Schusterman and Jim Joseph Foundations: Propelling Moishe House to The Next Level

Moishe House, a network of 25 homes throughout the world that serve as grassroots community centers for the young adult Jewish community ages 21-30, announced yesterday that they have received a four-year $1.25 million grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF). This funding, along with a grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (CLSFF) made in September, 2008 will be used to enhance Moishe House’s core operations, expand its reach to a total of 34 cities over the next four years, and hire a full-time Jewish educator to support house residents.

Unlike the many Jewish organizations who struggle in their efforts to draw 20-somethings into leadership roles, Moishe House describes their major challenge with this age cohort to be keeping up with the demand. “We receive new applications each week from passionate young Jewish adults wanting to open Moishe Houses in their cities” explained David Cygielman, Moishe House’s executive director. “Our experience with this age group is that they are excited about the opportunity to create Jewish communities for themselves and their peers.”

With its program thriving and its business model now proven, Moishe House has devoted recent attention towards finding national and local funders who can help sustain and grow the organization. Major grants from the Jim Joseph and Schusterman Foundations will provide both stability and credibility as Moishe House moves into its next phase of growth and works to solidify its long-term local and national support over the next four years.

“Since our initial support of Moishe House in 2006, the program has reached tens of thousands of young adults around the world,” shared Lynn Schusterman, Chair, CLSFF. “We are proud to be leading supporters of new innovative and grassroots programs. Moishe House more than fits this description. I hope that others will support such worthy causes as Moishe House.”

“The Jim Joseph Foundation is pleased to join our friends at the Schusterman Foundation in funding Moishe House’s innovative approach to engaging Jewish twenty-somethings,” explained Al Levitt, president of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “By supporting young adults to build Jewish community with their peers, Moishe House taps into this generation’s enthusiasm to define for themselves what it means to live a vibrant Jewish life. The Jim Joseph Foundation believes that this multi-year grant will enable Moishe House to build a sustainable organization committed to building Jewish community and fostering Jewish educational experiences for Jewish young adults for many years to come.”

“We could not have asked for better partners than the Schusterman and Jim Joseph foundations,” said Cygielman. “Not only are they incredibly generous, but they are helping us contact other potential donors and partners, as well as spread the word about what we are doing for young Jewish adults throughout the world.”

Over the past year Moishe House has also received generous national support from several other leading foundations including Righteous Persons Foundation, Avi Chai, and Genesis Philanthropy Project. This support enabled the network of Moishe Houses around the world to have their most successful year ever in 2008, hosting over 2,000 programs and attracting more than 39,000 young Jewish adults.

Moishe House already has plans to open five additional houses in the next two months in Los Angeles, Orange County, Kansas City, Budapest and Rio De Janeiro.

“This multi-year support is absolutely what we need right now. It positions us to focus on our next step of building long-term funding for our national office and connecting each of our houses with local philanthropists.” said Cygielman. With local sponsors such as the Rubin, Schultz and Morton Meyerson Family Foundations sponsoring houses in St. Louis, Dallas and New Orleans, Moishe House is on its way to making this a reality.

For more information visit the Moishe House Website.