

In 2017, in addition to hosting meaningful Shabbat programming, MHP aims to:

Strengthen Jewish community for young adults – The residents will create ongoing Jewish programming that contains a wide variety of different approaches to Jewish community building, ranging from ritualistic, religious and spiritual to cultural and social, including Shabbat dinners, Jewish holiday celebrations, community service activities, social justice opportunities and more. Each program will be peer-led, pluralistic, and open to all local Jewish young adults, creating a realistic and viable entry point into Jewish life.

  • Program goal – 84+ programs, including 12 Shabbats, hosted at Moishe House Portland

Build and sustain spaces for creative Jewish engagement – Through the ongoing program opportunities, MHP will strive to engage over 1,250 young adults in total attendance (including 350+ unique individuals during each full calendar year) over the course of the requested grant.

  • Attendance goal – 1,250 in total attendance (including 350+ unique participants each full calendar year)

Create a more collaborative Jewish community – MHP will partner with other local and global organizations to co-host at least 20% of all programming. This kind of cooperation strengthens the community from within, and helps more Jewish young adults become active beyond involvement in Moishe House. It is important that Moishe House residents and participants are both a reflection of the greater Jewish community and are recognized as an integral part of it. By becoming ingrained in the framework of local Jewish life, young adults will have a say in guiding the community’s trajectory and will be more likely to be a part of that framework for years to come.

  • Partnership goal – 20% of all programming

Train the next generation of informed and dynamic leaders – Moishe House will provide ongoing Jewish educational and leadership trainings for the residents and participants of MHP through an annual Resident Training Conference and dozens of weekend-long immersive Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats throughout the year, Moishe House will help empower Jewish young adults to be confident, knowledgeable and excited leaders, with tangible skills and experiences that will positively impact the local community.

Promote philanthropy and tzedakah – The residents of MHP will help drive their community members to engage philanthropically through an annual giving campaign each fall called WE ARE. Moishe House has found that this campaign is often the first time many young adults are making a philanthropic donation and has the potential to inspire them to also give for longer and with greater breadth.

With the achievement of the above goals for MHP, the organization anticipates the following impact over the grant term: An emerging generation of empowered, knowledgeable and confident Jewish leaders; a plurality of exciting, dynamic peer-led options for Jewish young adults in each area; a more cohesive and diverse network of wider local Jewish opportunities in each location, all of which leads to more Jewish young adults living vibrant Jewish lives. Beyond increasing the sheer number of participants, Moishe House also has a strong commitment to ensuring high-quality and frequent participation in peer-led approaches to building Jewish community that will strengthen the pipeline of involvement for the next generation.

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Program Description

Using alternative approaches, MHP residents engage other
Jewish young adults by thinking creatively and leading the programming that
they themselves would want to attend. MHP residents turn their home into a
center for Jewish life one to two times a week, on average. Recent programs
include a Newcomers Happy Hour, Tu B’Shevat Seder, International Holocaust Remembrance
Day Discussion, Cajun Shabbat, Bowling Night, Latke Ball, Story Slam, Swing
Dancing Lesson, Rosh Hashanah Nosh, Yom Kippur Break-the-Fast, and much more.
MHP programs are geared towards building Jewish community and is open to young
adults of any background or level of religiosity.

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Demonstrated Need

Moishe House is tackling a problem that many communities now face: how to engage young adults and ensure continuity with programming that evolves and develops to meet the values and behaviors of Millennials. Overall, with a few exceptions of localized initiatives that Moishe House is proud to partner with, in the years between their time on campus and settling down, young adults often have limited compelling opportunities to connect with the Jewish community. There are especially very few opportunities that are peer-led and give young adults the resources and empowerment to create community as they envision it. This need is acutely felt in the Jewish community as studies show more Jews are becoming less institutionally involved and are increasingly likely to live with little Jewish involvement, either socially, religiously or culturally: they are more mobile, transient in their careers and are waiting longer to marry and start families; they often do not associate with institutions; and they are seeking new methods for involvement.

Since MHP opened in January 2008, attendance numbers have confirmed that there is a clear need for an innovative approach to engaging young adults in Portland and that peer-led Jewish life is an answer to that need.

