What’s Nu? March 2023 | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

What’s Nu? March 2023

Craig Johnson seeks office

Craig Johnson, an attorney with Sweet and Associates in Milwaukee, and a resident of Whitefish Bay, is running for Whitefish Bay municipal judge. The part-time position serves the Traffic Court.

Johnson is a former vice president of the Congregation Sinai board and is on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

The election is on April 4.

Bill Kravit seeks office

Bill Kravit is running for Fox Point village president.

He previously served as a trustee on the village board for six years.

He has served on the Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun board and is on the Congregation Sinai board. Kravit said he wants to see the village be more

proactive with some big decisions on its plate, including the future of a village swimming pool.

The election is on April 4.

BILTRITE: ‘Retailer of the Year’

BILTRITE Furniture‐Leather‐Mattress, Greenfield, has been named the 2023 Retailer of the Year (under 50 employees) by the Home Furnishings Association, a nationwide trade association.

BILTRITE is the first Wisconsin furniture retailer to earn this distinction, according to a news release. BILTRITE was judged by a panel of industry professionals in eight categories: Customer experience, company culture, social responsibility, innovation, adaptability, industry contribution, marketing and achievements.

“It is very touching as we embark upon our 95th year in business and would like to thank our family, past and present employees, our loyal customers, HFA, Furniture First Buying Group and the many vendors and Amish builders that we have nurtured relationships with over the years,” said Randi Komisar, representing the business and the Komisar family members who have steered it for generations.

Mark Schumacher, CEO of the Home Furnishings Association, will present the award in person at the store. In appreciation for the honor BILTRITE is donating $5,000 to the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative and $5,000 to the Grand Avenue Club of Milwaukee, according to a news release.

Scholar on ethics, medicine

Rabbi Dr. Jonathan K. Crane, an Emory University scholar, will be leading several free educational sessions about ethics, medicine and Judaism at Congregation Emanu-El B’Ne Jeshurun from March 24-26. Each session will also be available virtually through Zoom or on CEEBJ’s website.

On Friday, March 24, there will be a Shabbat dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a service at 7:30 p.m. Crane will speak during the service with his lecture, “Sowing Doubt and Hiding Reasons.” He will lead a discussion about the ethics of strategically questioning evidence and undermining truths to gain advantage.

On Saturday, March 25, Crane will lead one morning session at 9 a.m. and an afternoon session at 12:30 p.m.

The first session, “Trysts in the Garden: Reconsidering the Naḥash,” is a Shabbat morning text study minyan. He will discuss how the naḥash, the serpent in the Garden of Eden, defies categorization and challenges conventional notions of companionship in an era of gender and sexual fluidity.

After the session, there will be a Shabbat service at 10:30 a.m. and a potluck lunch at noon.

Crane will lead a second session, “Coming to a Conclusion: Ethics Around the End of Life,” at 12:30 p.m. to discuss Chananya ben Teradyon and the ethical concerns around euthanasia.

Crane’s final session, “Who’s Your Mama? DNA, Gestation, Diapers and the Making of Jewish Motherhood,” will take place on Sunday, March 26 at 10:30 a.m. He will explore the Bible’s ideas about reproductive liberty along with the latest scientific advances for procreation and the questions they raise. Brunch will be held before the final session at 10 a.m.

Crane is the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar of Bioethics and Jewish Thought at Emory University’s Ethics Center in Atlanta. He is also a professor of medicine at the Emory School of Medicine and an affiliate faculty member in the department of religion and the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory College of Arts and Sciences.

To attend meals, you must register for them at a cost by March 17 through CEEBJ’s website. For more information and meal registration, visit CEEBJ’s website: Ceebj.org.

-Alexander Stone

Speaker on selective antisemitism

Dr. Keith Kahn-Harris will present a lecture, “Antisemitism and Jewish Diversity: When Celebration Becomes Dangerous,” on Thursday, March 2 at the Golda Meir Library at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. in the fourth-floor conference center and can also be accessed virtually through Zoom.

Khan-Harris will discuss his book, “What Does a Jew Look Like?” that was published in March 2022. In his lecture, he will explore how it might be possible to

engage with Jewish diversity in ways that do not unwittingly reinforce selective antisemitism.

Kahn-Harris published a book in 2019 titled, “Strange Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and the Limits of Diversity,” and argues that there has been an emergence of a “selective” antisemitism, where non-Jews combine a philo-semitic attraction to some sorts of Jews with an antisemitic rejection of others.

In his book, he covers how drawing attention to and celebrating the diversity of the Jewish people can have the unintended consequence of providing a “catalogue” for those who wish to “choose” their preferred Jew.

Khan-Harris is based in London and is a senior lecturer at Leo Baeck College, an associate lecturer and honorary fellow at Birkbeck College and the project director of the European Jewish Research Archive at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. He is a sociologist and writer and has authored and co-authored eight books.

To register for the event’s virtual option through Zoom, visit https://bit.ly/KahnHarris.

-Alexander Stone

Dov Smith in RabbisCanRun

Rabbi Dov Smith, a resident of Milwaukee, ran in the Feb. 7, RabbisCanRun marathon in Florida as a fundraiser.

The RabbisCanRun marathon is a 10k charity race in which its participants include rabbis from across the country.

The RabbisCanRun initiative was developed for two reasons; the first being to raise funds for charity, and the second being to promote the health and activity of rabbis across North America. This year’s race included 40 rabbis from 35 cities and 2 countries, according to Smith.

The funds raised for this year’s race were for Olami, a global organization that creates local communities of young adult Jews, according to its website. The group’s goal is to help these individuals achieve their greatness and potential through Jewish learning and practice.

“I know training for the race will not be easy and will require time, commitment and consistent running,” said Smith, before the race. “However, I am ready for the

challenge and believe that Jewish outreach and good health are matters worth the effort.”

–Belle Nahoom