What’s Nu, May 2017 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

What’s Nu, May 2017

Milwaukee Jewish Day School hub wins award

WHITEFISH BAY — The Daniel M. Soref Innovation Hub of Milwaukee Jewish Day School won a Silver award in the educational K-12 category, at the March 23 Annual Design Excellence Awards Gala, hosted by the Wisconsin chapter of American Society of Interior Designers.

Uihlein/Wilson Architects of Milwaukee saw its designer Tara Lopez recognized for the project.

“Our firm is so proud of this project,” said Rebecca Rodriguez, interior designer at Uihlein/Wilson Architects. “This award is really a testament to the wonderful work (MJDS) is doing with the students and we were happy to be a part of it.”

Mila’s European bakery shop reopens

THIENSVILLE — Mila’s European Bakery, 239 N. Main St., has reopened its retail store after a 10-year hiatus.

The store closed about a decade ago and the company continued to sell items wholesale, but it returned to retail with a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 31, said owner Anna Bakalinsky.

Her parents, Russian Jewish immigrants, founded the company in 1981.

Bakalinsky said Mila’s European Bakery donates items to a local synagogue, among other initiatives.

“We make amazing almond horns, and rugulah, and other old European traditional items,” Bakalinsky said.

The bakery is not kosher certified.

Second vote held after Madison divestment fails

MADISON — After rejecting a non-binding resolution in March calling for divestment from Israel, Madison student government moved in April to consider creating a new Financial Transparency and Ethics subcommittee, according to The Daily Cardinal.

It reportedly did so with some Jewish students not present, due to Passover.

In March, student representatives had proposed to call for the university and its independent foundation to divest from companies “complicit” in human rights violations, including companies associated with Israel, according to the student newspaper.

“With only 24 hours notice, nearly 130 pro-Israel students attended the meeting, and over 25 spoke in opposition to the resolution,” University of Wisconsin Hillel Executive Director Greg Steinberger said in a statement, issued soon after the late March vote. “I am pleased to announce that after 6.5 hours of rigorous debate the Associated Students of Madison (ASM), defeated a divestment resolution by a motion to table indefinitely (meaning the resolution cannot be brought up again for the remainder of the academic year).”

“The resolution called upon the University of Wisconsin — Madison to divest from 20 companies doing business in Israel. It co-opted the noble cause of human rights to obscure the real goal of enacting the destructive and anti-Semitic BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement at University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

However, according to the Daily Cardinal, the authors of the failed divestment initiative in March later proposed the subcommittee on ethics and finance. They did so on Wednesday, April 12, a day after the second night of Passover, when some Jewish student representatives were absent.

Several student representatives — at least one of them offended at the timing on behalf of absent Jewish students — reportedly walked out. It was a failed effort to break quorum. The April 12 proposal passed but still must be approved with another vote.

Wisconsin students saving pennies to remember

EDGERTON — Teachers and students at Edgerton Middle School, located between Janesville and Madison, are attempting to collect one million pennies to commemorate the Holocaust.

They seek to help conceptualize what one million looks like, representing one-eleventh the number of people believed to have been killed in the Holocaust.

A GoFundMe page, “Totals for Tolerance,” reported $418 raised as of press time, in addition to funding raised through other methods.

Students were inspired by a field trip to Jewish Museum Milwaukee, a program of Milwaukee Jewish Federation at 1360 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, said Patti Sherman-Cisler, executive director of the museum.

The students toured the permanent exhibit and the Fabric of Survival exhibit.

Spring Hill Cemetery to mark 150 years

A cemetery is more than a final resting place. It represents history. From Arlington National Cemetery to the land where your loved one lies, cemeteries tell stories about how a nation’s freedoms were preserved, how cities rose from dirt roads and small towns or community needs were fulfilled.

Walk the grounds of Spring Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum in Milwaukee, and you will find proud families of international company founders, first-generation immigrants, community activists and philanthropic families that built lives and businesses that contributed to and in many cases, still represent a growing city.

July 3 marks the 150-year anniversary of Spring Hill Cemetery, 166 S. Hawley Court. Said to be the oldest final resting place in Milwaukee’s Jewish community, it was founded by Gilead Lodge of B’nai B’rith.

“We are proud of our history and the high level at which we have always discharged our responsibility to Jewish families in our community,” said attorney Michael D. Schuman, who has served as the cemetery’s executive director for the past 40 years. “It’s important to us that families feel comfortable working with us during their most difficult times. From upkeep of the grounds to the addition of a public mausoleum 50 years ago, we provide advanced planning along with the most genuine care, concern and attention to important details.

“Add financial strength, and those things allow Spring Hill to fulfill its promises to its families.”

As part of Spring Hill’s 150th anniversary, it will offer Gniza a service that provides for burial of outdated, discarded or worn prayer books and other sacred texts and prayer shawls. The items are buried with family members at the time of their service. Gniza is considered an additional honor or mitzvah.

The Board of Gilead Lodge #4 of B’nai B’rith created Spring Hill Cemetery & Mausoleum with a special legislative charter granted by the State of Wisconsin in 1867. It was and continues to be supported by B’nai B’rith, which allows it to be both charitable and tax-exempt.

Spring Hill has always been ahead of its time with liberal burial policies, according to a news release. It continues to improve its grounds, as well, which this year includes the planned additions of a mausoleum patio and commemorative benches, according to the release.