Moishe House, the international nonprofit organization composed of a collection of homes that serve as hubs for the young adult Jewish community, has opened its third house in Atlanta and 100th overall.
The new location, which is in Buckhead near Phipps Plaza, hosted a small ceremony to hang a mezuzah and officially open the house Thursday, April 6, with help from Chabad Intown Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman.
“We are thrilled to be opening our 100th Moishe House,” said David Cygielman, the founder and CEO of the organization. “This historic milestone shows just how empowered young adults have changed the face of post-college Jewish life over the last 10 years. But even more important than this number are the hundreds of residents and tens of thousands of participants whose Jewish lives have been enriched by opening their homes and creating their own innovative programming.”
Each house is home to three to five Jews ages 22 to 30 who have outreach and networking skills. In exchange for subsidized living in a desirable location with a highly social atmosphere, residents plan, publicize and host monthly religious, social, educational, cultural and community service programs.
The Buckhead house has three residents: Aviva Leigh, Matt Spruchman and Cassidy Artz, all of whom are transplants from other cities. The three have agreed to make inclusivity the top priority of their house.
“Buckhead is probably the hottest area in Atlanta right now,” Spruchman said. “A lot of young professionals live here, and it makes sense to have a house in this area. None of us are Atlanta natives, and we came here without knowing many people. So we want to cater programming to people who maybe came here for a job and are looking to make new friends.”
“Especially if you are new to a city and you don’t know anyone,” Artz said. “Being able to preach this idea of inclusivity is an important value to all of us.”
“Atlanta is a growing city with tremendous opportunity for young professionals and graduate students,” Cygielman said. “With the city continuing to expand, there are several unique neighborhoods and Jewish demographic populations that serve large numbers of young Jewish adults that we aim to reach.”
Cygielman said there are plans for a fourth house in Atlanta and for a full-time regional manager to support houses in the Southeast. He said more houses are possible in Atlanta because of Moishe House’s strong partnerships with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and the Marcus Foundation and with individual supporters.
From: Dallas, Texas
Alma mater: University of Texas, Austin
Came to Atlanta: For a job in IT
Hobbies: Watching sports, playing guitar and binging Netflix
“My first few months in Atlanta were hard. I’ve never had to go out of my way to make friends. These young professionals programs like Moishe House are the way I know people, and it’s how I met Cassidy and Aviva.”
From: Clearwater, Fla.
Alma mater: Indiana University
Came to Atlanta: For an acting career in the booming film industry
Hobbies: Volunteering, getting involved in activism and playing keyboard
“Coming to Atlanta has been the smartest risk I’ve ever taken. I love it here. At Moishe House, it’s so exciting to make a meaningful contribution. Now I feel more satisfied with how I’m impacting the people here and also meeting new people in the Jewish community.”
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Alma mater: Northwestern University
Came to Atlanta: To study at Emory (candidate for a master of public health degree this year)
Hobbies: Traveling, scuba diving and fly-fishing
“I will do almost anything to go anywhere. I love the idea of seeing how different people live their lives, and I gain so much from the fact they see the world differently than me.”