The House moves to Lipa Green, Sherman Campus
I remember it like yesterday: opening the doors over 10 years ago, to the very first program at The House’s first and only location. We sat on the floor (we had no furniture) with our first group of 5 students, learning about the relevance of Jewish values in our everyday lives and how they can inspire greatness.
Founded in 2004, The House set out with a bold vision: to inspire Jewish young adults through its dynamic and creative educational programming, by fostering a deep appreciation of Jewish wisdom, values and traditions.
Fast Forward 11 years…
With over 1200 different young adults coming through our doors annually, and many who return for much more than a single experience, The House has simply outgrown its space! An amazing problem to have. As many of our events engage between 60-100 young adults, we now hold several of our programs in various trendy venues and welcoming homes throughout the city.
I must be honest, it is sad for me to leave behind the walls that housed so many memories: of inspiring events, exciting guests (Alan Dershowtiz, Natan Sharansky, Michael Oren, Col. Richard Kemp, Shmuly Boteach, Dennis Prager, to name a few), personal relationships with over 100 couples (50 of whom I officiated weddings for), and countless hours of meaningful and engaging learning. And yet, The House has since perfected its product to the point that it is able to successfully retain its warm, welcoming atmosphere through its signature style of events, inspiring ideas, and genuine environment, no matter where we go.
In addition, The House has had such success with its events and has become a powerful brand that we are looking to expand our efforts to help service the greater GTA community and the other wonderful Jewish engagement Organizations that could benefit from our expertise.
In light of our tremendous growth, and the need to help strengthen the next generation’s Jewish identity in our communities, we have decided to make this exciting, strategic move. As of July 1st, 2015, The House’s new home will be at the Lipa Green Building. This move has 3 distinct benefits:
- e are expanding efforts to use venues and homes throughout the city. This has proven to be very successful at increasing our reach, enabling us to provide programming at locations that are even more attractive and accessible to young professionals over a wider geographical range. Aside from venues, we realize there are few better ways to capture that special “warmth” inherent to The House than by organizing out of people’s homes! In light of this, over the year we have been approached by many generous House supporters who have opened their doors to host events for our young adults – most recently Gilbert and Elise Palter, Isadore and Rosalie Sharp, and Mordechai and Lindy Mandelbaum. If you are interested in helping inspire the next generation in your home, and ultimately be inspired as well, please feel free to contact me.
- The strategic potential of being positioned amongst other Jewish organizations at Lipa Green is exciting, to say the least. I have always believed deeply in the power and purpose of “the community,” and this move will allow for an even greater degree of collaboration between the various community mainstays. Our move into the community hub will enable us to grow partnerships based on impactful education with many fantastic organizations, particularly (but not limited to) Birthright, March of the Living, camping and other community lead initiatives (see Morris Zbar and Daniel Held’s welcoming words below).
- We can expand internally. What we save by eliminating overhead rent from our Eglinton location also enables us to hire two new full-time staff to further increase engagement (announcement to be made soon).
Any time one moves on, it is a great opportunity to stop and reflect on what has been achieved. Because The House is currently going through strategic planning exercises, we are envisioning exciting new horizons based on what we can achieve – not just for The House, but for the thousands of young adults and, ultimately, for our Toronto Jewish Community.
Upon reflection, one thing is crystal clear: none of our success and continued growth would be possible without you by our side along the way. I feel personally humbled by all of those who invested and believed in me and the vision when it was just an idea, and those who quickly saw the value and need for The House and gave it the support to continue to grow through the years. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you. It is humbling to have your trust, and exciting to have you as my partner.
This coming year is going to be a special one. New Staff being hired to further our impact, new board members to further our resources, new location to further our community, new initiatives to further our leadership (see “#gamechangers” below as an example), and new horizons to be reached!
Should you wish to get further involved or offer your home, have an idea that you would like to share, or be interested in some of our new sponsorship opportunities – or simply want to grab a coffee – Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. It is always a pleasure to hear from you!