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‘We’re experimenting:’ Milwaukee-area Jewish synagogues move religious services online

Milwaukee-area Jewish synagogues move religious services online

FOX POINT — With the parking lot empty, Congregation Shalom members still tuned into services — with the click of a mouse, and touch of a keyboard.

“We’re experimenting with all these different types of ways of gathering online,” Rabbi Noah Chertkoff said.

Rabbi Noah Chertkoff

Rabbi Noah Chertkoff

An effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 moved religions services online — something Rabbi Chertkoff at Congregation Shalom in Fox Point called an experiment.

“We’re learning how to integrate all of our ways of being able to speak to our congregation, as well as having our congregants assemble,” Rabbi Chertkoff said.

From services, to classes, and religious school, leaders at Jewish synagogues in the Milwaukee area have discovered ways to bring people together virtually.

Deborah Martin

Deborah Martin

“We miss the contact, personally, but you can really do everything and get the same feelings by seeing someone’s face on Zoom as you can in person,” said Deborah Martin of Congregation Emanu-El of Waukesha.

The biggest challenge for some has been getting people acclimated to the technology, and, of course, missing that person-to-person contact.

“It’s hard to understand how important those moments of human kindness and interaction really do speak to the spirit, and I think people are missing that,” Rabbi Chertkoff said.

With virtual services the new reality — Martin said she’s grateful for technology.

“We still have Facebook, and Zoom, and phones, and we can still be with each other, even if it’s not in person,” Martin said.

Congregation Shalom

Congregation Shalom

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