What’s Nu?, February, 2017 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

What’s Nu?, February, 2017

JCC monitored national situation

WHITEFISH BAY – Though there were threatening phone calls to Jewish centers nationwide in January, the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay received no threatening calls or related messages, according to a Jan. 18 email blast from President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Shapiro.

Shapiro added that the “JCC leadership team actively monitored the situation, engaged with local law enforcement, and received updates from our expert partners – and we continue to do so.”

This is a disappointing, challenging and frustrating development, he said, adding that JCCs are a unique destination for safe and inclusive wellness, education and community services.

“The very nature of our diversity, our celebration of universal values, and our commitment to serving the needs of the entire community stand at odds with those who rely on fear, intolerance, or disruption,” he wrote. “While we are unable to control every outside influence, we are able to ensure that the safety of our members, students, guests, and staff remains our highest priority – and I am confident in our team, partners, and processes to meet that responsibility.”

Primakow joins Jewish Community Foundation

MILWAUKEE – Jordan Primakow is joining Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation as director of philanthropic services.

Primakow brings experience in fundraising and donor relations.  He graduated from Michigan State Law School in 2012 and most recently has served as a registered representative with Israel Bonds and the director of the Milwaukee office. He is to start Feb. 1.

“We’re excited to have Jordan join our committed and dedicated team of development staff,” said Caren B. Goldberg, chief development officer of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation. “He brings experience in fundraising and donor relations and is a clear and strategic thinker.”

“As we’re integrating all parts of our fundraising, Jordan will work with donors in the annual campaign, planned giving and endowment development to help advance the mission of the Federation.  We’re thrilled to have Jordan on board.”

2017 Holocaust essay contest is open

WHITEFISH BAY – Students can enter a Holocaust essay contest and win a trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Past winners have traveled with a chaperone, flying to the nation’s capital to see the museum on the Washington Mall.

For your 1,200-word essay topic, choose an example of survival, resistance or rescue from the Holocaust that has an impact on you.

The contest is open to all students, grades 7-9 (division I) and grades 10-12 (division II). Each entry must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2017.  Entries will be accepted no later than 4 p.m. that day.

The two winners in each division will be announced and presented on Sunday, April 23, at the Day of Remembrance (Yom Hashoah) commemoration at 3 p.m. at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd, Whitefish Bay.

For more information, visit JewishChronicle.org/2017-holocaust-essay or contact Dorene Paley at 414-967-8217 or DPaley@JccMilwaukee.org.

The Holocaust Essay Contest is a program of the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and is sponsored by the Habush Family Foundation.

Kriger, a Skylight veteran, offers another show

MILWAUKEE – Pam Kriger, who has been active in the local Jewish community, has also directed or choreographed more than 60 productions for the Skylight Music Theatre.

Now, she’s directed another show, the musical revue “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” running Feb. 3 – 19, in the Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee.

The original off-Broadway production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” opened in 1996 and ran for more than 5,000 performances, making it the second-longest off-Broadway musical in history, according to Susan Heymann, director of marketing for the Skylight Music Theatre.

Kriger, who has served on the theater faculty of Cardinal Stritch University for 25 years, will be stage director and choreographer. Her Skylight credits for direction include “Little Shop of Horrors,” “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in The Ukraine,” “Once on This Island” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Kriger is on the board of Jewish Family Services and has worked with other local Jewish community organizations.

Tickets may be purchased online at SkylightMusicTheatre.org.

Parkes seeks Glendale aldermanic seat

GLENDALE – Monica L. Parkes, who has volunteered in local Jewish activities, is running for first district alderman here.

Others in the race are incumbent Robert Whitaker and challenger Tomika Vukovic.

A primary is set for Tuesday, Feb. 21. The top two vote-earners will go on to the general election on Tuesday, April 4.

Parkes is a member of Congregation Sinai of Fox Point and she co-chairs its youth education committee. Her entire family volunteers regularly at the Jewish Community Pantry, she said.

Parkes said going door-to-door in Glendale taught her that safety is an important issue for the first district. She is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Milwaukee Area Technical College with a degree in accounting and also in political science and economics. She is employed by the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast as an engagement consultant.

Glendale’s first district encompasses the most southern section of the city, from Capitol Drive to parts just south of Silver Spring Drive.

