What’s Nu? Nov. 2019

Local immigrant project collected 500 pounds

In just two weeks, Congregation Shalom collected two U-Hauls worth of needed items for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Donations included 500 pounds of clothing, with 1,300 pairs of socks, 217 coats and 66 backpacks. The coats are needed because some migrants are on their way to colder climates.

Nina Edelman, congregant of Shalom, was inspired by a sermon by Rabbi Emeritus Ron Shapiro, which led her to organize the local High Holy Days clothing drive.

“Thank you to the sorting/packing committee: David and Diane Wolfson, Judy Shapiro, Nancy Gorens-Edelman, Beth Rattner and Juan Guitan,” Edelman said. “Most of all thank you to Rabbi Shapiro and Judy for bringing this crucial humanitarian situation to our attention.”

Members of Congregation Emanu-el of Waukesha read an article about the Shalom effort in the Chronicle and made a Yom Kippur appeal to join in, according to Shalom. The Waukesha congregation delivered a huge carload the morning after the holiday.

According to news reports, migrants are being held and then released from government facilities in large numbers. This leaves it to shelters and volunteers in the Tucson, Arizona area to help some of these former detainees. Shalom and the Tuscon Jewish community worked together on the project.

“We were refugees to the United States because we were Jews. Now we assist other immigrants because we are Jews,” Edelman said.

Donations by check can still be made to The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and brought to the Shalom office to be sent with other checks collected. Congregation Shalom is at 7630 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Fox Point.

Grief group held on Wednesdays

Congregation Sinai, 8223 N. Port Washington Road in Fox Point, will be the site of a grief support group on Wednesdays from Nov. 6 to Nov. 27, noon-1 p.m.

Jewish Family Services sponsors the group, which is facilitated by clinical professionals. Drop-ins are welcome. The sessions are free.

After Nov. 27, the sessions will move to Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun, 2020 W. Brown Deer Road, River Hills, from Dec. 4 to March 25.

For more information, call the Jewish Family Services clinic services coordinator at 414-225-1374.

Mental health event for masculine-identifying teens

BBYO-Wisconsin Region is hosting a free event devoted to the wellness of masculine-identifying teens on Sunday, Nov. 17.

This event, MENtal Health, is not only open to masculine-identifying teens, but also their parents, other adult loved ones and youth professionals.

MENtal Health will be facilitated by mental health professionals.

The program aims to recognize the prevalence of mental health challenges among teens and bring them to light. Teens will learn how to handle pressure in school, sports and other various activities, how to use healthy coping mechanisms, how to reach out when they need help, and more.

Adults will learn how and when to seek out help for teens and what is typical versus atypical for teen behavior today, regarding social media, phone use, school stress, and more.

Men will learn about how to express their vulnerability around teens, and women will learn about how different the male experience is, according to a news release.

The event will be held at Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Whitefish Bay. For more information write to Wisc@Bbyo.org.

RSVP at Bit.ly/bbyomentalhealth.

Marcus Foundation grants $3.2 million

The Marcus Foundation awarded a $3.2 million grant to the Foundation for Jewish Camp for supporting mental, emotional and social health needs.

Over the next four years, funding will be distributed to approximately 60 Jewish camps across North America, according to a news release. This initiative will be called “Yedid Nefesh: Nurturing Mental, Emotional and Social Health at Jewish Camp.”

“We are confident this new grant will not only have a positive impact on the Jewish camp community, but also will help promote the importance of (mental, emotional and social health needs) in Jewish communal and institutional life across North America,” said Julie Beren Platt, chair of the Foundation for Jewish Camp Board.

Plotkin announces state Senate run

Democrat Neal Plotkin, a local business owner and substitute teacher at Nicolet High School, is campaigning for the Wisconsin State Senate, district 8.

The district includes much of the north shore, Germantown and areas west of Germantown. Republican Sen. Alberta Darling currently holds the seat. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

Plotkin has been married to his wife Nancy for more than 40 years. They raised three children and have four grandchildren.

“As a father, I focused on teaching my kids the same values I learned from parents – hard work, commitment and service to one’s community,” Plotkin said. As someone from the business community, he wants to bring that know-how to Madison, he said.

Plotkin is a longtime volunteer for Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid and its predecessor, Congregation Beth-El Ner Tamid.

Author interviewed Milwaukee Jewish veterans

Dr. Michael Greenberg, past president of the Midwest Region Federation of Jewish Men’s Club, researched the lives of four former military personnel from Milwaukee and wrote a book called “Tables Turned On Them.”

His book is about Jews guarding Nazi prisoners of war in the United States. Before writing, Greenberg worked as a scientist at Quaker Oats.

For his research, Greenberg gave presentations to synagogues to try and recruit veterans to interview.

A presentation in January of 2016 at Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid “was unforgettable because it was the day after the Packers got bounced out of the playoffs and it was 10 below zero and still 150 people showed up,” Greenberg said.

Private Sheldon Cohn of Fox Point, one of the four Milwaukee veterans featured in Greenberg’s book, came to this presentation with his two granddaughters. Cohn was the only one of the four service members Greenberg was able to interview before their deaths. Cohn died April 15, 2018.

The other three veterans include Jack Weiner, of the 740th Military Police Escort Guard serving at Camp Evelyn, Munising, Michigan. Greenberg found out about Weiner from Jewish Museum Milwaukee. Weiner was one of the founders and first director of Camp Interlaken in Eagle River, in 1966.

First Lieutenant Herbert W. Fink and Captain Leo Lichter are the other Milwaukee veterans featured. Fink served at Alva Prisoner of War Camp, Alva, Oklahoma and Lichter served at the Pine Grove Furnace POW Camp.

Temple Menorah invites you to Israel trip

Temple Menorah’s Rabbi Gil-Ezer Lerer and Debbie Lerer will be leading a tour to Israel Jan. 27-Feb. 9, 2020 in honor of the congregation’s 100th anniversary.

For 12 nights of accommodations, eight days of touring, four dinners, daily breakfast, and transportation to O’Hare Airport, the cost of the trip is $4,863.

The entire community is invited to join this journey to Israel, according to Gil-Ezer.

For more information on this trip, email Rabbi@TempleMenorah.com.

Teen Israel Leadership Institute slated for Atlanta

A “Teen Israel Leadership Institute” is to be held in Atlanta this winter by The Center for Israel Education and the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel.

Tenth through twelfth grade students can attend the Teen Israel Leadership Institute from Dec. 6-8, 2019

The cost for the weekend is $100 per participant which includes kosher food, housing and program materials. There is also a travel stipend of up to $200, which teens must submit within 10 days of the workshop.

Teens will engage in a series of learning activities all about Israel and Zionism. The institute shows students how to apply their knowledge to benefit their communities, according to a news release.

“It just made me feel really lucky to be a part of a religion that comes together with so much strength and power,” attendee Noa Libchaber said, according to the release.

For more information on the Teen Israel Leadership Institute, visit Israeled.org/teens/