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Program Accomplishments

Since opening in 2008, MHP has engaged more than 14,400 in total attendance through 700+ dynamic programs. In 2016 alone, the house engaged 313 unique participants and hosted 16 unique Shabbat programs, including Earth Day Shabbat; Turkish Shabbat; Grown in Oregon Shabbat; and a Vegan Shabbat. In Portland, and throughout the entire global network, internal and external evaluations show that Moishe House is paving a path in largely uncharted territory for young adult Jewish communities that feed into the greater Jewish community with impact far beyond those who are directly served.

Specifically, Moishe House recently conducted an internal evaluation of MHP to assess trends and impact on the ground. A representative sample of 30 young adults responded to the survey, with findings including:

  • Participants’ connection to the Jewish community in Portland increased by more than 100% (from 8% prior to involvement in MHP to 81% now).
  • Participants’ awareness of local activities in the community for Jewish young adults increased by more than 100% (from 19% to 85%).
  • Residents’ feeling of belonging to a relatable Jewish community increased by more than 100% (from 25% to 100%).
  • Residents’ reported participation in Jewish communal activities increased by more than 100% (from 0% to 100%).

Further, because of involvement in MHP, more Jewish young adults are viewing themselves as leaders and are becoming active in local synagogues/temples:

  • Participants’ self-perception as leaders increased by more than 100% (from 19% to 50%).
  • Residents’ self-perception as leaders increased by more than 100% (from 0% to 100%).
  • The percentage of participants who report attending services/being members of a temple/synagogue increased by more than 100% (from 12% to 35%).

The impact of a successful MHP can be felt rippling throughout the greater community.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

As mentioned above, MHP is uniquely filling a deep-seated need for peer-led, low-barrier Jewish community that is both impactful and cost-effective.

During the grant term, MHP will measure annual goals in a number of ways, including through:

  • Quantitative data analysis – With a central aspect of MH’s ethos being resident empowerment, staff members do not attend the vast majority of MHP programs. In order to track progress of programming on the ground, the organization uses a central, online evaluative tool, the Mintranet, which is a propriety database for attendance numbers, program content, and photographs related to programming. Through the Mintranet, residents and staff can together track progress towards quantitative goals in real-time.
  • Staff support and guidance – By investing in people rather than programs, MHP residents will be trained and empowered to become communal leaders for their peers, while receiving ongoing and dedicated support from board and staff members throughout the year. This includes bi-annual site visits from the Northwestern Regional Manager, Aliza Minkina, and ongoing support from the Jewish education team. Staff will also track each house’s outreach (including their monthly newsletters, Facebook pages and other marketing) to ensure that the residents are working towards meeting program goals by reaching a diverse audience through creative programming.
  • Qualitative data analysis through local and network-wide surveys and evaluations – Every three years, MH conducts a system-wide external evaluation that will measure the organization-wide trends of the target demographic along with the larger impact of MH’s programs and approach. The next external evaluation will begin during the proposed grant term, in late 2017, and will include input from MHP residents, alumni and community members. Additionally, the 2017-2018 external evaluation will include a longitudinal study component, as 900 respondents from the last evaluation (in 2015) agreed to be contacted again. The evaluation will measure changes in young adults regarding their involvement in the Jewish community, confidence as leaders, knowledge of Jewish ritual, and more to gauge impact.

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Shabbat Innovations: A Moishe House Learning Retreat in Arizona

About

Moishe House is helping move the needle for Jewish young adult engagement by providing opportunities for community-building, learning and leadership development to Jewish 20-somethings around the globe, including in the greater Phoenix area. In addition to establishing a growing network of 86 peer-led Moishe Houses in 21 countries, including a vibrant Moishe House Phoenix, and a robust alumni engagement mechanism (MHWOW – Moishe House Without Walls), the organization has also developed a model for immersive Jewish learning that helps Jewish 20-somethings hone their leadership skills and Jewish knowledge. Within this context, Moishe House provides weekend-long training experiences for Jewish 20-somethings who are then empowered to go back home to their communities and lead programming for their peers through existing Moishe House structures. Over the last two years, Arizona played host to three Moishe House Learning Retreats. These retreats were met with extremely positive feedback from the participants involved, several of whom were from Arizona. Moishe House Jewish Learning Retreats are very popular, with many gatherings held at capacity or with a wait list. At the same time, Moishe House Phoenix has become a vital piece of the young adult Jewish community in the Phoenix metro area. Since the house opened in June 2013, the residents have engaged more than 7,700 in total attendance through nearly 350 accessible, peer-led Jewish programs at their home in the Scottsdale area. Building off the success and momentum of Moishe House Phoenix and these retreats, Moishe House respectfully requests a grant of $2,500 to bring a weekend-long Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreat to Arizona in 2017.

