Israeli 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 for more information including whether a beginner class is being held on a given week.



Yom HaAtzmaut 2014

Yom HaAtzmaut: Israel's Independence Day Celebration

April 26 * 1:30-6:30 pm

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


The third and most celebratory of the "Yamim," or "Days," we celebrate the creation of the State of Israel with engaging activities for people of all ages.

  • Walk for Israel: 1:30 pm
  • Community Celebration: 3-5 pm
  • Ester Rada Concert 5 pm

Theme: How Israel Makes the World Better


Co-chairs: Alex Blumin and Laura Graupe


View photos from 2014 event.


For more information about this event click here.



Ester Rada's cross-cultural sound is a deep reflection of the Israeli born Ethiopian's heritage. Growing up in a highly religious Jewish family in more than modest conditions in one of the roughest neighborhoods of Israel, gave Rada the drive to change her way of life and fulfill her dream of creating music. Critics describe her genre mixing sound as "gracefully combining Ethio-Jazz, funk, soul and r&b, with mixed undertones of black grooves". Shortly after releasing her EP the world discovered the potential of singer, songwriter, performer, and persona Ester Rada. Ester's increasing popularity saw her tour the US, Canada, and Europe, and most recently the highly respected Glastonbury Festival. She warmed up for Alicia Keys at her Israel concert, in front of 8500 people, receiving amazing critics from Alicia herself saying, "She is amazing". Her video "Life Happens" is aired these days on MTV France, East Europe, and Israel, as well as on Vh1 UK.


To listen to Ester click here.


*This concert was made possible by a grant from Jewish Community Foundation

to the Milwaukee Jewish Federation's Israel Center


Questions? Contact Zabrina Tamarkin at or 414-390-5724. This event is a partnership between the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC. 



Three Opportunities to Meet with Israel Advocate, David Bernstein


BDS and the War on Israel: How to be an Effective Advocate

April 27 * noon-1:30 pm

Evan & Marion Helfaer Community Services Building

1360 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee


Israel is under fire in our community and around the world. Many in the Jewish community don't agree on Israeli policy. How can each of us, from our personal point of view, effectively stand up for Israel? The discussion will touch on:

  • How to fight BDS on campus, in the churches and in the community.

  • Including a wide range of political perspectives, how can we powerfully defend Israel's right to exist?

  • Advocacy: What works and what doesn't?

  • What is "relational advocacy" and why should you know about it?

Free and open to the community . 

*Bring your own lunch



April 27  * 7-9 pm

Hillel Milwaukee

3053 N. Stowell Ave., Milwaukee

Evening with David Bernstein: Explore ways to effectively advocate for yourself & for Israel on campus Kosher refreshments served.

Note: this event is open to teens only

"Our Israel Now: SESSION III: ADVOCATE" is a young adult program of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. It is supported by a gift through the Jewish Community Foundation of the Federation.


For more information contact Elana Kahn-Oren at, 414-390-5736. 



Anti-Israel Activity on College Campuses:  A Conversation  for Parents of Prospective Students with David Bernstein

April 28 * 8 am

Evan & Marion Helfaer Community Services Building

1360 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee


David Bernstein has experience with many campuses and can speak to how to choose and help your child prepare for college life. He is the founding director of The David Project,, an organization whose mission is to positively shape campus opinion on Israel by educating, training, and empowering student leaders to be thoughtful, strategic and persuasive advocates. He has also  held senior roles in the American Jewish Committee, where he was a leading advocate for Israel on the legislative, diplomatic, media and intergroup relations fronts, as well as helped found the Israel on Campus Coalition of Greater Washington. Currently, Bernstein is visiting college campuses across the US helping students feel confident amidst increasing anti-Israel sentiments and can speak firsthand about what is happening at many universities.


Please RSVP to ir 414-390-5781 


SPARK! Engaging Israel, a Sensory Experience

May 1 * 10-11:30 am

Jewish Museum Milwaukee
1360 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee


SPARK! is a program for caregivers and loved ones with beginning to mid-stage Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. SPARK! programs feature interactive exhibit experiences in a welcoming environment. Specially trained Museum educators engage participants in lively discussions, object handling and other multi-sensory activities.  JMM is proud to partner with Chai Point Adult Day Center to provide this program.


