February 2016

"Wonderful Women", Who are They?

Partnership2Gether, is a Jewish Agency for Israel program connecting 550 Jewish communities around the world, promoting people to people connections through delegations and educational programs. Milwaukee's partnership is a successful one with the Sovev Kinneret region in Northern Israel.
Before my current role as Shlichah for the Milwaukee Jewish Community, I worked for seven years for Partnership2Gether of the Beit Shemesh - Mateh Yehuda region in Israel. This region is located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The area was partnered with South Africa and Washington DC. Some call Mateh Yehuda "The Tuscany of Israel". Besides being hilly and picturesque, with Vineyards and 30 Wineries (Israel's' Wine Route), it is a popular destination for bike riders, has many Art Galleries, ethnic cooks and ecological Initiatives as well as Bed and Breakfasts. Many of the 57 villages inhabitants are from specific ethnic background, as new immigrants were settled in communities together in the 50's. My kibbutz (Tzora) is nestled among these foot hills, surrounded by our agricultural crops of cotton, sunflower, alfalfa and orchards of pecans, almonds, olives and pomegranates. There is also the dairy, which produces milk (and odors).
Beit Shemesh used to be a small town with a majority of North African and Russian immigrants. They were mostly modern Orthodox and Conservative, some secular (mostly from the waves of Russian immigration in the 80's). The town had a slow pace and a small-town feel where people tended to know each other. In less than ten years, the city that grew from 30,000 to 90,000 people. Whole neighborhoods from Jerusalem in search of cost effective housing moved in and the town became a city overnight and changed it's character.
For many reasons, tensions that originated on a national level, (surrounding issues of army, work force, intolerance, and budget tug of wars) began occurring locally in Beit Shemesh, culminating in clashes between different sectors of Jews and negative national media coverage.
To make a long story short, The Washington DC community requested that our partnership "do something about theses tensions". This led to a "call for dialogue initiatives" following which 20 proposals were handed in and 4 chosen, including the "Wonderful Women's Dialogue through film"initiative.
Wonderful Women: 10 secular + 10 ultra - Orthodox Women met weekly for 12 weeks, socializing, getting to know one another, breaking stereotypes, building friendships and ultimately making short films about the meaning of being a Jewish woman. Three films were made as well as a documentary that aired on national television and discussion groups met and spoke after watching the movies in the communities in and around Beit Shemesh, as well as in DC as part of the Jewish film festival.
The films dealt with a variety of issues from different angles such as hair vs. wigs, the meaning of prayer, grandmothers comparing stories of weddings, childhood friends reuniting. My film is a video clip of hands doing many day to day activities.
All films have English subtitles.
If you are interested in hearing more about this subject and watching the films, I have two events coming up: 
Monday, February 29th 7pm | Sinai Congregation
Tuesday, March 22nd | 7pm | Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center

Amit Yaniv-Zehavi
Community Shlichah 

PS Feel free to contact me at AmitZ@MilwaukeeJewish.org
Each year, Partnership2Gether looks for four families to host our Shinshin young Israel Emissaries for about 4 months. These emissaries are busy working with 500 children throughout the Milwaukee community, but need warm families to come home to when their work is done. If you are interested in hosting a Shinshin this year, or in upcoming years, or have questions about the program, please contact Elsie Crawford, 414-390-5762.
May 26 - June 2, 2016
JFNA LGBTQ Mission to Israel 2016
Local and national subsidies are available.
Join members of the LGBTQ community from across North America for this groundbreaking mission to Israel! Encounter Israel and Federation as a community through a uniquely LGBTQ lens. Spend three nights in Jerusalem and four in Tel Aviv, as well as glimmer at the beautiful sights of Israel's North. Relax in the comforts of leading Israeli hotels. Meet with Israel's top LGBTQ politicians, business leaders and innovators and learn what is being done to advance the rights of the LGBTQ community. Spend time with IDF Soldiers and Officers. Be inspired by incredible sites where Federations are changing lives every day. Experience Israeli culture, cuisine and character as a community. Options are available to extend for Tel Aviv Pride. Register here .
Questions? Email or call Jake Velleman at 414-390-5727.

Israel Folk Dancing  
Mondays * 7:30-9:30 pm
Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC
6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Whitefish Bay
Teaching and dancing for beginners is often held from 7:30 to 8:15 pm followed by intermediate to advanced level circle dancing of the newest dances from Israel. Ages 12+. No cost.
Email MilwaukeeIFD@Yahoo.com for more information including whether a beginner class is being held on a given week.  

Interfaith Tu B'Shevat Family Festival
January 24 * 4-6pm
Congregation Sinai
8223 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point
Celebrate the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Earth-friendly activities, crafts, and holiday seder with an environmental focus.
Open to all: geared towards children 11 and under.
RSVP to Allisonh@MilwaukeeJewish.org or 414-390-5724

