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Moishe House seeks young adult residents

        BY DEBORAH MOON             nity engagement during a glob-
         Moishe House Portland  is  al pandemic,  when isolation
        looking for three new resi-  took a toll on the mental health
        dents aged 22-32 who enjoy  of many community members.
        communal  living  and com-    “Upon our arrival,  we dis-
        munity  building beginning  in  covered the household had
        July. Moishe House residents  created some weekly practices,
        receive  a generous rent subsi-  including Shabbat (observance)
        dy, programming budget and  and dance sessions, to maintain
        support from Moishe House  some semblance of normal in
        staff  to  create  programs,  live  their lives,” says Blue. “Often,
        with friends and build Jewish  current members can be found
        community locally as part of a  gathered around a board game
        global community.           (usually Settlers of Catan), or,
         “For me, Moishe House was  as the weather improves, walk-
        the answer to a question I and so  ing  around  the  neighborhood
        many of my Jewish peers have:  or enjoying  the  sun on our
        how can we create Jewish com-  spacious porch, where we’ve
        munity that aligns with our lives,  enjoyed  social  distancing  with   Moishe House hosted a socially distanced volunteer event in March
        values and energy in our 20s and  many community members.”  2021 at the Kindness Farm, a nonprofit farm that teaches regener-
        30s?” says Shoshana Rybeck,   The fun residents enjoy to-  ative gardening  and raises healthy produce to feed those in need.
        one of two residents who are  gether is a key ingredient in the
        remaining in the Moishe House  community they create for oth-  grow up connected to a strong   The group has already begun to
        in southeast Portland. “Moishe  er young adults, says Shoshana.  Jewish  community, living in  offer some impressive programs.
        House gives us a platform to   “We believe that to create this  Moishe House has given me a   “Access  to  different  com-
        create accessible Jewish com-  responsive, engaged, open and  unique  opportunity  to  explore  munity  partners and  Moishe
        munity that transforms with  fun Jewish community, we as  my practice  while  simultane-  House-specific  grants  has  also
        each new resident, community  a house must be responsive,  ously receiving  support from  allowed programming I would
        member, program,  time  and  engaged,  open and fun with  the individuals in my home as  never have thought possible,”
        space. It is a Jewish community  one another,” she says. “We  well  as  Moishe  House  staff,”  says Blue.  “These  past couple
        that is dependably growing at  truly believe the strength of our  says Blue.       of months, we were able  to
        every turn.”                Jewish community comes from   As the country begins to move  co-host a series of events with
         Portland is one of more than  within. Like Blue said, we play  into post-pandemic life, res-  Alicia Jo Rabins, a local poet,
        100 Moishe House commu-     a lot of games, watch a lot of  idents look forward to more  musician  and  Torah  teacher
        nities in 25+ countries. Each  movies and  TV together, and  in-person programs starting in  whose work I’ve admired since
        iteration of Moishe House has  connect with each others’ com-  August. “We adhere to local  my time in school. These ses-
        a unique flair and style as new  munities. The joy we get from  guidelines set forth by Governor  sions of ritual, study and music
        residents add their talents to the  these experiences ends up mak-  Kate Brown, and weekly house  were facilitated twice alongside
        mix, says  Blue Joy  Stevens,  ing our programs better overall,  meetings allow us to address  Sonya Sanford, a local  chef
        who, like  Shoshana,  moved  because we have our hands on  concerns as they come up,” says  who did several recipe demos.”
        into Portland’s house during the  the pulse of our communities.”   Blue. “We will be introducing   To join this fun-loving group
        pandemic.                    Residents and participants do  in-person programming in safe,  of residents, apply at  moishe-
         Blue  and Shoshana  joined  not need to have strong Jewish  open-air environments accord-
        three residents striving to tackle  connections.       ing to house comfort levels as   For questions, email  jake.
        the issue of sustaining commu-  “As someone who did not  we are able to do so.”
        “Parenting unvaccinated kids”                 Rachel’s Well offers guide training for volunteers
        recording now available online
                                                       Rachel’s Well Community Mikvah  as desired or needed by the guest.
         On May 27, the Jewish Federation of Greater Port-  is recruiting guides of all genders.   Guides are  trained  in  the  practical
        land and PJ Library hosted a facilitated talk, “Parent-  A mikvah is a Jewish ritual pool  and spiritual aspects of mikvah.
        ing Unvaccinated Kids in a Post-Vaccinated World.”  used for traditional and contempo-  Rachel’s Well strives to truly be a
         “It was a great opportunity to hear directly from   rary observances marking a transition  “mikvah for all,” so it is important
        a local-area pediatrician  on what exactly  families   from one personal state to another.  the cadre of guides reflects that diver-
        can feel comfortable doing or not before kids can be   Traditional uses include conversion  sity. A training will be held this sum-
        vaccinated,” says Rachel Nelson, JFGP Director of   and  pre-wedding.  A  contemporary  mer for qualified applicants. Apply:
        Educational Initiatives & Intergroup Outreach. “We   immersion may be to mark a person-
        also had the opportunity to hear about the mental   al milestone, such as coming out or  Contact  Caron Blau  Rothstein,
        health effects of re-integration for our kiddos and,   graduating college.  or 503-
        more importantly, for the grownups!”           Volunteer guides “attend” a person  245-6449, with questions.
         The session was recorded and can be viewed at   of the same gender identity who is   To learn more about Rachel’s Well   immersing, providing as little or as  for your life transition, visit  www.
        a-post-vaccine-world. For questions, contact Rachel   much guidance  in the experience
        at 503-892-7415 or
                                                                                              Jewish Review June 9, 2021   5
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