Our Partners Reflect

David Cygielman, CEO Moishe House

“From one house in Oakland, we grew into the largest organization serving young Jewish adults.”

“I believe our work is so important because before Moishe House, there were no Jewish organizations that exclusively served the population of young adults after college and pre-family.

“For many, that period can last up to a decade and often people fall out of Jewish life. The programs we create, from Shabbat dinners to movie nights to clothing exchanges, have created a real, authentic community across 14 countries.

“In 2006, we had grown to 20 Moishe Houses around the world and were about to expand to five more when we had our first—and greatest—existential crisis. Our funding dried up almost overnight, and we faced imminent closure. Within two weeks, we went from a thriving organization to one that was about to go out of business.

“At the time, I was in Israel as part of a gathering the Schusterman Foundation put together for executive directors of various organizations it supports. I was 24-years-old, and the organization I was there to represent was collapsing. I felt completely out of my league at the table.

“But then I had an opportunity to sit with Lynn Schusterman. I told her what was going on, and she put her hand on my shoulder and said, ‘I've got your back.’ Sure enough, she did. The Foundation provided funding that saved us and allowed us to get back on our feet and thrive again.

“Since then our partnership has grown beyond financial investment. They have invested in me as a person, providing professional development and networking opportunities that have been tremendously empowering. My entire Jewish network has been built through the Schusterman Foundation.

“Even more, in becoming a core supporter and advocate, they have also paved the way for other philanthropists to feel confident in our mission. Through our partnership, they have allowed Moishe House to create a stronger organizational structure and, in turn, contribute to creating a stronger Jewish community.

Read more about our work in Jewish Community