Moishe House (MoHo) Dallas programs flourish
Photos: Courtesy MOHO Dallas
Front to back, Hadar Bernstein, Sammy Weyser and Spencer Silansky and Moishe House friends participated in Temple Emanu-El’s event to experience the solar eclipse, April 8, 2024.

New residence near Lower Greenville

By Deb Silverthorn

There’s a beautiful new mezuzah hanging in the Lower Greenville area. Hadar Bernstein, Spencer Silansky and Sammy Weyser have moved in, creating the area’s newest Moishe House (MoHo) location. Roommates since January, the trio is thriving as they build their home and bring in community through heritage, fun and connections.

MoHo Dallas’ next event, its third this month, will be a Jewish learning discussion with Temple Emanu-El’s Rabbi Michael Lewis on Wednesday, May 29. Time and address information will be posted to the MoHo Dallas Facebook and Instagram accounts closer to the date. Earlier in May, participants enjoyed a karaoke night and disc golf.

“Our Moishe House is located very close to where so many young Jewish people are living. It’s around great restaurants, bars and other locations to get together,” said Weyser. “We’re having a great time opening our doors for organized events and also to have people come over to just hang out.

“The rooftop deck can’t be beat, our neighbors are wonderful and it’s just the perfect spot,” he added.

In the last four months, the Dallas Moishe House has hosted a Cinco De Mayo Margarita Mixer, arts and crafts nights, movie screenings, a Super Bowl party and even a Bar Mitzvahversary party to celebrate 13 years since Weyser’s own simcha. They also attended a Stars hockey game. With Intown Chabad, Olami, Temple Emanu-El and the YAD division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, MoHo has already enjoyed a Purim party, experienced the eclipse and shared Shabbat meals. More events with these fellow young adult organizations are in the planning stages.

The residents participated in the 2024 Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off. Volunteer opportunities have led the Moishe House crew and friends to support Austin Street Center; CHAI Community Homes for Adults, Inc.; and more.

Weyser, the son of Joan and Marc, is a BBYO Brandeis chapter and Akiba Yavneh Academy alumnus who went on to The University of Texas at Austin. At UT, he’d participate in both Chabad and Hillel events. After graduation, he worked for a year in New York and then returned to Dallas. He is the event coordinator at Temple Emanu-El.

“I came back to Dallas because I missed my community very much, my Jewish connections, and now I have them in every way,” he said. “We have lots of people that we’ve known growing up coming to the events but I’m meeting so many new people too. It’s great!”

With locations in Dallas, Houston and Austin, there are 105 MoHos, or Moishe Houses and Moishe Pods, in more than 25 countries. In each location, between two and five Jewish young adults live together and host programs in exchange for subsidized rent and a programming budget.

Dallas’ Moishe House has hosted a Cinco De Mayo Margarita Mixer, arts and crafts nights, movie screenings, a Bar Mitzvahversary, a Super Bowl party and more.

“Sammy, Hadar and Spencer are an awesome team. We’re so glad they’re bringing so much to the young people’s community of Dallas,” said Josh Minzer, MoHo West Coast community manager, who also oversees the Dallas and Houston sites. “Having grown up in Dallas, these three have great lifelong relationships and connections to community partners. I look forward to coming out and meeting them in-person and seeing firsthand what’s got more than 100 people coming out to their events.”

Silansky, the son of Peta and Gary, was a member of BBYO’s Berger chapter and graduated from Shelton School and the University of North Texas. He has previously worked in theater and hospitality and is hoping to transition into a career as an event or volunteer coordinator.

“I had a friend in the previous Dallas Moishe House and only knew great things about it,” he said. “The three of us sit down once a month or so and plan out the activities. We really work well together. It’s not ‘work,’ but really a lot of fun in both the planning and carrying out of whatever the activity is. We get along great as roommates and I’m really enjoying everything about it.”

Bernstein, the daughter of Ora and Evan, was living in McKinney and working from home when she heard about MoHo. The former BBYO Weinstein and Congregation Anshai Torah’s USY chapter alumna spent part of her high school experience in Israel and then graduated as a homeschooled student. She earned a degree in sociology from The University of Texas at Dallas and is a case manager with LifePath Systems.

“I was so disconnected from young people and really excited when I heard about the opportunity. A friend was living in a Nashville MoHo so I knew about the program,” she said.

“I love being able to cultivate community and to balance religion, social and giving time and energy to organizations,” added Bernstein. “That we can have an idea — something just for fun or as a tikkun olam or mitzvah project — and be able to run with it is great. The three of us were definitely meant to be together and to bring our community together too.”

For information or a calendar of events, visit the MoHo Dallas Facebook page, MoHo Dallas, or on Instagram
@moishehousedallas.

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