This proposed Learning Retreat will deepen Moishe House’s growing impact in Arizona by hosting up to 35 young adults (including Moishe House residents, MHWOW hosts and community members) for a weekend of learning, community building and Jewish bonding. Retreat participants, including many from Arizona, will come together and sharpen their skills, knowledge and confidence as communal Jewish leaders. The requested grant would partially cover the cost of the Learning Retreat and ensure that this convening takes place in this region, ideally at the C.O.D. Ranch, where Moishe House successfully hosted a Jewish Mindfulness Retreat in January 2016 and a Passover Spirituality Retreat in February 2015. Specifically, $2,500 will cover the costs of the educators at the Retreat, including their travel costs and modest honorariums.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Moishe House Learning Retreats help enliven Jewish ritual
for young adults. The Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreat will deepen Jewish young adults’ connections to Shabbat
and its related rituals and traditions by training participants to create
relevant, effective and meaningful programs for their
home communities. The Retreat
will be led by a team of experts in the field of young adult Jewish education,
and the weekend will include sessions that are interactive, engaging and
dynamic. Moishe House’s overall mission is to provide
vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as
they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their
peers. Through this Retreat, participants will gain the knowledge and skills
necessary to create significant Shabbat experiences for their peers in their
home communities

Back to Top

Program Description

Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreats are consistently well-attended, as Shabbat programs represent some of the most popular and common programs in Moishe House’s network. But Retreats are not one-off events. Rather, they strengthen participants’ confidence of specific Jewish holidays, rituals and ideals while helping develop the practical knowledge to return to their home communities and put the learned skills directly into use at their local Moishe House, engaging hundreds more Jewish young adults.

The Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats approach resonates with Moishe House’s target audience, as most Moishe House residents throughout the network enter their role with a clear Jewish passion but limited experience in hosting or leading Jewish programs. Many Jewish young adults in Phoenix and other locations in Arizona have been active participants in retreats hosted in locations around the country. In order to help these emerging leaders develop the needed knowledge, confidence and skills, Moishe House provides relatable resources in an accessible and value-added way. The combination of immersive and pluralistic learning opportunities coupled with real life vehicles to practice the skills and share knowledge leads to more young adults leading rituals and innovative programs for themselves and their peers. This strategy enables a growing pool of young adult Jews to develop their knowledge of Jewish life – rituals, wisdom, experiences and community – and gain skills to lead their peers and become competent and confident Jewish role models.

Although the schedule, educators and other Retreat details will be determined closer to the date of the Retreat, a sample schedule may include:

Friday

3:45pm – 4:45pm – Welcome & Warm Up
5:00pm – 6:30pm – Shabbat Concepts Oneg & Kavod
6:30pm – Prepare for Shabbat
7:15pm – Community Candle Lighting
7:45pm – Kabbalat Shabbat
8:45pm – SHABBAT DINNER
10:00pm – Oneg

Shabbat
8:45am – 9:15am – Shabbat Relaxation Techniques
10:00am – Exploring Jewish Prayer
11:10am – Preparing and Giving a D'var Torah
12:30pm – Shabbat Lunch
1:00pm – 2:30pm Shabbat Rest
3:00pm - 4:00 Evolving the Prohibition to Work on Shabbat
4:15pm - 5:15pm – Shabbat and Social Justice
5:15pm – How to Kiddush and Shabbat Cocktail “Hour” with Visions & Voices Poster Gallery
6:00pm – 7:15pm Se’udah Shlishit - Dinner
7:30pm – 8:15pm - MH Programming Brainstorm
8:30pm – 9:15pm - Shabbat Decompression Hike
9:30pm – How to Havdalah
10:00pm – Bonfire

Sunday
9:15am – 15-minute Spiritual Warm Up
9:30am – 10:30am – Expressive Jewish Art
11:45am – Closing

