International

Local Jews recall a different life in former Soviet Union

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Leo Soroka’s coworker wanted to know: was he Russian or Ukrainian? Soroka moved to the Milwaukee area from Ukraine in 1992 after the Soviet Union collapsed. A few years later, when asked about his nationality, Soroka answered that he was Jewish. “He wouldn’t understand,” Soroka said. “For him, Jewish is just religion, it’s not nationality. So people here cannot comprehend why we are calling ourselves Jewish, because we’re not practicing. Especially in the beginning, we were not practicing at all.” Soroka and his wife, Olga, left the former Soviet Union after about...

Jewish Museum Milwaukee exhibit examines diary found at Auschwitz

Jewish Museum Milwaukee exhibit examines diary found at Auschwitz

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A new exhibit coming to Jewish Museum Milwaukee will explore the content and context of a diary found in the rubble of the liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, which went unexamined for more than 60 years. “The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka From the Łódź Ghetto” was first mounted by the Galicia Jewish Museum in […]

During Milwaukee visit, Israeli Anat Hoffman expresses dismay over anti-LGBT billboards

During Milwaukee visit, Israeli Anat Hoffman expresses dismay over anti-LGBT billboards

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  BROWN DEER – Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, is concerned about billboards she’s seen comparing the Reform movement to Nazis, among other pejorative messages.  The billboards, in Israel, have appeared during the run-up to recent elections. Hoffman is worried that the billboards could reappear in the next Israeli election […]

Rabbi and nun advocate for justice at the border

Rabbi and nun advocate for justice at the border

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Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz and Sister Norma Pimentel, both advocates for immigrants, spoke about border control at Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid, and shared stories of how immigrants have impacted their lives. Yanklowitz is the founder of Arizona Jews for Justice. Pimentel is the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in […]

Local immigrant project collected 500 pounds

Local immigrant project collected 500 pounds

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In just two weeks, Congregation Shalom collected two U-Hauls worth of needed items for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Donations included 500 pounds of clothing, with 1,300 pairs of socks, 217 coats and 66 backpacks. The coats are needed because some migrants are on their way to colder climates. Nina Edelman, congregant of Shalom, was […]

Tony award winner Patinkin to appear

Tony award winner Patinkin to appear

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  Mandy Patinkin, a Tony and Emmy award-winning performer, will appear in concert Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at the Riverside Theater, an event offered by the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center. Patinkin played Inigo Montoya in the 1987 film “The Princess Bride.” He has been the voice of Papa Smurf and appeared in “Yentl” and “Dick […]

Annual Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival hits disparate topics, opens Sept. 15

Annual Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival hits disparate topics, opens Sept. 15

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The annual Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival is to include works tied to a smorgasbord of disparate topics – Sigmund Freud, special needs, the origin of “Fiddler on the Roof,” a kidney transplant, Israeli politics, a Nazi occupation, and former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Included in the line-up is “Golda’s Balcony, The Film” featuring a […]

Local teens compete in Mexico 

Local teens compete in Mexico 

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Local high school seniors Rachel Dallet and Max Katz were the only Wisconsin athletes chosen to play soccer in the Pan American Maccabi Games in Mexico City in July of 2019.  Unlike the JCC Maccabi games Milwaukee hosted in 2015, where all athletes were teenagers, the Pan American Maccabi Games are an athletic competition for […]

Bearing witness to the fate of my Polish family

Bearing witness to the fate of my Polish family

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After years of looking for Shoah answers, I realized I had to put my feet on the ground in Poland. So I joined the Ramah Israel Institute’s Poland Journey For Adults program that took place at the end of July 2019. It occurred to me that by seeing my place of origin, Chmielnik, I might […]

Sen. Baldwin seeks restitution of Holocaust property in Poland

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A letter signed by 88 U.S. senators, and promoted in particular by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, calls on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to push for the restitution of property for Holocaust victims in Poland. The letter notes that survivors and their families have “found it nearly impossible” to reclaim or seek compensation for property […]

‘Boogie Without Borders’ dance-a-thon to benefit HIAS

‘Boogie Without Borders’ dance-a-thon to benefit HIAS

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Congregation Sinai is hosting “Boogie Without Borders,” a dance-a-thon to benefit the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, HIAS, on Feb. 1 from 6 p.m. to midnight. HIAS was created to assist Jews with immigration and resettlement into the United States. Through both world wars, HIAS assisted Jewish refugees and aided resettlement in the U.S. HIAS recently […]

Five things to know about the first female rabbi

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Ask most Jews where and when the world’s first female rabbi was ordained, and they may guess 1970s America. But they’d be off by four decades and a continent. The first woman rabbi was not Sally Priesand, ordained by the Reform movement in 1972, but Regina Jonas, who earned the title in 1935 in Berlin. […]