Founded in Oakland, Calif., in 2006, Moishe House is an international nonprofit organization that places three to five people (from ages 21 to 32) in a house together with the hope that their home will serve as a hub for young Jewish professionals.
Danielle Kasoff, 24, is one such person looking to make young Jewish adults feel more at home in Baltimore through event programming and open arms.
The Clarksville, Md., native lives in the new Moishe House in Canton with two other women, and though Kasoff is new to the organization, she’s already hit the ground running.
How did you get involved with Moishe House?
I’m pretty involved with the Baltimore Jewish community in general, and I heard about it through my mom who works for The Associated. She met one of the residents through her work, and they invited me to a Shabbat dinner. They told me they had an opening [in the house], and I applied. I just moved in this past week.
What has the house experience been like?
It’s been great. It’s just me and [my roommate]; our other roommate is away for January. We’re looking for another roommate to join by Feb. 1. It’s been great getting to know my roommate, and we have mutual friends. It’s a small, Jewish Baltimore world.
What are some of the events?
I’m still getting started, but we’re having a “Bachelor” premiere at the house. We promote the events on Facebook, and we have an email newsletter. We also have a bagel brunch coming up. It’ll be a meet-and-greet. People can come and see what the house looks like. We just moved from Federal Hill to Canton this summer. Some people who might have been busy this semester may not have been able to come see the new house. We typically do about two events per week. Seven events per month is what we plan for.
Are you going to have a specific set of duties within the house?
We haven’t totally established that yet, but my understanding is that we’re each going to take an event. We’ll have one event [in which] we’ll take the lead and one event [in which] we’re support. There’s definitely a lot of teamwork going on. I think all of us take initiative, and we can do it on our own. So far, it’s worked out.
What are you looking forward to the most?
I’ve been really excited to expand my Baltimore Jewish connections. I went to undergrad at Michigan and came back for grad school in Baltimore, so I don’t really know that many people anymore because they’ve moved. With grad school, I was stuck in that life so I didn’t get to meet too many new people. I think being in the house will be great for meeting even more Jewish people.
What is your Jewish background?
I was raised Reform, and I was bat mitzvahed. We were members of Temple Isaiah in Fulton, Md. My mom is actually the president now. We weren’t that involved when I was growing up, but I went to a Jewish preschool. I was involved with Hillel at Michigan, and I did the Maimonides program through the Jewish Resource Center.
What sparked your interest in Moishe House?
When I was involved with Hillel, I loved that community. I like planning events and being social. I thought, what better way to get more involved than join Moishe House. It’s also a way for me to shape how this goes: If we’re planning events, it lets us decide who we bring in and what type of activities will be going on. I want to have more of an impact on the Jewish community here.