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Demonstrated Need

Moishe House is committed to being a premier leader of Jewish young adult engagement while providing an attractive segue between Jewish youth activities and family life for a significant cohort of local Jewish 20-somethings. Learning Retreats are held in unique destinations across the country and appeal to Jewish young adults from diverse backgrounds and levels of religiosity. Bringing the 2017 Shabbat Innovations Retreat to the Phoenix area will have a direct impact on Jewish life in the greater Phoenix area. Moishe House’s Learning Retreats are so important and successful because they tap into deep-seated needs of Jewish young adults, which are very different from previous generations. As found in the Pew Research Center’s 2013 study, A Portrait of Jewish Americans, Jewish young adults today are markedly different from previous generations. But, just because traditional methods of engagement are not effective with Millennials, it does not mean that this generation should be written off. On the contrary, data from A Portrait of Jewish Americans indicates that Jewish young adults are looking for new ways to connect and find meaning in Judaism/Jewish community. It is now up to the greater Jewish community to create the space and opportunity for Jewish 20-somethings to develop their own narrative and Jewish identity in a way that makes sense to them. The investment in Moishe House’s model is far-reaching, as the network empowers the next generation of Jewish leaders who are able to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm to their community members. Moishe House’s movement has the potential to greatly influence Jewish identity and engagement for emerging adults as they become full-fledged community members who join synagogues, Boards and JCCs. The immersive experience of attending the Shabbat Innovations Retreat in Arizona will positively influence Jewish young adults from Phoenix and beyond as they gain new skills and ideas that they can then put into practice back home.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Moishe House creates a strong connection to Jewish learning, culture and ritual for many thousands of Jewish young adults through an evolving Jewish education model, which includes immersive Learning and Leadership Retreats (such as the one proposed through this grant). Since leading its first Learning Retreat in 2011, Moishe House has trained more than 2,200 Jewish young adults through more than 79 Retreats, and counting, including through three Retreats in Arizona. The popularity of this model continues to grow, and many of these Retreats were held at capacity/with a waitlist. In 2016, Moishe House held a Shabbat Innovations Retreat in Pennsylvania. Participants left the Retreat with new tools to bring to their Shabbat tables and home communities. Specific feedback from a survey conducted after the Retreat included:

  • Participants’ confidence in leading Shabbat dinner rituals increased by 52% (from 66% to 100%).
  • Participants’ confidence leading a Shabbat Oneg increased by over 100% (from 17% to 67%).
  • Participants’ confidence leading Shabbat lunch rituals increased by over 100% (from 39% to 78%).

Further, an external evaluation completed in 2015 found that 51% of participants who attended a Moishe House Learning or Leadership Retreat have adopted a new Jewish practice back home following attendance at a Retreat. This demonstrates the long-lasting impact of Retreat experiences and the depth of skills and knowledge participants gain at these gatherings.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

Moishe House will aim for each Retreat participant to leave the Retreat feeling significantly more confident, comfortable and knowledgeable (at least 50% increase from prior to the Retreat) in leading programming related to Shabbat. This Retreat will be designed to explore ways to make Shabbat programming compelling, relevant and applicable for Jewish young adults today. Moishe House’s network of educators will inspire participants with new tools to express their own Jewish journeys and bring these ideas to their home communities. Retreat participants will come away with a renewed sense of how to lead and strengthen Shabbat activities for themselves and their peers, benefiting the greater community in the process. All of this will be tracked through the surveys used before and after the Retreat and through one-on-one feedback from participants to Moishe House staff. Sample measurements include:

  • Participants’ level of comfort
    • Welcoming others into their home
    • Leading Shabbat dinner rituals
    • Leading a Shabbat Oneg
    • The prayer book and Shabbat-related prayers
    • Leading Shabbat lunch rituals
    • Leading Havdallah
  • Participants’ confidence and skills as they related to building and leading Jewish community

Back to Top

Shabbat Innovations: A Moishe House Learning Retreat in Arizona

About

Moishe House is helping move the needle for Jewish young adult engagement by providing opportunities for community-building, learning and leadership development to Jewish 20-somethings around the globe, including in the greater Phoenix area. In addition to establishing a growing network of 86 peer-led Moishe Houses in 21 countries, including a vibrant Moishe House Phoenix, and a robust alumni engagement mechanism (MHWOW – Moishe House Without Walls), the organization has also developed a model for immersive Jewish learning that helps Jewish 20-somethings hone their leadership skills and Jewish knowledge. Within this context, Moishe House provides weekend-long training experiences for Jewish 20-somethings who are then empowered to go back home to their communities and lead programming for their peers through existing Moishe House structures. Over the last two years, Arizona played host to three Moishe House Learning Retreats. These retreats were met with extremely positive feedback from the participants involved, several of whom were from Arizona. Moishe House Jewish Learning Retreats are very popular, with many gatherings held at capacity or with a wait list. At the same time, Moishe House Phoenix has become a vital piece of the young adult Jewish community in the Phoenix metro area. Since the house opened in June 2013, the residents have engaged more than 7,700 in total attendance through nearly 350 accessible, peer-led Jewish programs at their home in the Scottsdale area. Building off the success and momentum of Moishe House Phoenix and these retreats, Moishe House respectfully requests a grant of $2,500 to bring a weekend-long Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreat to Arizona in 2017.