Tikkun Ha-Ir brings 450 gift bags to the homeless

MILWAUKEE – Tikkun Ha-Ir, the nonprofit that seeks to relive hunger and poverty in Milwaukee, distributed approximately 450 gift bags to adults and children in 10 shelters in 2016, according Executive Director Sami Stein Avner.

Tikkun Ha-Ir has coordinated its Holiday Gift Project for more than 11 years. It worked in partnership with volunteers from synagogues, community organizations and individuals.

The 450 gift bags held roughly five gifts for each adult and eight for each child. Gifts included pajamas, books, toys and personal care products.  Many items were hand-knit by the local community.  Tikkun Ha-Ir worked with eight local synagogues – congregation members picked a paper candle that said an age, gender and a type of gift and then purchased the gift and brought it back to bins located at each synagogue.

The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center’s Hanukah Celebration provided an opportunity for Jewish children to help. This year, the youth filled festive bags with candy to make sure the holiday events had at least a spoonful of sugar, according to a Tikkun Ha-Ir statement. At Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid young people made sock cupcakes to include in children’s gift bags, and at Congregation Sinai, students helped wrap toys.

Moshe Katz and ATID properties donated a vacant apartment to store, sort and bag gifts for distribution. Among the many others who provided assistance were Lilian Rakita, Deborah O’Connor, Kira Berkoff, Cindy Cooper, Reenie Kavalar, Susan Ellman, Susan Armour Sideman, Reesa Gottchalk and Laura Emir.

Jewish groups rallied on climate change

MILWAUKEE – A local interfaith gathering of religious groups – to express concern over climate change as the Trump administration took power – included a strong Jewish presence.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Milwaukee Jewish Federation and Jewish nonprofit Tikkun Ha-Ir were among those participating.

“For those of you who can’t see what my T-shirt says, it says “Make American Sane Again,” H. Steven Moffic told the group, according to his prepared remarks. Moffic is a psychiatrist and volunteer with local Jewish organizations.

“That means there are some insane things going on here. Isn’t it insane that we are failing to adequately deal with climate change, for if we don’t, we will continue to have, among other problems, increasing health and mental health problems across America, but especially in our inner cities like in our own Milwaukee?”

Taking place on Jan. 20 at noon, people of diverse faiths gathered at the Milwaukee City Hall rotunda to pray for the government to accelerate its response to climate change, according to Daniel Weber, a co-chair of the Milwaukee Vigil.

The goal for the event was to “share our collective desire that the new federal administration will continue to build upon the progress made to face the challenges created by human-caused climate change,” according to a statement from local GreenFaith organizers.

Organizers also held public vigils around Wisconsin from Friday, Jan. 20 through Tuesday, Jan. 24 to draw attention to the issues. Jewish organizations were also reportedly involved in Madison and Green Bay.

The vigil was coordinated nationally by GreenFaith and Interfaith Power & Light, and locally by Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light and other religious-environmental networks.

Bader Philanthropies hires contractor for headquarters

MILWAUKEE – Bader Philanthropies, one of southeastern Wisconsin’s most active foundations, has selected JCP Construction as its general contractor for its new global headquarters on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

JCP Construction is one of Milwaukee’s fastest-growing minority-owned companies, according to a Bader Philanthropies news release.

“We chose JCP Construction as the general contractor for our new global headquarters because it has experience in producing quality work, and we are continuing our multi-decade commitment to improving the quality of life in Milwaukee,” said Daniel J. Bader, president and CEO of Bader Philanthropies. “We hope this experience helps JCP take its business to the next level and positions it for more competitive projects in the future.”

Bader Philanthropies announced in August 2016 it was relocating and building a new global headquarters under the organization’s overall strategic growth plan.

The new headquarters development is being funded entirely by the Bader family, according to the news release. The Foundation will continue to support organizations throughout the greater Milwaukee area and Wisconsin at its current funding level. Since 1992, Bader Philanthropies has granted more than $265 million and has given more than 6,000 grants to nonprofits in the greater Milwaukee area, Wisconsin and 10 different countries.

Bader Philanthropies will be providing updates to the project, including photos of the development as they happen on its website at Bader.org and on its social media channels.