Prospective Berkeley Moshav members at a 2014 planning meeting. (From file)
Prospective Berkeley Moshav members at a 2014 planning meeting. (From file)

After years of planning, Jewish co-housing site to be revealed at Berkeley meeting

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The dream behind Jewish co-housing project Berkeley Moshav is finally becoming concrete: after years of planning and discussion, organizers will hold a Dec. 8 meeting to announce where the project will be built, and to let potential moshavniks know how and when they can be part of a new communal way of Jewish living in the East Bay.

Roger Studley
Roger Studley

“The idea is to recreate a neighborhood which is centered on Jewish life,” said Roger Studley, who has been helming the proposed project since its inception four years ago.

Berkeley Moshav is based on the “urban moshav” concept, taking the Israeli cooperative living model and adapting it for urban life. It will be an “intentional community,” combining private homes and public space, and open to different kinds of Jewish living. Studley said the site will be “walking distance to Beth Israel and Netivot Shalom in Berkeley.” Congregation Beth Israel is a Modern Orthodox synagogue in central Berkeley, a 15-minute walk from Conservative Netivot Shalom on University Avenue.

There are currently four families committed to the project, but Studley said there should eventually be room for 20 families or more on site. He estimates move-in will be in around 3½ years.

Now the project, which Studley said is partly financed by anonymous donors, facilitated by Hebrew Free Loan and Federation, is entering a new phase, one less of ideas than of permits, hard hats and blueprints. But it’s about more than just a place to live, said Studley.

“We want to have a community,” he said. “The co-housing movement is about community.”

The meeting announcing the site of the proposed Berkeley Moshav takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 at Congregation Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley. Kosher food and child care available. RSVP here.

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.