This proposed Learning Retreat will deepen Moishe House’s growing impact in Arizona by hosting up to 35 young adults (including Moishe House residents, MHWOW hosts and community members) for a weekend of learning, community building and Jewish bonding. Retreat participants, including many from Arizona, will come together and sharpen their skills, knowledge and confidence as communal Jewish leaders. The requested grant would partially cover the cost of the Learning Retreat and ensure that this convening takes place in this region, ideally at the C.O.D. Ranch, where Moishe House successfully hosted a Jewish Mindfulness Retreat in January 2016 and a Passover Spirituality Retreat in February 2015. Specifically, $2,500 will cover the costs of the educators at the Retreat, including their travel costs and modest honorariums.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Moishe House Learning Retreats help enliven Jewish ritual
for young adults. The Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreat will deepen Jewish young adults’ connections to Shabbat
and its related rituals and traditions by training participants to create
relevant, effective and meaningful programs for their
home communities. The Retreat
will be led by a team of experts in the field of young adult Jewish education,
and the weekend will include sessions that are interactive, engaging and
dynamic. Moishe House’s overall mission is to provide
vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as
they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their
peers. Through this Retreat, participants will gain the knowledge and skills
necessary to create significant Shabbat experiences for their peers in their
home communities

Back to Top

Program Description

Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreats are consistently well-attended, as Shabbat programs represent some of the most popular and common programs in Moishe House’s network. But Retreats are not one-off events. Rather, they strengthen participants’ confidence of specific Jewish holidays, rituals and ideals while helping develop the practical knowledge to return to their home communities and put the learned skills directly into use at their local Moishe House, engaging hundreds more Jewish young adults.

The Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats approach resonates with Moishe House’s target audience, as most Moishe House residents throughout the network enter their role with a clear Jewish passion but limited experience in hosting or leading Jewish programs. Many Jewish young adults in Phoenix and other locations in Arizona have been active participants in retreats hosted in locations around the country. In order to help these emerging leaders develop the needed knowledge, confidence and skills, Moishe House provides relatable resources in an accessible and value-added way. The combination of immersive and pluralistic learning opportunities coupled with real life vehicles to practice the skills and share knowledge leads to more young adults leading rituals and innovative programs for themselves and their peers. This strategy enables a growing pool of young adult Jews to develop their knowledge of Jewish life – rituals, wisdom, experiences and community – and gain skills to lead their peers and become competent and confident Jewish role models.

Although the schedule, educators and other Retreat details will be determined closer to the date of the Retreat, a sample schedule may include:

Friday

3:45pm – 4:45pm – Welcome & Warm Up
5:00pm – 6:30pm – Shabbat Concepts Oneg & Kavod
6:30pm – Prepare for Shabbat
7:15pm – Community Candle Lighting
7:45pm – Kabbalat Shabbat
8:45pm – SHABBAT DINNER
10:00pm – Oneg

Shabbat
8:45am – 9:15am – Shabbat Relaxation Techniques
10:00am – Exploring Jewish Prayer
11:10am – Preparing and Giving a D'var Torah
12:30pm – Shabbat Lunch
1:00pm – 2:30pm Shabbat Rest
3:00pm - 4:00 Evolving the Prohibition to Work on Shabbat
4:15pm - 5:15pm – Shabbat and Social Justice
5:15pm – How to Kiddush and Shabbat Cocktail “Hour” with Visions & Voices Poster Gallery
6:00pm – 7:15pm Se’udah Shlishit - Dinner
7:30pm – 8:15pm - MH Programming Brainstorm
8:30pm – 9:15pm - Shabbat Decompression Hike
9:30pm – How to Havdalah
10:00pm – Bonfire

Sunday
9:15am – 15-minute Spiritual Warm Up
9:30am – 10:30am – Expressive Jewish Art
11:45am – Closing

