YACHAD & Chavurah Testimonials

Israeli Television and Drama

Our first YACHAD group began when Randy Samborn, Dan Sher, Neil Rosengard, Scott Rogoff, Howard Freidin, Larry Levin, and Howard Jacob discovered their mutual love of Israeli Drama Fauda that was running on Netflix. As Randy noted, “For me and I think some others, our wives didn’t watch (maybe because of the violence) so we didn’t have anyone to discuss the shows with and these are shows that provoke reaction, questions, and
discussion about their stories. Our group discussions have certainly brought us closer together as a result of spending more time together and also sharing our enjoyment of Israeli television set against both the fiction and reality of national security, counterterrorism, and espionage.” The group began watching Tehran and Hit and Run as well.

“All of us knew one another from Men’s Club and other synagogue activities,” noted Dan. “But, the additional engagement discussing the shows has fostered stronger and more meaningful relationships such as sharing family milestones etc. Anytime one can walk into CBS and feel more comfortable because they know a few more congregants as friends as opposed to acquaintances is a good thing,” Dan concluded.

(L-R): Howard Jacob, Neil Rosengard, Randy Samborn
(Not pictured):  Howard Freidin, Larry Levin, Scott Rogoff & Dan Sher

Shmoozin with Susan

“Shmoozin With Susan” is one of our most active YACHAD groups. Initially formed during COVID, these seven women – Debbie Friend, Sue Lampert, Susan Stoehr, Myra Holman, Sandy Koenig, Sharon Schwartz, and Samantha Seidenberg, who did not know each other but for this group, have formed an amazingly close bond. The group meets every four to six weeks to – well, schmooze!  At first, they met by Zoom, and then met outdoors, finally moving inside and closer together.

When they first got together, they did not know each other. Their meetings began with a “prompt” question to start the discussion, and it quickly took off from there. The members have become close friends who discuss everything and anything from holidays to life celebrations, to marriage and children. It has become quite personal. Myra Holman told us that she considers the group a community of friends that she would otherwise have never met. Sandy Koenig had a similar experience. Sandy said that before she joined the group, she only knew her relatives at CBS. Now, she has a group of people that she considers very close friends at Beth Shalom. Sandy believes that this group, “saved her” after coming here from Northwest Suburban Jewish Congregation because it introduced her to a world of wonderful people her own age.

Membership in this particular YACHAD group is closed. We’re here to help you start your own Shmoozin Group.

Left to right:  Debbie Friend, Sue Lampert, Susan Stoehr, Myra Holman, and Sandy Koenig.
Not pictured:  Sharon Schwartz, Samantha Seidenberg