January 2017
CURRENT PERSPECTIVES                                 

U.N. Resolution 2334
Mainstream media widely covered last month's high profile and divisive actions by the United States, including the US involvement and abstention of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary of State John Kerry's speech about a two-state solution. Information and analysis is readily available, so we note only three recent and admittedly not comprehensive related articles. If you'd like to receive news and analysis about that issue, email ElanaK@MilwaukeeJewish.org.
  • Washington Post's Glenn Kessler checked the facts of Kerry's speech. Read more.
  • Israel's Top Security Experts Redraw West Bank Map for the Trump Era. Read more. 
  • Boston's Jeremy Burton responded to the actions by calling for investment into peacemakingRead more.
In other Israel-related news:

Istanbul Terror Attack
  • An Israeli teenager, Layan Nasser, was among those killed in the attack at an Istanbul night club during New Year's celebrations. Read more.
  • Her mother Lucy, called her daughter a "martyr" at the teen's funeral on Tuesday. Read more. 


Israeli Soldier

  • On Wednesday, in a much anticipated and divisive decision, IDF soldier Elor Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter after killing an incapacitated Palestinian assailant last March. Read more.
  • Naomi Zeveloff writes in the Forward about why Israelis were "obsessed" with the trail. Read more. 

Free Trade Agreement: Israel signed an agreement with China that will pave the way for some 6,000 Chinese construction workers to come and work in Israel within six months. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the accord will provide a "boost" to solve the housing crisis. Read more.

Netanyahu Investigation
  • Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit confirmed on Monday that he had ordered a criminal investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for ethical violations. Read more. 
  • Netanyahu minimized the process and the suspicion, but will again be questioned on Friday.  Read more.

Chanukah Discovery:
Hikers in southern Israel discovered a seven-branched menorah and a cross etched into the same wall.  Read more.

East Jerusalem 'Refugee Camp': Times of Israel shines a light on "Samoud Camp," a squalid squatter's settlement in East Jerusalem that is home to around 42 Arab families, an estimated 300 individuals. Read more.

Education: Jeducation World highlights the work of Beit Issie Shapiro's center in Kalansua, which treats Arab-Israeli children with disabilities. Read more.

Home and Away:
During Sukkoth, I had the pleasure of visiting my home (Kibbutz Tzora, Israel).
It was the longest time I had been away from home (a year and 2.5 months).
I was uncertain how I would feel after being away for so long. What if my friends treated me different? What if my Kibbutz changed? What if Israel was different?
All those were worries in vain, as I felt right at home (and missed) from the moment I arrived. A home is always a home, especially if it's Israel.
While at home, I had to make up my mind about staying a fourth year in Milwaukee. Although this was a huge compliment and tempting, to be honest, the decision was difficult but, for our family, holistically, there is no doubt that this is the right thing. Yonatan, now 18, will graduate Nicolet high school this year. Next year he will do a Pre-Army program in Israel called "Mechina". We want to be nearby. Our close family in Israel also want us back. Three years is a substantial time. One can feel a real part of the community without getting confused. So, the decision was made and we return home at the end of July.
Being in Milwaukee for over two years has created a sense of belonging. It would have been surprising if this had not happened, taking the warmth and welcoming of this community we have been lucky enough to be a part of (and still have 7 months to go).
Arriving back in Milwaukee, I had a heightened sense of awareness to my surroundings. This Autumn was "the last Autumn of my Shlichut" so I almost noticed every falling leaf with a sense of awe. This winter, even with negative 22 Celsius, is "the last winter of Shlichut", so every icicle and wind chill will be savored (though not missed).
I cherish time spent with friends here. I love this community and being your Shlichah. Although my goodbye "speech" won't take place until June, parts of it have been playing and replaying in my head.
In March, I will have the unique honor to take 27 fellow workers from the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and to show them Israel through my eyes. This is an opportunity and a great responsibility. Bringing both my worlds together will be so meaningful and I hope I can share the love I have for Israel as well as a deeper understanding and appreciation of this complex homeland.
Milwaukee can proudly boast that it has the longest withstanding Shlichut program in North America. I am Shlichah #16. Reaching out to the 15 before me, to collect photos and quotes, has been fascinating and moving. Learning about what this community meant to them and how this community held it's Zionism over so many years and with economic stresses is remarkable.
I encourage you to save the date of June 25th to attend our Shlichut family going away event at 4pm at Congregation Sinai and to view the film we are making to celebrate 50 years Shlichut in this community. If you have any special memories with past Shlichim and how they touched your lives, or any photos, please share them with me at Amitz@MilwaukeeJewish.org .
Hope you had a happy Hanukah and remember to count those blessings and savor what you have!

Amit Yaniv-Zehavi
Community Shlichah 

P.S. Feel free to contact me at AmitZ@MilwaukeeJewish.org

BBYO Passport
For Miles Guralnick, the experience on BBYO Passport Central Europe Discovery + Israel connected him to his family heritage and to the importance of a Jewish homeland in a deeper way than he has experienced before. The trip was 30 days and included touring around Prague, Budapest and Krakow to learn about Jewish life before the Holocaust, visiting labor and death camps like Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek, and spending time afterwards in Israel. Miles had relatives who died at Majdanek and being there was a powerful experience that brought home the loss experienced in the Holocaust. This was not Miles' first trip to Israel, his family went to Israel around the time of his bar mitzvah, but this trip was longer and more in depth. Having these life-changing experiences with his peers helped Miles develop meaningful friendships. In fact, the group has already gotten together in Minneapolis since the trip. Miles said that said that even before the trip, the group was connected on Facebook and through social media, keep in touch daily. Miles' best memories in Israel were visiting his family on his free weekend and spending time with friends one evening in Eilat, exploring the town's amusement park and boardwalk. He recommends this trip to peers looking for a fun and meaningful way to learn about our heritage and people.


Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Israel

Most Wednesdays, October 26-January 18 * 6:30-8:30 pm

Congregation Shalom, 7630 N. Santa Monica Blvd.

Hot Topic for Cold Nights- Palestinian and Jewish Homeland Narratives with Dr. Barry Chazan

January 10 * 7-8:30 pm

Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC, 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd.

Community Feedback Meeting about Yom HaAtzmaut

January 17 * 7-8:30 pm

Falafel Guys, 105 W. Freistadt Rd, Mequon

Israeli Karaoke Night

January 22 * 7 pm

Falafel Guys, 105 W. Freistadt Rd, Mequon


Partnership2Gether Social Worker Delegation Community Event

January 31 * 6:30-8 pm
Place, TBD



The Israel Center, a department of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, serves as Israel's central address in the greater Milwaukee community. Our mission is to create connections between the people of Israel and Milwaukee through cultural, professional, educational and travel experiences. These connections are developed in part through Shlichut and Partnership2Gether, two programs that are made possible through the Milwaukee Jewish Federation's partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel. Learn more.


Questions? Email or call Rabbi Hannah Greenstein, VP outreach, Israel and overseas, at 414-390-5764. 

The Jewish Community Relations Council, a department of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, builds strategic relationships to protect and defend Jews, individually and collectively. Our mission is to speak as the representative of the Jewish community on issues of public affairs and public policy by convening and mobilizing the Jewish community through education, advocacy, social justice, and support for Israel.
Learn more at www.MilwaukeeJewish.org/JCRC or contact Elana   Kahn through email or by calling 414-390-5736.