College senior Noah Wolfe takes protests to suburbia | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

College senior Noah Wolfe takes protests to suburbia 


Noah Wolfe, a local college student, got started with suburban protesting when he posted a June 6 event to Facebook: “North Shore Justice for George Floyd Peaceful Protest.” 

“I created the event on Facebook, just thinking, maybe we’ll get 100 or 200 people,” he said.  

Instead, more than 1,500 people showed up to Atwater Park in Shorewood, and about 5,000 people were involved with the protest in some form, according to estimates. After Rabbi David Cohen and others spoke, the group marched south. 

Wolfe, 21, is quick to point out that he co-organized with people from the black community. He created the Facebook event to amplify black voices, not to be the voice, he said. He’s glad that one connection led to another and soon after posting the June 6 event, he was working with a group of black Shorewood High School students, among others. 

Noah Wolfe

Wolfe, a graduate of Milwaukee Jewish Day School and a member of Congregation Sinai, said he got the idea for suburban protests from an experience with an angry man who is white. Wolfe and other protesters stopped traffic on June 2 on Milwaukee’s east side. It was then that the man approached, angry, making the case that he supported the cause, but don’t interrupt my life, Wolfe said.  

This frustrated Wolfe. To him, the issues are more serious than that, and he saw the man’s behavior as a symbol of something that needs to be corrected in the North Shore, he said. He grew up in Shorewood and lives in Whitefish Bay. 

Judaism tells us you can’t just stand idle, with the value of a human life,” Wolfe said. “I think his actions represented to me that there are other people like him. Our community needs to come out and say this is not going to be tolerated here.” 

Though many in the Jewish community have marched or kneeled in recent weeks, and many local synagogues have issued statements in support, and all major Jewish denominations issued statements expressing horror after the death of George Floyd, Wolfe is concerned there will be those who go to synagogue, then “sit back and watch it and not get involved.” 

Thus, he and his allies next took their movement to Mequon, on June 20, where  several preprinted signs were emblematic of the overall message: “Be the change. Walk with us. Black lives matter.”