When thousands of mostly east-coast people gathered in Washington, D.C., to stand up against rising antisemitism, Milwaukee was there.
The coalition of groups and individuals rallied in Washington, D.C., to stand in solidarity in the face of rising antisemitism. A Cream City contingent held up signs indicating “Milwaukee” solidarity.
“I had a number of people come up to me who had Milwaukee connections,” said David Amrani, a retired Glendale professor with the University of Wisconsin medical school and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “We had an impact. We made our presence known.”
The rally on Sunday, July 11, featured survivors of recent antisemitic attacks, faith leaders, elected officials, celebrities, and grassroots activists.
“I was struck by the courage of several speakers who had been attacked for the sole sin of being Jewish – who said with pride – I will never cover up my Judaism, I will be a proud Jew no matter what!” said Rabbi Wes Kalmar of Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah congregation in Glendale. “I was proud to be among Jews who were standing up for their heritage and proud to share our message – ‘Milwaukee Jews stand proud’ – with people who couldn’t believe we came all the way from Wisconsin.”
Elisha Wiesel, son of the late Holocaust diarist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, was instrumental in bringing together a wide array of groups for the rally, according to JTA. “No Fear: A Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish People,” was held outside the U.S. Capitol.
The rally seemed to lean neither far left nor far right, said Amrani.
Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, one of the speakers, was stabbed eight times outside a Jewish day school in Boston in July 2021. Amrani said he was moved by Noginski’s commitment to keeping his attacker away from the children.
“This was inspiring,” Amrani said.
Presenting sponsors included: The Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Alliance for Israel, B’nai B’rith International, The Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish National Fund USA, Combat Antisemitism Movement, Hadassah, The Israel Forever Foundation, StandWithUS, Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbinical Assembly, Republican Jewish Coalition, Orthodox Union, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Jewish Democratic Council of America, and World Jewish Congress – North America. Supporting sponsors of the event include a range of more than 60 advocacy groups.