April 2016
CURRENT PERSPECTIVES                                 
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)'s reception of presidential hopeful Donald Trump at its annual Washington policy conference was the cause of much hand-wringing,  including a  protest organized through a campaign called Come Together Against Hate, a play on the conference 's theme of "Come Together." A member of this group, Rabbi Morris Allen of Mendota Heights, Minnesota, made clear "this is a stand against a man who has campaigned in a way that has only used detraction and negativity to elevate his own candidacy. But we are standing here in the inside of this arena. We are not protesting AIPAC. We are supporters of and believers in the work that AIPAC does." Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld  explains his personal protest, which got him escorted from the plenary hall. 
Journalist JJ Goldberg supported AIPAC's choice to invite Trump, arguing that " AIPAC's job is to ensure that America stands with Israel ." After Trump's speech, Goldberg called the overwhelming applause "jarring" and "startling," opining that AIPAC is paying a price for its growth
For JTA's Andrew Silow-Carroll, the disconnect between many American Jews and the apparent support for Trump at AIPAC pointed to the strengths and challenges of AIPAC's single focus on support for Israel .
After this week's terrorist attack at the Brussels airport,  the world looks to Israel as a model of airport security . "The threat we are facing in Europe is about the same as what Israel faces," said Olivier Guitta, managing director of GlobalStrat, an international security consultancy. After a string of extremist attacks targeting Europe, some analysts say Europe will finally have to implement a much tougher level of security not only at airports, but also at "soft targets" like shopping malls - the kind that Israelis have been living with for years.
The Jewish Agency declared an end to immigration from Yemen this week, following the successful conclusion of a covert operation that brought 19 people to Israel over the past several days, leaving 50 Jews who have expressed no interest in emigration. Anti-Semitic violence has been a growing problem in Yemen in recent years, with incidents such as the 2008 murder of Jewish teacher Moshe Nahari in Raydah and that of Aharon Zindani, as well as the forced conversion and marriage of a Jewish woman to a Muslim the same year. 

In case you missed it, an  Israeli breakthrough helped cure Jimmy Carter's cancer An Israeli-tested drug was key to helping rid former U.S. president Jimmy Carter of life-threatening tumors that developed after he was diagnosed with melanoma earlier this year. Carter, 91, announced Sunday that doctors found no evidence of the four lesions discovered on his brain this summer and no signs of new cancer growth.
This week, we celebrated the joyous holiday of Purim. See how  Israeli families of victims of terror interpret their celebration including the family of Dafna Meir who dressed as emoticons to show anguish mixed with joy.
Don't miss these Israel-related events!
Next Wednesday, March 30, at noon, Rabbi Ali Abrams from J Street will kick off Israel in Focus, a three-part lunch series to educate and talk about critical issues related to Israel. Abrams will offer " An Insider's View of the Issues ." (Future sessions: "AIPAC: Exploring the US-Israel Relationship" on Thursday, April 7, and  "A New Exodus: African Asylum Seekers in Israel" on Thursday, April, 28.)
Join us on April 5th for Milwaukee's Concert for Peace, featuring Yair Dalal and Mira Awad. This Israeli Jew and Arab seek peace and justice, not through finger pointing but by working together to build a shared society.   
Join the Milwaukee Jewish Federation for an exclusive opportunity to learn about groundbreaking trends in Israeli philanthropy. Presented by Sigal Yaniv Feller, the Director of Advisory Services in Israel at Jewish Funders Network, and sister of our community shlichah, Amit Yaniv-Zehavi. Learn More

Mitzvat "Hachnasat Orchim" (Inviting guests into your home)

The words to the song from MJDS Shabbat-Sing "Hachnasat Orchim, come into our house" turn around in my head as I reflect on this past winter, here in the snow covered streets of Milwaukee. Friday evenings and Shabbat dinners are times when I personally tend to feel more home sick. Read more


  Amit Yaniv-Zehavi
Community Shlichah 

P.S. Feel free to contact me at AmitZ@MilwaukeeJewish.org
Bar and Bat Mitzvah Projects in Israel

Many of our Milwaukee bar and bat mitzvah teens choose to mark their joyous occasions with mitzvah projects, either through actions or collecting money and goods for charitable causes. Milwaukeean Zach Schneider decided that his mitzvah project would combine two of his passions: Israel and soccer. Working with the Netanya Foundation and  Titi's Project (Miss Israel 2013) Zach established his very own soccer team in Netanya. In his own words: "I chose this project, for children from the Ethiopian community which I can support for years. This is a great way to contribute and help and strengthen my connection to Israel."

Learn more about Zach's project and how to connect with Israel for your family's bar/bat mitzvah here.
Farewell, Herr Schwartz Film 
April 3 * 4 pm
Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC, 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Concert for Peace: Yair Dalal and Mira Awad
April 5 * 8 pm
Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC, 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Lunch & Learn: Briefing with AIPAC
April 7 * 12-1:30 pm
Milwaukee Jewish Federation-Helfaer Community Service Building,1360 N. Prospect Ave.

Trends in Israeli Philanthropy
April 8 * 11:30 am - 2 pm
Congregation Sinai, 8223 N. Port Washington Rd.

Hanna's Journey Film
April 12 * 7 pm
Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC, 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Focus on Israel: A New Exodus: African Asylum Seekers in Israel
April 19 * 12 pm
Milwaukee Jewish Federation-Helfaer Community Service Building,1360 N. Prospect Ave.
With Yom HaAtzmaut around the corner and Milwaukee hosting the next Partnership2Gether Steering Committee meeting, volunteer opportunities are plentiful:   
  1. We are looking for volunteers to help day-of with the community-wide celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut and Walk for Israel on May 15th. Event details here.
  2. We are looking for host families and drivers for our P2G delegates from Israel, Tulsa, Madison, and St. Paul.
  3. We are looking for host families for our Shin Shins, young Israeli emissaries, for the 2016-2017 academic year. Learn more about the Shinshin program here.
  4. Tzofim, Israel scouts, are back this year and we are looking for host homes July 10-11th. These are Israeli teens who travel around the U.S. performing and presenting a fun side of Israel's traditions.
 To volunteer, contact Allison Hayden, 414-390-5724.


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.