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

Moishe House is committed to being a premier leader of Jewish young adult engagement while providing an attractive segue between Jewish youth activities and family life for a significant cohort of local Jewish 20-somethings. Learning Retreats are held in unique destinations across the country and appeal to Jewish young adults from diverse backgrounds and levels of religiosity. Bringing the 2017 Shabbat Innovations Retreat to the Phoenix area will have a direct impact on Jewish life in the greater Phoenix area. Moishe House’s Learning Retreats are so important and successful because they tap into deep-seated needs of Jewish young adults, which are very different from previous generations. As found in the Pew Research Center’s 2013 study, A Portrait of Jewish Americans, Jewish young adults today are markedly different from previous generations. But, just because traditional methods of engagement are not effective with Millennials, it does not mean that this generation should be written off. On the contrary, data from A Portrait of Jewish Americans indicates that Jewish young adults are looking for new ways to connect and find meaning in Judaism/Jewish community. It is now up to the greater Jewish community to create the space and opportunity for Jewish 20-somethings to develop their own narrative and Jewish identity in a way that makes sense to them. The investment in Moishe House’s model is far-reaching, as the network empowers the next generation of Jewish leaders who are able to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm to their community members. Moishe House’s movement has the potential to greatly influence Jewish identity and engagement for emerging adults as they become full-fledged community members who join synagogues, Boards and JCCs. The immersive experience of attending the Shabbat Innovations Retreat in Arizona will positively influence Jewish young adults from Phoenix and beyond as they gain new skills and ideas that they can then put into practice back home.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Moishe House creates a strong connection to Jewish learning, culture and ritual for many thousands of Jewish young adults through an evolving Jewish education model, which includes immersive Learning and Leadership Retreats (such as the one proposed through this grant). Since leading its first Learning Retreat in 2011, Moishe House has trained more than 2,200 Jewish young adults through more than 79 Retreats, and counting, including through three Retreats in Arizona. The popularity of this model continues to grow, and many of these Retreats were held at capacity/with a waitlist. In 2016, Moishe House held a Shabbat Innovations Retreat in Pennsylvania. Participants left the Retreat with new tools to bring to their Shabbat tables and home communities. Specific feedback from a survey conducted after the Retreat included:

  • Participants’ confidence in leading Shabbat dinner rituals increased by 52% (from 66% to 100%).
  • Participants’ confidence leading a Shabbat Oneg increased by over 100% (from 17% to 67%).
  • Participants’ confidence leading Shabbat lunch rituals increased by over 100% (from 39% to 78%).

Further, an external evaluation completed in 2015 found that 51% of participants who attended a Moishe House Learning or Leadership Retreat have adopted a new Jewish practice back home following attendance at a Retreat. This demonstrates the long-lasting impact of Retreat experiences and the depth of skills and knowledge participants gain at these gatherings.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

Moishe House will aim for each Retreat participant to leave the Retreat feeling significantly more confident, comfortable and knowledgeable (at least 50% increase from prior to the Retreat) in leading programming related to Shabbat. This Retreat will be designed to explore ways to make Shabbat programming compelling, relevant and applicable for Jewish young adults today. Moishe House’s network of educators will inspire participants with new tools to express their own Jewish journeys and bring these ideas to their home communities. Retreat participants will come away with a renewed sense of how to lead and strengthen Shabbat activities for themselves and their peers, benefiting the greater community in the process. All of this will be tracked through the surveys used before and after the Retreat and through one-on-one feedback from participants to Moishe House staff. Sample measurements include:

  • Participants’ level of comfort
    • Welcoming others into their home
    • Leading Shabbat dinner rituals
    • Leading a Shabbat Oneg
    • The prayer book and Shabbat-related prayers
    • Leading Shabbat lunch rituals
    • Leading Havdallah
  • Participants’ confidence and skills as they related to building and leading Jewish community

