By Jen Posner
Max Pollak and Mickey Rubin are friends of mine from Towson University. When they mentioned they were moving into Baltimore’s Moishe House, I really didn’t understand the concept. There was one Friday night where they were hosting a Shabbat dinner and I figured I’d go and see what it was all about. I ended up having such a great time and meeting so many nice people. I eventually started coming to more and more events and helping out if my assistance was needed. For example, I’d come over early and help former Moishe House member Andi Wagelstein prepare the food for the Shabbat dinners.
As the year progressed, Max and Mickey found out that Andi’s job was transferring her to an office in Hoboken, New Jersey. Therefore, they would need a third (female) roommate. One of the main reasons I decided living in Moishe House would be a good fit for me is because all my life, Judaism has sort of been an obligation. For example, I was obligated to attend Hebrew School and go through confirmation. Additionally, my parents keep kosher in our home. I have always been intimidated about helping out in my parents’ kitchen because I never wanted to use the milk sponge for some type of meat.
I want to be able to enjoy all aspects of the religious and cultural values and learn what being Jewish means to me. When all was said and done, it was mutually agreed upon that I was a good fit for Moishe House and as a roommate for the boys. I really enjoy seeing all the friendships Moishe House has created and maintained. People who meet at Moishe House have said there’s no other way to maintain a sense of a Jewish identity, besides going to services on Shabbat. Once becoming involved and eventually a member of Moishe House, I learned that being Jewish is more than going to Hebrew School and keeping kosher; it’s about how I choose to identify with Judaism … whether that’s through hosting Shabbat Dinners, playing Bingo with the elderly, volunteering at Ronald McDonald House, or gathering friends for a low key trivia night.