Storytelling and A Day of Discovery

February 5, 2014

By Mona Cohen, Director of Adult Programs & Community Services

Every winter, the JCC hosts hundreds of adults from the Milwaukee Jewish community for a community wide day of FREE Jewish learning, or a Day of Discovery.  This year’s Day of Discovery on Sunday, February 16th incorporates a new and interesting way for our Milwaukee Jewish community to learn and engage.  With the help of Ex Fabula, a local storytelling group, our community will create and share our own personal stories on the subject of “home.” 

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Megan McGee, Executive Director of Ex Fabula, to learn more about what we will see at the Ex Fabula workshops and storytelling event.

Mona Cohen: Hi Megan, can you tell us a little bit more about why Ex Fabula and storytelling fit well into our Day of Discovery and specifically the theme of “home”?

Megan McGee: I would love to.  First of all, we were really excited to hear about this opportunity, because one of our main goals is to create community through stories.  I think the theme of “home” is a great one because there are so many different kinds of “homes” – somewhere far away, it could be a place where you live, or a new community you discover.  Whenever you talk about “home,” you are talking about something that is important to you, and whenever you share those stories, you feel connected to the people around you.

MC: We are so excited that you will be at the Day of Discovery.  Can you tell us a little bit more about the ways in which you will be involved that day?

MM: We will be holding two workshops in the morning hours at the Day of Discovery (10:00 AM – 10:45 AM or 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM),  which will give participants the tools they need to deliver their story of “home” at the story telling event that afternoon.   The workshops are perfect for individuals who are curious about telling their story, but might not be ready to get up on stage, and is perfect who for those who want to give storytelling a try.   Later that afternoon, we will host a storytelling event where the community is encouraged to tell their story of home.  Those who participated in the morning workshops will have the opportunity to tell their story, as well as other community members.

MC: So is this event for everyone -- not just those who are comfortable getting up in front of people and speaking?

MM: The process can be a little nerve racking for some people when you get on stage, but I have heard people describe telling a story as if they are being held in the hands of the audience.  It is truly a magical experience.  This is for everyone to try.

MC: When I brought up the subject of home to people, I already get so many different responses.  Some people thought about being around the table and having matzo ball soup, others thought about Israel, others thought about the JCC. 

MM: I am so excited to hear all of the different stories about home. Not only do the people who tell the stories have a great time, but it gives the listeners a magical moment as well. 

The entire Day of Discovery event is a great opportunity for our community to come together and experience Jewish learning. I hope to see you at the event on Sunday, February 16th. Click here for more information and to sign up for the sessions of your choice or contact me at 414-967-8249.