The Great Schmooze

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Connect, Share, Imagine, Laugh!

As the Coronavirus requires us to stay apart, the Workers Circle has created a program called the Great Schmooze to help our members connect by phone, while staying safe at home!

The Great Schmooze 1There’s nothing like stories to bring us all closer together (even through social distancing!) and remind us of the things that matter. That’s what the Great Schmooze is all about – building community by connecting with each other and sharing our stories.

The Great Schmooze will bring us together, over the phone and online, across the generations, bridging our physical distance with the warmth of human community.

In the coming weeks, we will be training students, members, and friends to make calls and reach out to members who have let us know they’d like to receive a call and to share some stories. We’ll soon launch the Great Schmooze private Facebook page where people will have the chance to connect and share stories with each other. We will share the stories that make us laugh, that bring us joy, and inspire us all. And, of course, we’ll kvetch a little! 

Check out this blog by Ben Raab, Workers Circle High School Intern, on his experience with the Great Schmooze.

Here is what people are saying about their “Schmoozes”:

“Had the most fabulous conversation with my Schmooze partner. I found her to be fascinating.  Thank you for making this connection.” -Marcy K

“I just got off the phone from another enjoyable conversation with G. It’s really fun speaking with her, and she really appreciates the calls. I’m hoping we can do it again next week.” -Henry A.

“Great call with B. Great shidduch. So grateful for this connection.” – Pamela C.

“Thanks to the Workers Circle for all you are doing through The Great Schmooze! I want you to know what a sweet mench H seems to be and how much I enjoyed our wide-ranging schmooze. “ -Shirley F.

Here is a gut geshmak (a good taste) of some of the stories we heard during our Schmoozes:

“My first Passover with my wife’s Litvak family was most memorable. They came to our apartment to prepare the meal for the Seder. I went to the bathroom and found a live fish in the bathtub that would soon become Gefilte fish for our dinner!” – Sam D.

“My father was one of 5 brothers but the first one born here in America. His family called him “The Yankee” of the family.  They were part of the Galveston project and moved to Kansas City and several other southern cities before settling on the Lower East Side.” -Henry A.

“I lived in the Amalgamated, the first co-op in the country. We called it the ‘coop!’ It was a wonderful community where everyone knew everyone else.  You had at least a dozen mothers that looked out for you. Everyone spoke Yiddish and some Russian too. There was a Workers Circle Nursery school in the building which my siblings and I attended.” -Eve M 

“I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin with a small, closely knit Jewish community. Even though we were so small we had 2 synagogues. Like most Jewish families there, we belonged to both. It’s like the town that only had 1 lawyer who had no business but when another lawyer moved to town they were both busy!” -Gerald L. 

Click here to sign up to make calls in the Great Schmooze
Click here to receive a call during the Great Schmooze

Want to learn more? Drop a line to info@circle.org.

This program is free, but if you are able,
please donate to support our administration of this program.