Mosaic has been a part of my world for 10+ years. I've made new friends, met my husband, traveled, learned new skills and simply had a blast.
Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America is a rare find - an all volunteer-run international organization dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation of the outdoors and building outdoor and conservation skills among the Jewish community. For more than a decade I have been involved in leading trips, running my state-wide club and helping to plan international excursions that bring together a great group of people -- all of whom share interests in the natural world and to building a vibrant Jewish community of outdoor enthusiasts.
I am the activities director for the New York club. I have been active the last few years. I went on the trip to Yellowstone and it was one of the best trips that I had in my life. I also have found that I have made some very good friends through the organization. I enjoy going to the National event that is held each Labor Day weekend. This is a great group for people who enjoy the outdoors and want to meet other like minded people. Their are few other groups that serve this purpose, especially in the Jewish contexts.
I am currently the president of Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America - Even though I’m in Canada! Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America (MOCA) is the umbrella organization – to numerous local Mosaic clubs in Canada, USA and Israel. I got involved in my local club about 10 years ago, and have been on the board of either my local club (Ontario) or the umbrella organization (MOCA) most of the time since. I have enjoyed numerous outdoor activities in the company of other mosaicers. The canoe program – just one aspect of the Ontario club - has been fabulous, and enabled me to not only experience nature on back country canoe trips, but has also enabled me to complete training and become a qualified canoe trip leader. I hope to be able to pass along appreciation and respect for nature that I have learned. I hope for and look forward to more leadership development and environmental education programming in Mosaic at all levels. I have learned so much about leadership, from others and from my own experiences. These lessons have benefited Mosaic and other board I serve on. I have met so many fabulous people through this organization! I have traveled to other cities to meet up with Mosaic friends, and have taken all sorts of vacations with Mosaic friends. By far most of my friendships now can be traced one way or another to either the local mosaic club or the international organization. This is where I make Jewish friends. This is where I find like-minded people. Jewish friends who enjoy the outdoors- bonus! I see that for many, this is their only Jewish connection. I would love for MOCA and the local clubs to be able to develop their leadership capacity. This would serve to strengthen the fabric of Mosaic, but also would ultimately serve so many other Jewish organizations as Mosaicers take their skills to other organizations as well. Getting Jewish Adults – and occasionally families – together for shared outdoor recreational experiences is the key to building Jewish friendships, and strengthening both Jewish identification and greater environmental awareness. Not to mention plain old fun! Sadly, too many clubs falter after the first or second "generation" of leaders move on. Those who are left to lead inherit a more established club than they know how to run.
I have been a member of the Mosaic Outdoor Club of Greater Los Angeles for about 10 years. I started as a participant, and then I started helping out here and there and eventually was elected to the Board. In am currently the Outings Chair and PR/Marketing person. Through my involvement with the LA Club, I started getting exposed to the National organization. Last November I attended a Leadership Development Retreat in the Rocky Mountains National Park. I left with a great amount of insight, many new friends and brought great energy back to my local club. This past Labor Day Weekend Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America held their Annual International Event in Los Angeles and I became a Co-Chair of that Event. That was my FIRST Annual International Event that I had EVER attended, much less planned and/or lead! It was an AMAZING, once in a life time experience! The people I met and the friendships I formed, the activities I participated in, the things I learned in the various workshops, and the way I grew as a community leader, they have all impacted my life in ways I cannot even begin to describe! Not only did I meet new people and make new friends, but I got reconnected with LA folks I have lost touch with and more amazingly, I got reconnected with a good friend from College whom I lost track of for the past 20 years. Being part of the Annual Event was such a positive, wonderful experience and SO much Fun, that I volunteered to Co-Chair the 2010 event as well! Being part of the Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America and the local LA Club has enriched my life in so many ways... I am so much better of being part of this organization than I ever was before! I STRONGLY recommend it to anyone who is a Jewish Outdoors Enthusiast and/or who simply wants to meet some quality people and form life long friendships, even marriages!
In 1991, I noticed an article about an outdoor Jewish group in the local Jewish newspaper. At that time, I was recently single after 33 years of marriage, two children, two grandchildren and no one I knew was interested in outdoor activities. For the past 18 years, I have spent many, many Sundays and weekends meeting Jewish people who have enriched my life, become my friends, and my support. The present leadership of MOCA is extremely talented and has the ability to lead the organization forward with new ideas. Bringing younger people with fresh enthusiasm is just one goal. Increasing leadership knowledge and skill is critical to our future. The past leadership retreats which brought professional people together with our leaders went a long way toward both goals. I participated in both the FL Everglade training and the Rocky Mountain National Park training events. Both times I left with a a huge amount of insight, many new friends who remain a part of my life and brought great energy home to my local group. As an elder of the organization both in age and experience, I serve on the local board and in a leadership role for activities. My life is richer due to my involvement with both MOCA and MOSAICGA.
I've been a member of the local club in Georgia since 1995 and before that the Philadelphia club. I've been attending the National Event every year since 1998. My closest friends I've met through Mosaic. Not only in Georgia but I have good friends all over. Great organization.