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ATL’s Moishe House Without Walls

By July 22, 2021CARING, COMMUNITY, NextGen

We’ve shared stories in Fed5 about Atlanta’s four Moishe Houses (MH) where young adults live together and create meaningful, welcoming Jewish communities for themselves and their peers. Atlanta currently has Moishe Houses in Toco Hills, Virginia Highland, Buckhead, and a house for Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) young adults in Brookhaven.  

But Moishe House also impacts Atlanta through a growing network of Moishe House Without Walls (MHWOW) hosts. Here, individual hosts create Jewish experiences with support from the Moishe House organization. MHWOW hosts decide who they want to invite, where they want to host, what they want to explore in Judaism, and when they want to gather. Activities can range from Friday night Shabbat dinners, holidays, learning events, and cultural celebrations. 

In addition to MHWOW hosts in Intown Atlanta and inside the perimeter, we also now have three new MHWOW hosts in Kennesaw, Smyrna, and Cumming, thanks to the support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Making Jewish Places (MJP) microgrants initiative.  

Each host serves a different demographic and has a unique vision for their monthly MHWOW programming. programming. Additionally, an existing MHWOW host relocated from Los Angeles to Cumming in March 2021 and has been leading programming and building community.   

One host wrote about the vibrant and inclusive community she aims to create with ongoing MH support: “I want to engage with Jewish young professionals who are looking for a relaxed community of their peers. I am targeting those who may not feel comfortable joining a larger organization but want to socialize with a smaller group of friendly faces. My programming ideas are centered around the Jewish holidays, especially the lesser-known ones like Tu B’Shevat (terrarium making!), Shavuot (ice cream sundae bar!), or Tu B’Av (Galentine’s games!). For the more well-known holidayswe’ll try Sushi in the Sukkah, an interactive Seder on Passover, hamantaschen baking on Purim, a latke exchange on Hannukah, and themed Shabbat dinners.   

“My goal is to create a small but deeply connected group of openminded friends, who enjoy fun activities and celebrate Jewish holidays in a way that is meaningful to us, and to give back to our larger community through volunteering time/money.”   

In May, MHWOW host Zach Givarz took eight participants on a Shabbat weekend in the mountains. The group celebrated the beauty and love of Shabbat through food and celebrations.  

A group of women gathered, led by MHWOW host Leah Berryhill, to celebrate Shavuot and the spring harvest with roses and rosé wine. The participants made flower arrangements and took time to enjoy and connect safely outside at a local community park.  

MHWOW host Shira Colsky hosted an ice cream party with nine friends in honor of Shavuot. They discussed the history of this less-known Jewish holiday and enjoyed various homemade ice cream flavors! 

Learn more about MHWOW in our area, email: withoutwalls@moishehouse.org