Grantee Profile: Moishe House

Providing meaningful Jewish experiences for young adults

What do you get when you take a half dozen Jewish twenty-somethings, put them in a house together, subsidize a substantial portion of their rent, and have them throw seven community-wide events every month? No, it’s not a reality show. It’s Moishe House, which for eight years has been providing meaningful Jewish experiences for Jewish young adults around the world: literally from the Bay Area to Beijing.

“It’s been life changing for me,” says Jeremy Shuback, an animation producer at G-dcast, and one of the chosen five residents in the San Francisco House, located in the city’s Western Addition, near just about everything. “All five of us get along really well. And we have to because we’re not only living together, we’re working together pretty much all the time.”

Jeremy (left), and fellow Moishe House San Francisco residents

That work consists of everything from hosting non-denominational Shabbat dinners in their home to renting out huge venues such as The Center SF, where they collaborated with other Northern California Moishe Houses (Including San Francisco’s Russian House) to put on a Valentine’s Day party for over 200 people.

“We’ve got range,” says Jeremy. “I mean, we do everything from more traditionally religious events to hosting guest speakers to community service to having an open-to-the public brunch with live bands as the Bay to Breakers race passed by our house.”

Moishe House San Francisco hosts a Murder Mystery Shabbat, March 2013

Indeed, their offerings are diverse. A quick perusal of their online calendar reveals events ranging from a rabbi’s lecture on interfaith dating to a cooking class to a come-one-come-all bike ride to the beach.  

By connecting Jewish young adults in significant ways and providing low-barrier access to the larger Jewish community, Moishe House has been reaching a substantially wider audience than a typical institutional setting could. In fact, since its founding by David Cygielman in 2006, 63 Moishe Houses have opened in 14 countries attracting over 80,000 event attendees per year. As Jeremy and his roommates can attest, through Moishe House’s unique peer-led programs, formerly disconnected and disinterested participants are becoming active in their communities and creating an environment where even more young Jewish leaders can grow and flourish.

“And by the way, there is no way this could happen without the Federation’s support. Words can’t describe how important they’ve been to us,” notes Jeremy.

Ultimately, the goal is to support leaders in their 20s as they create vibrant home-based Jewish communities for themselves and their peers. “The idea is not to tell people ‘this is how to be Jewish,’” adds Jeremy. “The idea is to have a good time being with each other; whether it’s more religious in nature or community service-related, or just a get together. We bring people together, and that’s what makes it so important to me and, I think, to our community.”

Our Federation is proud to count Moishe House as one of our community partners. For more information, visit their website at or check them out on Facebook.


August 28, 2014


Jon Moskin