At this program, we will explore Israel through the sounds, smells, tastes, textures and visions of the country.  There will be an art making process connecting to the program.  A light nosh will be served (dietary laws observed).

This program is made possible with a grant from the Helen Bader Foundation. 


RSVP required. This program is limited to those affected by memory loss and their caregivers. 

Contact 414-390-5742


This event is a partnership between Jewish Museum Milwaukee and Chai Point Adult Day Center.



Cutting Edge Israel - The Hungarian Cube

May 7 * 7 pm

Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC

 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Whitefish Bay


Hungarian born composer Andre Hajdu, winner of  the Israel Prize, is also a Holocaust survivor who made aliyah after the war and raised his children in Israel. Of secular birth, Hajdu became an Orthodox Jew as an  adult - yet his grown children, also featured in the film,  include a son who is gay, a son who is secular and a son  who is Haredi. Hajdu shares his Holocaust background,  his emergence as a creative force and his family  relationships in this intriguing documentary. In Hebrew with subtitles. Suitable for ages 16 and up.


Film Length: 52 min. 

Instructor: Jody Hirsh


Email or call Laurie Herman at 414-967-8212.



Israeli Picnic

May 10 * 1-3 pm

Mequon River Barn

9808 N. Cedarburg Rd. 44W, Mequon




Israel Night

May 16 * 6-8:30 pm

Congregation Emanu-El of Waukesha

830 West Moreland Blvd., Waukesha


Israeli / Middle Eastern food, Israeli wine, soft drinks, desserts, entertainment, music, Israel short travel movie, Israel pictures and more!


Sign up for: A Minute Memory

In 60 seconds tell us about your favorite remembrance, happening, significant or fun experience that you had on a trip to Israel. But, you only have one minute to tell us about it!


RSVP and check must be received by Friday, May 1st. (Your check is your reservation)

Send RSVP and check payable to CEEW to:

Sandy Greenberg

2535 Dorset Court

Brookfield WI 53045


Please include the following with your check:


Email / Phone:


Krakow, the "Polish Jerusalem"? Revival of Jewish Life in Poland after the Holocaust with Agi Legutko

May 18 * 7-9 pm 

Congregation Emanu-El B'ne Jeshurun

2020 W. Brown Deer Rd., Milwaukee


Once called the "Polish Jerusalem," for over seven hundred years Krakow boasted a vibrant Jewish community that produced such world famous rabbis as the Ramah (Moses Isserles), Bach (Joel Sirkes), Abraham Joshua Heshel, and Megale Amukot (Natan Nata Spira). Seventy years after the Holocaust, it is now undergoing an unprecedented revival of Jewish life. What was the Jewish Krakow then? What is going on there now? The Jewish revival without Jews? With Jews? Come and hear stories about the most fascinating place in Jewish Poland of today - Krak?w!

Agi Legutko was born and raised in Krakow, Poland. She became a tour guide to the Jewish Quarter of Krakow, and then discovered her Jewish roots as an adult. She is the first person in four generations of her family to speak Yiddish. She goes back to Krakow every summer to lead tours in the Jewish quarter of Krakow and give talks during the Jewish Culture Festival.
Her publications include Krakow's Kazimierz: Town of Partings and Returns, a historical guidebook to the Jewish Quarter of Krakow, (published in English and Polish, 2004, 2009); and articles on dybbuk possession, modern Yiddish literature and culture, and on Yiddish poetry.


This event is a partnership between the Milwaukee Jewish Federation's Israel Center and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education & Resource Center and UWM Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies.



Young Adult including College Student, Interested in Learning Hebrew?

Email Stefanie Sager, Young Jewish Adults Milwaukee (YJAM), for details.


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.


Chug Ivrit

Fridays * 1 pm - May 8, June 12

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

An opportunity to practice speaking Hebrew.

Questions? Email or call Zabrina Tamarkin at 414-390-5724.



  Womens Philanthropy Heart to Heart


Milwaukee Missions 2016


February 2016

Jewish Federations of North America

Women's Philanthropy Heart to Heart Mission

Questions? Email or call Amy Blumenthal at 414-390-5713.



