By Sean Shapiro
Special to the TJP
It isn’t easy to create friendships and build a community as a young adult.
While many college-aged members of the Jewish community quickly find friends on campuses, those who have entered the workplace sometimes struggle to find relationships and build friendships after completing their education.
That’s something the Dallas Moishe House is working to change.
“It’s a welcoming environment, it’s a place where people can quickly get to know their community right away,” Mia Goetz said. “It’s been a great experience.”
Goetz, 23, is one of two residents at Moishe House. She and her roommate Rayanne Kruse, 27, are responsible for culturing an inviting atmosphere and hosting events for other young Jewish professionals, typically between 21 and 35, at the home in the Knox-Henderson area of Dallas.
It’s one of more than 90 Moishe Houses around the world, and the community events are open to Jews no matter how much they practice religion on a traditional basis.
“It really is open to everyone,” Goetz said.
Over the past year Moishe House events, ranging from cooking classes to happy hours, have had 1,489 people attend 69 events. It’s an average of more than 22 people per event and word-of-mouth is often the catalyst for growth.
In March, events are planned around Shabbat dinners and a Kosher Chili Cook-off, amongst other things on the community calendar shared on the Moishe House website and Facebook page.
“Our vision has always been to try and create an environment in the house that feels like everyone is at home,” Goetz said. “We’re excited about our programs and we have flexibility to really fit the needs of our community.”
Residents at the Moishe House commit to living there for at least a year and have their housing subsidized. In exchange they commit to building a community feel and it’s something that Goetz and Kruse have felt right at home with.
“There’s two of us and we are actually looking for a third resident,” Goetz said. “The house is supposed to be ever changing and flowing. So we’re trying to help develop and find new leaders and continue growing what we’re doing.”
Several local organizations and individuals also support the house, and there was an event held last month for those benefactors to see the house and the community it’s helping cultivate.
“There is something like 25 new young adults moving to Dallas every day, this is a way for us to serve that group and we get to meet the people moving to the area,” Goetz said. “It’s really been an exciting process and we’re always looking for more people to come to our events.”
Those interested in finding more about the house can go to https://www.moishehouse.org/houses/dallas.