Arthur Szyk Exhibit Opening
February 7-May 15 
Jewish Museum Milwaukee
1360 North Prospect Ave, Milwaukee
The Jewish Museum Milwaukee will be presenting the work of the mid-20th century artist Arthur Szyk's work and philosophies in connection with the topics of - Art as Propaganda, Democracy/ Freedom, Civil Rights and Zionism/ the State of Israel along with varied programming that will allow the public in depth opportunities to engage more profoundly in these timeless and timely ideas.
In 1914 Szyk traveled with a group of Jewish artists and writers to Palestine, an experience which informed the rest of his life and artistic career. He developed a passionate belief that the Jews should establish a new homeland in Palestine and began a decades-long commitment to fighting for that cause. Scholars and art historians have proposed that perhaps no artist did more to advocate for the State of Israel than Arthur Szyk. In an excerpt from her unpublished 1954 memories, Szyk's wife Julia recalled: "When Israel was declared independent we were home with some friends and heard the news over the radio, Arthur cried for joy. It was a dream of his that had come true. He was the happiest man in the world. He sat down the next day and made the declaration of Independence of Israel. It was a magnificent scroll with all the dreams of youth. Palestine was always his personal concern. Those who fought for it were like his own children. He felt they belonged to him."
For a complete listing of programs of this exhibit, click here.
Concert and Reception with Israeli Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Assistant Conductor Yaniv Dinur
February 13
Show begins at 8pm | Reception to follow
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
929 N. Water Street, Milwaukee

Please help welcome Yaniv Dinur to our community! Join the Milwaukee Jewish Federation at the concert February 13 and stay for a post-concert, back stage reception in Uihlein Hall.

Born in Jerusalem in 1981, Yaniv Dinur has performed with orchestras in Israel, Europe, The United States, Canada and Mexico. He is a winner of numerous conducting awards, among them the 2nd Prize at the 2009 Mata International Conducting Competition in Mexico, and the Yuri Ahronovitch 1st Prize in the 2005 Aviv Conducting Competitions in Israel. He was chosen by the League of American Orchestras to be a featured conductor in the 2011 Bruno Walter Conducting Preview, and he is a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Zubin Mehta Scholarship Endowment.

Discounted tickets (20% off) to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's performance of "My Sinatra"
Purchase tickets for the concert here. (Enter "Yaniv" as the promo code in the shopping cart to receive a 20% discount on your tickets.) Note: If this link is not working, please email or call Ashleigh Lund at 414-390-5741 for assistance.
Questions? Contact AshleighL@MilwaukeeJewish.org.

Wonderful Women Film 
Next Year Jerusalem (Israel) 2013
February 29 *  7-9 pm 
Congregation Sinai
8223 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point
Experience the power of relationships between women by attending this film screening which will be presented and moderated by Amit Yaniv-Zehavi, Milwaukee's Community Shlichah. Co-sponsored by the Women of Sinai, NCJW Milwaukee Section, Hadassah and the Milwaukee Jewish Federation .
 Click here for the flyer or contact womenofsinaiMKE@gmail.com for more information.
Rabbi Ariella Graetz Bar Tuv - Shaping the Dream: Striving for Religious Pluralism and Gender Equality in Israel
March 1 * 7-9 pm
Congregation Sinai
8223 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point
Congregation Sinai is hosting a Reform rabbi from Israel from Congregation Kehillat Emet VeShalom, Sinai's sister congregation. She will speak on religious pluralism in Israel. Kehillat Emet VeShalom, is the only congregation in Nahariya and the Western Galilee that is affiliated with Israel's Movement for Progressive and Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Ariella Graetz Bar Tuv, one of about 40 female Reform rabbis in Israel, is visiting as part of a project sponsored by Israeli Government and IMPJ, Israel's Reform movement. The initiative seeks to connect Israel and the diaspora in relevant and meaningful ways.

Rabbi Ariella has a B.A. in political science and philosophy from the Hebrew University and an M.A in Judaism from Machon Shechter in Jerusalem. She was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem.  Rabbi Ariella is a Reform rabbi with Orthodox family. She is married to Menash Bartuv and they have 3 children. Itamar, 18 (almost a soldier), Harel, 15, and Meirav, 11. They live in the Galille, in an Orthodox village.

Seeking Justice
Strengthening the Prospects for Middle East Peace
David Makovsky
March 1 | 7-8:30 pm
Marquette University
Between November 2013 and September 2014, David Makovsky advised Secretary of State John Kerry as part of an elite team charged with seeking an historic peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Makovsky's firsthand account of what it's like to work behind the scenes on the most difficult diplomatic issues of the last century provides a riveting view of the issues, the personalities, and the prospects for peace moving forward. David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process. He is also an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and recently concluded an almost ten-month stint as a senior advisor on Secretary of State John Kerry's peace team. Author of numerous Washington Institute monographs and essays on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process and the Arab-Israeli conflict, he is also coauthor, with Dennis Ross, of the 2009 Washington Post bestseller "Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking/Penguin)."
RSVP to AllisonH@MilwaukeeJewish.org  or 414-390-5724.

New York Times best-selling author: Seth M. Siegel  
March 15, 2016 | 7:30-9 pm 
Congregation Sinai
8330 N. Port Washington Rd., Fox Point
Presented by Women's Philanthropy of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the Edie Adelman Political Awareness Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation
Siegel will discuss how Israel can serve as a role model for the United States and countries everywhere by showing how to blunt the worst of the coming water calamities.
Dessert reception to follow (dietary laws observed)
Cost: $15; $5 for students
Co-sponsored by the Israel Center of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, National Council of Jewish Women - Milwaukee Section, and Milwaukee Riverkeepers.
For more information,  email  or call Ashleigh Lund at 414-390-5741.

Modern Hebrew Language Class
Wednesdays * 7 pm
Pelz Center for Jewish Life
2233 West Mequon Road, Mequon  
Questions? Email or call Rabbi Moshe Rapoport at 262-242-2235.
News & Perspectives


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.