Delegates from the Milwaukee and Madison Partnership2Gether region in Israel visited Milwaukee in April. Photo by Barb Budish.
Milwaukee’s observance of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, usually includes the lighting of candles to honor fallen soldiers. This year, visitors from Israel lit the candles in memory of their own loved ones whose lives were lost at war.
We mustnot limit ourselves to what we see and hear. We must look beyond the surface, not accept information at face value. Isaiah is telling us that above all, we must seek deep understanding. We cannot settle for less.
George Bernard Shaw in his play “Caesar and Cleopatra” has Julius Caesar poke fun at another character by saying, “He’s a barbarian; he thinks the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.” It is easy to laugh at other people for that failing, but in fact peoples of all cultures, including our own, tend to think their own culture and values are the only “natural” ones.
Science is concerned with the fundamental mechanisms of the universe and all its parts. Judaism, however, focuses on the fundamental purpose of creation in general and humanity in particular. Science informs us that current climate alterations are not pre-ordained but a result of modern-day and historical human activity. Judaism provides a path by which we learn to take ownership of the problem and its scientifically derived solutions.
If we, the Jewish people, do not support Israel, who will? And if America sends a message throughout the world that it no longer supports Israel, imagine what our true enemies will think, say and do.
Another prominent local Jewish Works Progress Administration artist who participated in this group was my late uncle, Harry E. Lichter (1912-1975), the second oldest of the five sons of Paul and Rebecca Lichter.
The Pew Research Center’s newly released 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study offers a trove of data on American Jews based on interviews with 35,071 American adults, 847 of whom identified their faith as Jewish. Here are some of the more interesting findings about the Jews.
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The Milwaukee Jewish Federation has issued a revised report for the “Jewish Community Study of Greater Milwaukee 2011.” The new report draws a somewhat different picture of Milwaukee-area Jewry; and this different picture looks much more like similarly-sized American Jewish communities.
A recent model seder at Congregation Sinai didn’t just include the Four Questions and a rousing chorus of the Passover hymn “Dayenu” complete with open-handed drumming on the tabletops. It also included Spanish/English translators, a first-hand account of detention by Immigration and Customs officials and a singing of the classic Cuban song “Guantanamera.”
The photographs on this page were taken at the Milwaukee Jewish community’s commemorations of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) on April 19, Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) on April 22 and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day) on April 26.
Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the new director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, was in Milwaukee on March 27 to speak at the Metropolitan Council of Reform Congregations Shabbat, held that evening at Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun.
Do we suffer for the sins of our fathers (and mothers) — even, as Exodus 34:7 tells us, unto the third and fourth generations? Can we be redeemed by reexamination, repentance, religion or something else?
Why does Catholic priest Father Patrick Desbois devote his life to finding the often previously unknown sites where the German Nazis and their collaborators shot Jews, Roma and others during World War II?
Beth Israel Center, Madison’s Conservative synagogue, re-opened its doors to the congregation and the community in December. Though construction was continuing, the community resumed full use of the building. The last details, including landscaping and installation of the ark, will be completed this spring.
As the countdown clock to the JCC Maccabi Games Opening Ceremonies crossed into double digits, planning was underway for the nearly 30 delegation heads who represented visiting communities and who made their first official visit to Milwaukee in the last week of April.
Part stand-up comic and part sleight-of-hand artist, Milwaukee-born Ben Seidman recently spoke with Stephanie Wagner, the vice president of communications and strategy for the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.