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Old 03-23-2019, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,513 posts, read 1,602,908 times
Reputation: 4405

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This being a Judaism forum, I'm sure people here heard of the Moishe House. (Or "Moshe House", if using the Sephardic pronunciation.) It was founded in 2006 to fill a gap: providing a community to young Jews who lost access to the college-based Hillel after graduation, but still had trouble fitting in with the family-centric conventional synagogues (because they don't have their own family yet). It also had a subtle ulterior motive: bringing young Jews together, so they marry other Jews and propagate the Tribe.

It works like this. The Moishe House organization provides a rent and food subsidy to a group of roommates of the same sex or to a married couple, in exchange for them hosting Jewish gatherings at least once a week. Most often, they're Shabbat services on Friday night. But also holiday parties, both Jewish and national (Christmas is a no-no, but July 4th is fine). As well as singles' gatherings, which I will touch on later. It was basically Meetup for Jews before Meetup went mainstream.

I used to attend Moishe House parties semi-regularly. But in retrospect, my experiences with them were sub-par. Most people at the gatherings were highly cliquey: they only hung out with the friends they came with, rather than meet someone new. The organizers/residents did a poor job of getting people to interact, like organize a cheesy party game. (It may have been due to age: until 30 or so, most people are too self-conscious to do anything cheesy in front of a group.) So attendees milled about, but didn't interact much. The singles' mixers were a joke: many people came with their boyfriend/girlfriend. The events were free and there was always good food, which was a big draw.

I stopped going to Moishe House events in 2011. That's when I aged out of their target demographic, and started to feel out of place. Also because Meetup went mainstream by then, and the environment I found there was more welcoming and inclusive than Moishe House was.

What were everyone else's experiences with Moishe House gatherings/events? I really don't mean to trash the concept; the founder wanted to do a great thing for Jewish society. And in the right social setting, it can work out wonderfully. But it seems like in my case, it fell flat due to human factors. If some of it was my own fault, feel free to say so. But it seems like the gatherings were more cliquey than they should have been. If mean, if no new people meet each other, how will the Tribe grow?

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 03-23-2019 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Booth Texas
14,837 posts, read 4,973,776 times
Reputation: 1510
I doubt there is anything anyone can do to make the tribe bigger, the way I see it, every Jew born had lived before this Earth was even created, and there is an exact number set to be born.

Does that sound crazy?

I watched a youtube deal about the Moishe house which was very negative, turned me off from the very beginning because they seemed to have an agenda, they were saying it was just a sex group where terrible things happened, I just didn't buy it, I mean, you are going to have those kind of people in any society or group.

I think the concept of Jews meeting Jews is an excellent concept it sounds like a very good thing to me.(Not Jewish)
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,513 posts, read 1,602,908 times
Reputation: 4405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannibal Flavius View Post
I watched a youtube deal about the Moishe house which was very negative, turned me off from the very beginning because they seemed to have an agenda, they were saying it was just a sex group where terrible things happened, I just didn't buy it, I mean, you are going to have those kind of people in any society or group.
Sex group? The only sex that happened among Moishe House attendees was between existing couples, albeit unmarried. No one hooked up, as far as I know, because of the cliquishness. Well, maybe some very desirable guys pulled that off, but such guys aren't a majority. Not only that, little drinking took place at the gatherings; the owners rationed out drinks to people from behind a bar setup. It almost seems like they were preventing hook-ups. I found that odd. I mean, the Moishe House was 6 blocks from Union Station, so it's not like everyone would DUI, and I usually took a train there. Heck, you're technically not even supposed to drive on Shabbat. (Or use any kind of transportation, for that matter.)

Now, Shabbatons---weekend retreats dedicated to celebrating Shabbat---were great. They were set up by professional organizers affiliated with JUF (Jewish United Fund), rather than private individuals. The organizers went out of their way to find ways to get people to interact. From really cool, like putting on comedic stage plays and doing physical puzzles comparable to today's escape rooms, to cringeworthy, like giving each other shoulder rubs while standing in a circle. I suppose that broke the ice pretty well, because during downtime, people from activity groups banded together to play cards or do a drink run to a nearby grocery store. According to the rumors I heard, hook-ups did happen at Shabbatons. But because everyone had roommates, I don't know where they found a place to do it.
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Old 03-26-2019, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Booth Texas
14,837 posts, read 4,973,776 times
Reputation: 1510
That is what I figured, that it was a bias vid trying to make Jews look bad, they insinuated that you was headed to sex houses. I will try to find that vid.
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