The Milwaukee-area Walk for Israel is back and set to happen in-person again, for the first time since the pandemic abruptly shuttered Wisconsin in March 2020.
The event marks Yom HaAtzmaut, the Israeli Independence Day, and it has historically been the largest annual pro-Israel event in the state.
But the community last walked in-person and together for Israel on May 19, 2019. That walk was in Downtown Milwaukee, attracting hundreds of Israel supporters; this year, the Walk returns to its more typical location, the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center.
“After two years of doing virtual, we want it to be something that people know and are familiar with,” said Uria Roth, the Milwaukee community shaliach, an emissary from Israel who works in the community. “We want to bring people together.”
Walkers will start at the JCC, 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Whitefish Bay, for a 1.8 mile walk through the community, ending back at the JCC for an outdoor Throwback Party. The event co-chairs are Robin and Steven Arenzon.
Roth polled local residents on what they loved about prior Walk for Israel parties, and the Throwback Party is to feature many of those favorites. The party is slated to run from around 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Among the favorites to be included are wall climbing, a graffiti wall, Israeli dancing and Israeli/Turkish coffee. There will be family activities, games and music. There will also be kosher shawarma and falafel available for purchase.
“When we stand for Israel, this is how Israel can unite us and Israel needs our support,” Roth said. “Israel will benefit from a stronger Jewish community here. And, the Jewish community will benefit from a stronger Israel. That bond has been crucial for the last seven decades”.
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How to go
What: Yom HaAtzmaut/Israeli Independence Day Celebration
When: Sunday, May 15, 2 p.m.
Where: Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Whitefish Bay.