Renewal of Jewish Life
Our work with Moishe House came out of our work on behalf of Jews in the old Soviet Union.
For those new to it, a Moishe House is a place where young adult Jews — typically in their 20s and out of school — can meet up and create dynamic Jewish communities. Moishe House was founded when a recent college graduate, David Cygielman, found no place for Jews in their 20s to congregate as Jews. So he created it. There are now more than 100 Moishe House communities in more than 25 countries around the world, each shaped by the residents who live together and host programs for their peers.
We first visited a Moishe House in Siberia. Jewish practice was made illegal under Stalin; those Jews who objected were sent to Siberia. When Hitler’s army invaded Russia from the west, many more Jews fled east. And so, between Stalin and Hitler, Siberia ended up with more than its share of Jews. So many that, prior to the rebirth of Israel in 1948, Siberia was considered a site for the Jewish homeland. Siberia still has street signs in Yiddish.
Thanks to the Leifer Family Fund’s hands-on help and funding, there are now four additional Moishe House locations in and around Boston (with four more to come), and a new and growing partnership with CJP and other Jewish donors. And young Jews, coming out of school and entering the workforce, have a place just for themselves to gather as Jews, and so grow Jewish continuity.