FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2010
Rebecca Karp, Moishe House - (609) 848-8228, Rebecca.Karp@moishehouse.org
Emily Comisar, Birthright Israel NEXT - (646) 833-1359 Emily.Comisar@birthrightisraelnext.org
BIRTHRIGHT ISRAEL NEXT AND MOISHE HOUSE ENTER INTO NATIONAL SHABBAT PARTNERSHIP
Oakland, CA and New York, NY - Moishe House and Birthright Israel NEXT, leading organizations in Jewish young adult engagement, announced today that they are joining forces to bring the successful Birthright Israel NEXT Shabbat program to the 20 U.S.-based Moishe Houses.
“With over 70,000 participants, The Birthright Israel NEXT Shabbat program has provided funding, education, and training to Birthright Israel trip alumni, resulting in nearly 8,000 peer-led Shabbat meals since the program’s inception 18 months ago,” said Birthright Israel NEXT CEO Morlie Levin. “Our partnership will enhance Moishe House's existing Shabbat program with educational resources and training for hosts, and is an example of the kind of collaboration we would like to be involved in as NEXT scales up its educational platform.”
“Shabbat meals at Moishe House gave young adults who were disconnected from Jewish life a chance to experience and connect with a warm and inviting Jewish community. By working with Birthright Israel NEXT to give Moishe House residents access to NEXT’s top educators and innovative training, we are continuing to support their work of making these Shabbat meals an entry-point for Jewish learning,” noted Moishe House CEO, David Cygielman.
According to both Birthright Israel NEXT and Moishe House a growing movement of young adults is interested in learning about and celebrating Shabbat. This reflects what each organization believes is an expression of young adults’ desire to build community even as this generation moves through what many refer to as “odyssey years” (the extended post college, pre-marriage years). Data from the NEXT Shabbat program shows, for example, that 73% of NEXT Shabbat meals were attended by guests who had never experienced a home-based Shabbat meal before.
“Moishe House and Birthright Israel NEXT independently create Shabbat experiences for young Jewish adults,” added Al Levitt, Chairman of the Jim Joseph Foundation, which funds both organizations. “Collaborating to express the shared values of Shabbat, hospitality and home-based rituals is a natural synergy. We are excited to build on this partnership and others over time, as we move forward learning from and serving this important constituency.”
Visit www.birthrightisraelnext.org/moishehouse to learn more about the Moishe House NEXT Shabbat program.
About Moishe House
Moishe House is an international organization providing meaningful Jewish experiences to young adults in their twenties. The innovative model trains, supports and sponsors young Jewish leaders as they create vibrant home-based communities for their peers.
About Birthright Israel NEXT
Birthright Israel NEXT inspires Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants and their peers to expand their connections to the land and people of Israel, to deepen their personal commitments to Jewish life, and to find or form a community where Jewish responsibility, learning, and celebration thrive.