Trude Reiser (Dunlap, IL) & Guttie Augenstein (Brooklyn, NY)
One of the incredible aspects of Partners in Torah’s participants is that they come from all over the world. It’s humbling to hear how people in remote Jewish communities can find connection through their involvement with a partner.
One example is Trude Reiser (Peoria, IL), who shared: “I live in Peoria, IL, around 3 hours from Chicago and around 3 hours from St. Louis. In Peoria, there are few Jewish learning opportunities and few Jewish resources.” Trude signed up for Partners in Torah in hopes of increasing her connection through learning. She and her partner Guttie Augenstein (Brooklyn, NY) are now celebrating their 3 year learniversary! They have studied the laws of Shabbat in depth and are now focusing on prayer.
Trude added: “Besides these formal learning topics, Guttie has greatly influenced other aspects of my life… she has enhanced my ability to transmit Judaism to my grandchildren… While Guttie started as a study partner, she has become so much more. I truly value her friendship and I always look forward to our study time together.”
Guttie echoed Trude’s sentiments so beautifully: “I can’t believe it has been three years since we began to study. Our relationship has evolved over time. Initially our relationship was focused on our studies. During Corona, our focus shifted. Covid has certainly changed our lives. Over the past couple of months, we have spent more time shmoozing. We compare our lifestyles, and share our belief in Hashem that He runs the world and we have to trust and rely on Him. I admire Trudy’s commitment to Judiasm… I feel that by sharing our experiences from our different backgrounds my life has become enriched. I don’t take my Judaism for granted. Practicing Judaism is easier in Brooklyn. Living out of town in Peoria, Illinois, makes Judaism more of a challenge. Trudy has certainly stood steadfast in her beliefs!”