The cultural diversity delegation in November comprised of four Jewish Israelis from different backgrounds. Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Israel Center and its Partnership2Gether program brought the visitors here for some cross-pollination with the local community.
Tami Atia, an Israeli holistic therapist, and the other three emissaries raced through a packed schedule Nov. 3-10. They spoke with students, lunched with local Jewish organizers and demonstrated cooking, among other activities.
Towards the end of the whirlwind experience, as they were chopping vegetables for a dinner, the delegation expressed gratitude and joy over Jewish connections.
Atia developed a great sense of how one must work to be Jewish in the United States and she said she wants Israelis to understand “it’s not easy.”
She said she feels the Jewish people are “one nation, one heart,” and that American Jews must understand “there is another place for you.”
It is important, she said, to know “where you come from.”
“I came to talk, but I learned much here,” said Abraham Maleses of Israel, born in Ethiopia. He was impressed with how the local Jewish community works together here.
Mordi Kerschner said the experience was “very interesting,” quoting a Hebrew expression, “things you can see from here you cannot see from there.”