What’s nu? August, 2021 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

What’s nu? August, 2021

From Israel, Eglash and Foss cheer the Bucks 

The Jerusalem Post found a local angle to cover the Milwaukee Bucks’ championship against the Phoenix Suns – by interviewing Milwaukee natives for a July 22 article, “Celebrating the Milwaukee Bucks’ NBA title from Israel.” 

Mike Eglash made aliyiah 25 years ago. He told the Israeli newspaper: “It’s not just [that] the Milwaukee Bucks won a championship after 50 years … It’s 50 years of listening to every game on the radio or watching it on TV or following the box scores.” 

Sam Foss, also a Milwaukee native in Israel, said, “It [gives] me chills to know that there’s going to be a parade in downtown Milwaukee that we only dreamt about over the last 50 years.” 

Orthodox magazine notes Rebbetzin Kalmar 

Jewish Action, the magazine of the Orthodox Union, featured a special section in its summer 2021 edition, “On Covid’s Jewish Frontlines,” highlighting the work of rabbis, rebbetzins and others, including Rebbetzin Dr. Jessica Kalmar. 

The magazine noted the congregation Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah’s Zoom classes, plus outdoor programming, including bonfires and fireside chats for teenagers, and scavenger hunts and youth groups for younger children. The congregation is in Glendale. 

“My husband and I are a team, and we knew immediately that we had to recreate Jewish life,” the Rebbetzin told the magazine, referring to her husband Rabbi Wes Kalmar.  

Jewish Food Festival set for Mequon 

The 3rd annual Jewish Food Festival will take place in Mequon’s Rotary Park on Aug. 1 and 2. The festival will offer entertainment, musical performances and activities for children in addition to traditional Jewish and Israeli food.  

“Last year we held our second annual Jewish Food Festival as a drive thru because of COVID, and so this year we are really looking forward to once again being able to hold the festival as an in-person event with more food options and activities,” said Rabbi Moshe Luchins, community engagement and festival coordinator. 

The festival is a program of Mequon’s Peltz Center for Jewish Life, which provides educational, religious and social opportunities for Jews in the community. Proceeds from the event will fund the Center’s community outreach programs.  

The festival will take place from 12-7 p.m. on Aug. 1 and 2 at Rotary Park in Mequon, 4100 Highland Road. Admission is free. Full details can be found at JewishFoodMequon.com. 

Eli Friedman 

Award for Kai Gardner Mishlove  

Kai Gardner Mishlove, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council for the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, will receive the Woman of Faith Award from the Sisters of the Divine Savior on Sept. 23 at their 2021 Woman of Faith event.  

The Sisters of the Divine Savior is an international Catholic congregation headquartered in Milwaukee. This year’s presentation of the congregation’s annual award — which recognizes women who share the values of the organization and expresses those values through action — will focus on Gardner Mishlove’s Tables Across Borders initiative.  

The initiative, which launched in 2019, highlights the cuisines of refugee communities in Milwaukee through a series of meals cooked by refugee chefs hosted in local restaurants. Tables Across Borders moved online during the coronavirus pandemic with virtual cooking classes. 

Gardner Mishlove began her role as director of the JCRC in April 2021. She has previously received awards from the National Council of Jewish Women Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. 

Eli Friedman 

Congregation Sinai offers tuition-free school 

Congregation Sinai, a Reform congregation in Fox Point celebrating its 65th anniversary, will return to its traditional model of tuition-free religious and Hebrew school for the upcoming school year. 

The congregation is able to offer tuition-free school due to contributions from parties outside the synagogue as well as from members of the Board of Trustees. Tuition-free religious and Hebrew school will be for students from kindergarten through post-affirmation for the next five years.  

Also, Congregation Sinai has resumed in-person Shabbat Services outside and inside. All seating is socially distant. Masks are optional outside and inside, masks are required. 

Proof of vaccination is not required, but attendees are asked to take the health needs of others into account. If you are not vaccinated, you are asked to wear a mask. Should you choose to watch from home, Shabbat services may be livestreamed. 

Eli Friedman 

Ovation Communities launches app 

Ovation Communities, the Milwaukee-area Jewish-themed senior living and care center, recently launched the use of a new app. 

The app is designed to engage residents and improve emotional wellbeing through personalized music. The app, called “SOLO,” was developed by a technology startup company in Israel and uses facial recognition to match a user’s playlist to their mood.  

Ovation is the first senior living provider in the U.S. to use the new technology, according to a news release. 

Research suggests that music offers emotional and behavioral benefits for older adults, particularly those with dementia and cognitive issues. Songs and melodies can evoke serenity, energy and movement, as well as nostalgia, memory and a renewed experience of past emotions. 

“Music allows people to become more engaged in their reality,” said Kevin Farinelli, music therapist at Ovation Jewish Home. “It’s really wonderful to see someone’s face light up when they’re listening to the languages, sounds and songs they love.” 

The Ovation activities team helps residents set up tailored SOLO profiles with tags for language, music genre and other preferences. When a resident uses the app, a facial scan recognizes seven emotions from 42 muscles, and plays music video clips adapted to their current emotional state, according to the release. 

For example, calming music might be used to relieve anxiety and upbeat songs to ease sadness.