What’s Nu

Jewop takes second place at competition

University of Wisconsin – Madison’s culturally Jewish a cappella group, Jewop, won second place at a national a capella competition in Washington, D.C.

The National Collegiate Jewish A Cappella Competition Kol HaOlam was held at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington D.C. on March 2.

In November, Jewop put together an audition video including one song entirely in Hebrew and one song that related to Judaism. In December, Jewop was admitted to the competition along with seven other groups from around the country.

Each a cappella group worked for two months on their songs. Several groups did not advance and perform the second song they prepared. The four groups to advance were Mezumenets from University of Maryland, ShireiNU from Northwestern University, HooShir from Indiana University and Jewop from University of Wisconsin. 

Jewop performed “Better than Today” as their second song, an original arrangement about the importance of giving back to the community in Judaism. The song touched on concepts including tzedakah, gimelut chassadim and tikkun olam.  

Jewop performs around the Madison area throughout the semester and puts on a show on campus at the end of every semester. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as Jewop A Cappella.  

Rod Eglash publishes book

Longtime local Jewish community programmer Rod Eglash has published “The Ego of Eggo,” a book that’s part biography, part a collection of thoughts and recollections.

Eglash worked for the Jewish Community Center. He’s also owned the Id & Eggo Coffehouse and one of Milwaukee’s last video stores.

Synagogue to welcome Rabbi Soloveichik

Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah is bringing a noted rabbi, Dr. Meir Soloveichik, into town for a June 2, 2019 event.

ASKT is an Orthodox synagogue in Glendale.

As the great nephew of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the late leader of American Jewry who identified with what became known as Modern Orthodoxy, Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik has followed in the footsteps of his revered lineage and become a respected rabbinic leader and teacher, according to a news release.

Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University in religion and currently serves as the director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University.

Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik will speak on, “The Most Famous Photo in Jewish History: The Enduring Allure of the Three Soldiers at the Wall,” at 7:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Club, 6200 Good Hope Road.

For more information, reach the synagogue at 414-228-9296 or AsktsShul.org.

Center for Jewish Life honors Mequon chief, others

On April 1, 2019, The Peltz Center for Jewish Life in Mequon hosted its annual Celebration Dinner; this year they honored Chief Daniel Buntrock and the Mequon Police Department; and Alderman Glenn and Mrs. Deborah Bushee, recipients of the Community Pillar Award.  

The evening was chaired by Mark & Cheryle Rebholz, owners of Bear Arms Indoor Boutique Shooting Range in Mequon.

“This year was particularly memorable as we celebrated and recognized Chief Buntrock’s community service and leadership as well as Mequon’s police department for their dedication and professionalism,” said Rabbi Menachem Rapoport, Center for Jewish Life executive director.  Chief Buntrock has been a member of the City of Mequon Police Department since 1990.

Additionally, Center for Jewish Life member and Mequon Alderman Glenn Bushee, together with his wife Deborah, received the Community Pillar Award, which recognizes those who have inspired and motivated others. Glenn Bushee has been representing District 2 since April of 2017. Deborah Bushee is an occupational therapist specializing in pediatrics. 

The highlight of the evening was the presentation to the Mequon Police Department of four much-needed tactical bulletproof vests, according to a news release. “As our way of saying ‘thank you’ and honoring those that protect us for their critical leadership, we are thrilled to donate a portion of the dinner’s proceeds for these much-needed vests,” said Rapoport.

The Peltz Center for Jewish Life is located at 2233 W. Mequon Road, Mequon.

RUACH bringing Holocaust-era children’s opera to Milwaukee 

RUACH, a Milwaukee-based Jewish arts and music organization, is staging a production of the Holocaust-era children’s opera, “Brundibar.” 

Performances, which feature selections by composer Rabbi Michel Twerski and from Gustav Mahler’s “Kindertotenlieder,” will be held on Sunday, May 26 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Ritz Theater at the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center at 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd. in Whitefish Bay.  An additional performance may be held on Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m.  A special city of Milwaukee presentation, open to the public and geared towards schools, is planned for late May.

“Brundibar” was written in 1938 by Czech Jewish composer Hans Krasa, as an allegory mirroring the experience of Jews in Europe being persecuted by the Nazis.  A tale of two children who —  with the help of animal friends and hundreds of school kids — defeat the villainous Brundibar, the operadepicts themes of anti-bullying, the power of friendship, and the triumph of good over evil.  

Ironically, the work was performed approximately 55 times at the concentration camp, Theresienstadt, as part of the Nazis’ propaganda machine.  

RUACH’s production of “Brundibar” is directed by Wisconsin actor and theater educator, Elyse Edelman, with Nathan Wesselowski, Milwaukee opera singer and instructor, serving as music director.  

The cast is comprised of young performers from Southeastern Wisconsin. Top Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra students and local professional musicians make up the orchestra. Community outreach activities focusing on Holocaust education and themes including anti-bullying will be conducted in conjunction with the production.

“Endeavors like these reinforce the conviction that the sound of good cannot be silenced.” said Josh Richman, founder and executive director of RUACH.

The show is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts; the Milwaukee County Cultural, Artistic and Musical Programming Advisory Council; the City of Milwaukee Arts Board; the Wisconsin Arts Board; Bader Philanthropies, Inc.; the Bert L. & Patricia S. Steigleder Charitable Trust; the Harri Hoffmann Family Foundation; the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund; and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

To learn more, visit RuachMilwaukee.org or call 414-367-4890. 

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