Back to Top

Shabbat Innovations: A Moishe House Learning Retreat in Arizona

About

Moishe House is helping move the needle for Jewish young adult engagement by providing opportunities for community-building, learning and leadership development to Jewish 20-somethings around the globe, including in the greater Phoenix area. In addition to establishing a growing network of 86 peer-led Moishe Houses in 21 countries, including a vibrant Moishe House Phoenix, and a robust alumni engagement mechanism (MHWOW – Moishe House Without Walls), the organization has also developed a model for immersive Jewish learning that helps Jewish 20-somethings hone their leadership skills and Jewish knowledge. Within this context, Moishe House provides weekend-long training experiences for Jewish 20-somethings who are then empowered to go back home to their communities and lead programming for their peers through existing Moishe House structures. Over the last two years, Arizona played host to three Moishe House Learning Retreats. These retreats were met with extremely positive feedback from the participants involved, several of whom were from Arizona. Moishe House Jewish Learning Retreats are very popular, with many gatherings held at capacity or with a wait list. At the same time, Moishe House Phoenix has become a vital piece of the young adult Jewish community in the Phoenix metro area. Since the house opened in June 2013, the residents have engaged more than 7,700 in total attendance through nearly 350 accessible, peer-led Jewish programs at their home in the Scottsdale area. Building off the success and momentum of Moishe House Phoenix and these retreats, Moishe House respectfully requests a grant of $2,500 to bring a weekend-long Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreat to Arizona in 2017.

This proposed Learning Retreat will deepen Moishe House’s growing impact in Arizona by hosting up to 35 young adults (including Moishe House residents, MHWOW hosts and community members) for a weekend of learning, community building and Jewish bonding. Retreat participants, including many from Arizona, will come together and sharpen their skills, knowledge and confidence as communal Jewish leaders. The requested grant would partially cover the cost of the Learning Retreat and ensure that this convening takes place in this region, ideally at the C.O.D. Ranch, where Moishe House successfully hosted a Jewish Mindfulness Retreat in January 2016 and a Passover Spirituality Retreat in February 2015. Specifically, $2,500 will cover the costs of the educators at the Retreat, including their travel costs and modest honorariums.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Moishe House Learning Retreats help enliven Jewish ritual
for young adults. The Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreat will deepen Jewish young adults’ connections to Shabbat
and its related rituals and traditions by training participants to create
relevant, effective and meaningful programs for their
home communities. The Retreat
will be led by a team of experts in the field of young adult Jewish education,
and the weekend will include sessions that are interactive, engaging and
dynamic. Moishe House’s overall mission is to provide
vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as
they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their
peers. Through this Retreat, participants will gain the knowledge and skills
necessary to create significant Shabbat experiences for their peers in their
home communities

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Program Description

Shabbat Innovations Learning Retreats are consistently well-attended, as Shabbat programs represent some of the most popular and common programs in Moishe House’s network. But Retreats are not one-off events. Rather, they strengthen participants’ confidence of specific Jewish holidays, rituals and ideals while helping develop the practical knowledge to return to their home communities and put the learned skills directly into use at their local Moishe House, engaging hundreds more Jewish young adults.

The Jewish Learning and Leadership Retreats approach resonates with Moishe House’s target audience, as most Moishe House residents throughout the network enter their role with a clear Jewish passion but limited experience in hosting or leading Jewish programs. Many Jewish young adults in Phoenix and other locations in Arizona have been active participants in retreats hosted in locations around the country. In order to help these emerging leaders develop the needed knowledge, confidence and skills, Moishe House provides relatable resources in an accessible and value-added way. The combination of immersive and pluralistic learning opportunities coupled with real life vehicles to practice the skills and share knowledge leads to more young adults leading rituals and innovative programs for themselves and their peers. This strategy enables a growing pool of young adult Jews to develop their knowledge of Jewish life – rituals, wisdom, experiences and community – and gain skills to lead their peers and become competent and confident Jewish role models.

Although the schedule, educators and other Retreat details will be determined closer to the date of the Retreat, a sample schedule may include:

Friday

3:45pm – 4:45pm – Welcome & Warm Up
5:00pm – 6:30pm – Shabbat Concepts Oneg & Kavod
6:30pm – Prepare for Shabbat
7:15pm – Community Candle Lighting
7:45pm – Kabbalat Shabbat
8:45pm – SHABBAT DINNER
10:00pm – Oneg

Shabbat
8:45am – 9:15am – Shabbat Relaxation Techniques
10:00am – Exploring Jewish Prayer
11:10am – Preparing and Giving a D'var Torah
12:30pm – Shabbat Lunch
1:00pm – 2:30pm Shabbat Rest
3:00pm - 4:00 Evolving the Prohibition to Work on Shabbat
4:15pm - 5:15pm – Shabbat and Social Justice
5:15pm – How to Kiddush and Shabbat Cocktail “Hour” with Visions & Voices Poster Gallery
6:00pm – 7:15pm Se’udah Shlishit - Dinner
7:30pm – 8:15pm - MH Programming Brainstorm
8:30pm – 9:15pm - Shabbat Decompression Hike
9:30pm – How to Havdalah
10:00pm – Bonfire

