With what is typically a big event of around 500 in-person attendees, Park Synagogue’s annual Shavuot study sessions are going virtual this year.

Hosted by Senior Rabbi Joshua Skoff, two study sessions will be held May 28 via Zoom and will discuss leadership, the coronavirus pandemic and how those ideas intersect in the local community.

From 7 to 8:20 p.m., the first session will feature David Makovsky, Middle East scholar and the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations, who is also an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at John Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He will speak about “Peace Treaties, Wars and COVID-19: How Do Leaders Make Decisions.”

From 8:20 to 9 p.m., the second session will feature Udi Sportas, congregant and local nurse, on “Living With and Recovering From the Coronavirus.” Sportas was diagnosed with COVID-19 and just returned to work this week.

“The first one obviously has an aspect of leadership and making choices, and will also have a little bit on the coronavirus as well and how leaders make decisions – picking a couple of current issues and predicting what certain past leaders would’ve done in this crisis as well as other crises going on,” Skoff said. “The second segment is about someone dealing with it in the flesh. I would say it’s an evening of knowledge of the head and the heart. I thought this year would be good to have a scholar in the academic sense, and then something more up close and personal.”

Participants can log on to the study sessions at us02web.zoom.us/j/81974974229.

Park Synagogue is in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike.

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