Stressed out? We have an antidote for that: Jewish-themed bobbleheads, courtesy of Phil Sklar, co-Founder and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Milwaukee.
These bobbleheads are all in the museum collection, said Sklar, who is a member of Congregation Shalom. The museum produced two of them, Rabbi Shapiro and the Mensch on a Bench.
Albert Einstein – Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. Because of his Jewish background, Einstein stayed in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940. His efforts prior to World War II helped bring thousands of Jewish scientists out of Germany.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993, becoming the second female justice on the high court, following Sandra Day O’Connor. Her father was a Jewish emigrant from Odessa, Ukraine, and her mother was born in New York to Austrian Jewish parents. When she was 13, Ginsberg acted as the “camp rabbi” at a Jewish summer program at Camp Che-Na-Wah in Minerva, New York.
Bernie Sanders — Bernie Sanders has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. He was the U.S. Representative for the state’s atlarge congressional district from 1991 to 2007. Sanders unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States in 2016 and 2020, although he inspired millions of people and helped bring awareness to causes that were important to him and his supporters.
Moses — Moses is the most important prophet in Judaism. He was the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah, or acquisition of the Torah from Heaven, is traditionally attributed.
Noah — Noah was the tenth and last of the pre-Flood patriarchs, with his story contained in the Book of Genesis. The Genesis flood narrative is among the best-known stories of the Bible and Noah is portrayed as “the first tiller of the soil” and the inventor of wine.
Sue Bird — Sue Bird was drafted by the Seattle Storm with the first overall selection in the 2002 WNBA draft. Bird has won three WNBA Championships with the Storm (2004, 2010, 2018), four Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), two NCAA Championships with UConn (2000, 2002), and four FIBA World Cups (2002, 2010, 2014, 2018). Bird was born in New York and also holds Israeli citizenship.
Princess Leia and Han Solo — The “Star Wars” series characters were portrayed by Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford, respectively, are both Jewish.
Kiss – Kiss was formed in New York City in January 1973 and is one of the best-selling bands of all time. The band’s co-lead singers, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, are both Jewish.
Sandy Koufax – Sandy Koufax pitched 12 seasons for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1966. In 1972, at age 36, he became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He has been hailed as one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history and is also one of the most outstanding Jewish athletes. His decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur garnered national attention as an example of conflict between professional pressures and personal beliefs.
Shawn Green – Shawn Green is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. He was a first round draft pick in 1991 and twotime All Star, driving in 100 runs four times, scoring 100 runs four times, hitting 40 or more home runs three times during his career. He won both a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award and set the Dodgers single-season record in home runs. Of Jewish major leaguers, only Hank Greenberg has more home runs and RBIs than Green. Like Koufax, Green opted to miss games on Yom Kippur, even when his team was in the middle of a playoff race.
Ryan Braun — Nicknamed “The Hebrew Hammer,” Ryan Braun has played his entire Major League Baseball career with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was drafted by the Brewers with the fifth overall selection in the 2005 MLB Draft. Braun is a six-time MLB All-Star, 2011 National League MVP, National League Rookie of the Year and five-time Silver Slugger Award Winner. Braun’s father Joe was born in Israel and immigrated to the U.S. at age seven. Most of Joe’s side of the family was murdered in the Holocaust.
Phil Sklar – Phil is the Co-Founder and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. He was born in Rockford, Ill., where his family belonged to Temple Beth-El and Ohave Shalom Synagogue. He moved to Milwaukee in 2002 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a member of Congregation Shalom.
Rabbi Shapiro – Rabbi Ronald Michael Shapiro, D.D., served as the Senior Rabbi at Congregation Shalom, Milwaukee from 1980 to 2015. Rabbi Shapiro arrived in Milwaukee in 1978, in order to serve as Congregation Shalom’s associate rabbi, until his election to the position of senior rabbi in 1980. Within the congregation, Shapiro has officiated at thousands of lifecycle events, taught numerous classes, developed small fellowship groups, created an ambiance of pastoral care, and inculcated a spirit of performing deeds of social justice and interfaith activities within the greater community.
Mensch on a Bench – The Mensch on a Bench has become a Chanukah tradition. after being designed in the early 2000s to bring families together. While teaching the importance of the holiday, Moshe the Mensch and his family are on a mission to inspire others to be honorable mensches and to bring fun and laughter to your family during the holiday season. This bobblehead is a prototype and is similar to ones given away at games by the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Brooklyn Cyclones.