Sunday
9:15am – 15-minute Spiritual Warm Up
9:30am – 10:30am – Expressive Jewish Art
11:45am – Closing

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Demonstrated Need

Moishe House is committed to being a premier leader of Jewish young adult engagement while providing an attractive segue between Jewish youth activities and family life for a significant cohort of local Jewish 20-somethings. Learning Retreats are held in unique destinations across the country and appeal to Jewish young adults from diverse backgrounds and levels of religiosity. Bringing the 2017 Shabbat Innovations Retreat to the Phoenix area will have a direct impact on Jewish life in the greater Phoenix area. Moishe House’s Learning Retreats are so important and successful because they tap into deep-seated needs of Jewish young adults, which are very different from previous generations. As found in the Pew Research Center’s 2013 study, A Portrait of Jewish Americans, Jewish young adults today are markedly different from previous generations. But, just because traditional methods of engagement are not effective with Millennials, it does not mean that this generation should be written off. On the contrary, data from A Portrait of Jewish Americans indicates that Jewish young adults are looking for new ways to connect and find meaning in Judaism/Jewish community. It is now up to the greater Jewish community to create the space and opportunity for Jewish 20-somethings to develop their own narrative and Jewish identity in a way that makes sense to them. The investment in Moishe House’s model is far-reaching, as the network empowers the next generation of Jewish leaders who are able to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm to their community members. Moishe House’s movement has the potential to greatly influence Jewish identity and engagement for emerging adults as they become full-fledged community members who join synagogues, Boards and JCCs. The immersive experience of attending the Shabbat Innovations Retreat in Arizona will positively influence Jewish young adults from Phoenix and beyond as they gain new skills and ideas that they can then put into practice back home.

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Program Accomplishments

Moishe House creates a strong connection to Jewish learning, culture and ritual for many thousands of Jewish young adults through an evolving Jewish education model, which includes immersive Learning and Leadership Retreats (such as the one proposed through this grant). Since leading its first Learning Retreat in 2011, Moishe House has trained more than 2,200 Jewish young adults through more than 79 Retreats, and counting, including through three Retreats in Arizona. The popularity of this model continues to grow, and many of these Retreats were held at capacity/with a waitlist. In 2016, Moishe House held a Shabbat Innovations Retreat in Pennsylvania. Participants left the Retreat with new tools to bring to their Shabbat tables and home communities. Specific feedback from a survey conducted after the Retreat included:

  • Participants’ confidence in leading Shabbat dinner rituals increased by 52% (from 66% to 100%).
  • Participants’ confidence leading a Shabbat Oneg increased by over 100% (from 17% to 67%).
  • Participants’ confidence leading Shabbat lunch rituals increased by over 100% (from 39% to 78%).

Further, an external evaluation completed in 2015 found that 51% of participants who attended a Moishe House Learning or Leadership Retreat have adopted a new Jewish practice back home following attendance at a Retreat. This demonstrates the long-lasting impact of Retreat experiences and the depth of skills and knowledge participants gain at these gatherings.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Moishe House will aim for each Retreat participant to leave the Retreat feeling significantly more confident, comfortable and knowledgeable (at least 50% increase from prior to the Retreat) in leading programming related to Shabbat. This Retreat will be designed to explore ways to make Shabbat programming compelling, relevant and applicable for Jewish young adults today. Moishe House’s network of educators will inspire participants with new tools to express their own Jewish journeys and bring these ideas to their home communities. Retreat participants will come away with a renewed sense of how to lead and strengthen Shabbat activities for themselves and their peers, benefiting the greater community in the process. All of this will be tracked through the surveys used before and after the Retreat and through one-on-one feedback from participants to Moishe House staff. Sample measurements include:

  • Participants’ level of comfort
    • Welcoming others into their home
    • Leading Shabbat dinner rituals
    • Leading a Shabbat Oneg
    • The prayer book and Shabbat-related prayers
    • Leading Shabbat lunch rituals
    • Leading Havdallah
  • Participants’ confidence and skills as they related to building and leading Jewish community

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