About 25 people from Congregation Sinai in Fox Point and Emet veShalom in Nahariya, Israel, are connecting on a monthly basis through Zoom to discuss coping with uncertainty.
The group reads and discusses, in English, Jewish texts relating to the theme “ ‘I just don’t know!’ – Dealing with (and Embracing) Uncertainty.”
In addition to sharing their interpretations of Jewish texts, participants have also gotten to know each other on a personal level, said Rabbi David Cohen, who leads the group.
“A goal of the class was to have Jews in Israel and Jews in Milwaukee forge a connection,” Cohen said. “We’ve tried to gain some understanding of each other’s lives.”
The group has discussed topics from the pandemic, to politics, to antisemitism, Cohen said.
In January, the group changed the usual structure of their call for one of the members of Emet veShalom to share her experience going blind. It was the first time she had spoken about it in English.
“There’s a certain amount of trust that’s built up in the group,” Cohen said. “It was really moving.”
Congregation Sinai has had a relationship with Emet veShalom for about 23 years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that they had the momentum to create an online discussion group, Cohen said. They’ve been meeting monthly since December.
“This is the first time we’ve taken full advantage of what technology affords,” Cohen said. “People are very much enjoying it.”
The group is free for members of Congregation Sinai.