by Roey Kruvi, Senior Director of Immersive Experiences at Moishe House

‘I miss my office.’ A phrase I never thought I would say. But here we are, six weeks into a lockdown, and the truth is…I miss my office. 

The Hive is such an incredible place to meet people, connect, and collaborate on projects. Sounds kitschy – but it’s true. Walk through the Hive on any given day and you will hear the most random and fascinating conversations happening in the same room. I miss these interactions and am working hard to figure out how to support my peers who are also seeking these interactions through my current work.

My job at Moishe House, an organization that empowers Jewish young adults to create Jewish communities in their own terms, is all about connecting people. My team and I are constantly designing new immersive experiences that engage our communities in relevant Jewish learning. And now those experiences must be virtual. But how do we create meaningful connections in isolation?

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Design a themed Shabbat dinner with your friends, jump on zoom and share what dishes each household created!
  2. Schedule a zoom game night after attending Hivedalah together – I recommend Quiplash, Scattegories or Drawful
  3. Start up snail mail again between you and your friends. Remember Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? 😉 How about a traveling letter that each person keeps adding onto?
  4. Call a mentor/teacher you have not spoken to in a while.

Or check out what Moishe House is up to! My team just launched a new program for people to connect across the world through a fun competition. Some of the tactics we used to design it might inspire your own connection.

Introducing……Expedition Nai: the world’s largest virtual color war. We are going to connect thousands of Jews from around the world as they give a front row seat to their lives in lockdown. Shabbats, Shavuot, Birthdays, Mother’s Day – Expedition Nai will be a way to celebrate it all – with the fun, silliness, and joy that we can all use right now. 

Jewish summer camps around the world hold an annual color war as an expression of creative community – as a way to compete with our friends in games that highlight our uniqueness and talent. We believe now more than ever, that challenging one another to create funny videos, reinvent Jewish rituals, and make an impact on the world however we can is a crucial way for us to stay connected and present in each other’s lives.

Registration for the game is free and open to everyone – I know the Hive staff team plans on playing – will we see you out there? Seriously, anyone 18 years and older is welcome and eligible to win a grand prize valued at $2,000! 

Challenges are a mix of creative tasks (home fashion show, anyone?), do-good activities (when’s the last time you wrote an actual letter?) and, of course, Jewish rituals (how are you counting the Omer?), designed to get you out of your quarantine routine to do something fun and different, as often as you’d like, on your own terms.

We may not be able to meet in person, but we can continue to celebrate the best of our community. What better way to do that than with funny videos, inspiring acts of kindness, and dedicated time laughing with the people we love? Hope to see you on the Expedition! 

Roey Kruvi is the Senior Director of Immersive Experiences and is the creator of Peer Led Retreats, Camp Nai Nai Nai, and Moishe Pods.