Gabi Newman has been volunteering with Moishe House Barcelona since 2019. Gabi´s impact in Moishe House Melbourne has been outstanding, and her time at the house coincided with the finest years so far for this house which has already been operating for almost 7 years.
Thanks to her unique personality, drive, and the extensive previous experience at various communal leadership roles in tnuot noar in Melbourne, she helped the house to reach new heights providing an exceptionally open, inclusive, and highly consistently successful community.
During her time as a resident, she and her fellow housemates ran 60 programmes including Jewish learning, chagim celebrations, tikkun olam among others, attracting over 1000 peers into their home! This is quite a milestone considering the Jewish community in Barcelona, which is much smaller than Melbourne, has 10,000 people at the very max.
Also, as a resident she attended International Resident Conference with over 100 young adults from all over the world as well as several immersive Jewish Learning retreats all over Europe. Her contribution at all of these instances was always remarkable, for example in a retreat in Barcelona she created a scavenger hunt about the Jewish history of Barcelona’s ancient quarter (el Gotico).
Additionally, she put together a Tu B’Av discussion guide as a resource sheet any other Moishe House community builders to use when they create a discussion-based program for Tu B’Av.
Now it´s been around a year since Gabi decided to return home in Melbourne and ever since then she wasted no time to continue being active in her community. For example, in March 2023, she ran a Peer-led retreat (PLR) sponsored by Moishe House that she called Machanadult – Reconnecting with Judaism. This weekend long retreat took place in Rye (just outside Melbourne) and targeted 16 participants in what she calls the black hole period where young adults (25-35 years old) who were once involved with the community, whether that be youth movements or through university and then they disappear from the community until they themselves have kids.
She wanted to embrace this opportunity as way to expose them to a positive Jewish experience that is different from the norm, and hopefully reigniting some passion to involve themselves to some degree once again. Also, as someone who has been greatly impacted by her positive experience at Moishe house, Gabi felt the need of facilitating this retreat as a way of helping raise awareness about Moishe House as an organisation and opportunities this could bring for fellow young professionals in her hometown too! Now as we prepare to host our first ever Jewish Learning retreat for Australasian community builders in Melbourne (Dec 8-10) we cannot wait to have Gabi joining us back, this time in her element, to share her experience with residents from all over Australia and beyond!