April 2016

In April of 2016 Milwaukeeans will be invited to celebrate 20 years of P2G people-to-people connections throughout the world in Israel. Each day of the P2G@20 conference will be held in a different part of Israel (north, south and center) with multiple tracks to choose from according to personal interest.In addition, our community will have two add-on opportunities: the first, our George Weinstein Fellowship young leaders' Israel trip; and the second, a community delegation to Israel.Questions? Email or call Rabbi Hannah Greenstein at 414-390-5764. 



Israel News and Opinions/Perspectives



When El Al flew to Tehran - and 9 other things you may not know about Israel's past  (JTA)

50 years of German-Israeli relations. Where do they stand today? (Voice of Israel)

Defiant and patriotic, Arab journalist Lucy Aharish accepts Israeli honor (Ynet)

Obama tells U.S. Jewish leaders: Netanyahu not invited to White House until after Iran talks (Haaretz)


Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut -- Remembrance Day and Independence Day

After sirens wail, Rivlin urges Israelis to fight for 'a more just home' (Times of Israel)

Israel remembers its fallen from minority communities (Times of Israel)

Netanyahu's Independence Day message praises troops' 'fighting spirit' in Gaza  (JTA) 

Full recording -- Israeli declaration of independence (YouTube) 

67 more things I love about Israel by Benji Lovitt  (Times of Israel)


Opinions and Perspectives

Kenneth Jacobson: How to Avoid Another Yarmouk (JTA) 

Molly Horwitz: If I am not for myself, who will be for me (The Stanford Daily)
Note: This article was written by a young woman from Milwaukee who is now a student at Stanford University and, in her campaign to run for student senate, experienced Israel-related questions that she felt crossed the line to anti-Semitism. The issue made national news and she was subsequently elected to the senate.  




This week we commemorate and celebrate Israel with Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut. We would like to share with you excerpts of our community shlichah's thoughts on these two events in this e-newsletter:

Amit Yaniv-Zehavi


"Yom HaZikaron"

In Israel, "Yom HaZikaron" is a national day in the true sense of the word. Literally, everywhere you are, you cannot escape the national atmosphere of mourning. There are sad songs on every station of the radio, some including lyrics written by soldiers who "fell" in wars. All TV stations show pictures of the victims of our wars as well as interviews with bereaved wives, children, siblings and parents. Whether you take the bus, train, enter a caf?, a bank, a school, you will know what day it is. We do not have Memorial Day picnics or sales.

The country grieves for all those killed in action during their military service as well as those killed in terror attacks. Everyone knows someone who lost their life, or who has suffered a loss.

Many people dress in white for the ceremonies. Many people go to pay their respects at the military cemetery, placing flowers, letters and candles on graves. We wear "Yizkor" (remember) stickers with "Blood of the Maccabies" flowers. We all stand still while a chilling siren goes off. Life stops in mid track. Everything stops and becomes silent including traffic.

We then transition into Yom HaAzmaut. This transition is almost impossible to bear at times, but it was a decision made years ago, linking the two days together, so we will never forget the price we paid and continue to pay for Israel's independence and ongoing security.

Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day:

In Israel, Yom HaAzmaut follows closely after Yom HaZikaron. This year, Israel will celebrate 67 years of Independence.

Yom HaAzmaut can be felt a few weeks before the actual date. Youth sell Israeli flags at junctions so people can hang them from car windows, big Israeli flags hang from porches and windows, municipalities hang banners along main routes.

In the evening, typically, there will be Israeli dancing, sing-alongs, free concerts, fireworks, and BBQ's. Roads close and kids ride anything with wheels, while spraying all passer-byes with foam and confetti and pounding heads with balloon-hammers. People wear blue and white.

During the day, there will be military air- shows, more BBQ's (my friends are actually cross at me for breaking the tradition of hosting one every year), make- shift amusement parks for kids (with fun stations like zip lines and tug of war). People go hiking, have picnics, go to the beach, and hold sport tournaments

The first time I experienced Yom HaAzmaut in a Jewish community outside of Israel was in Finchley, London and I was astonished and very moved to find out that Israel meant so much to Jews outside of Israel. This year, as well, I was impressed by the great people chairing and being part of the Yom HaAzmaut committee. I look forward to experiencing the event with you and with 700 others. 





Amit Yaniv-Zehavi

Community Shlichah 


PS Feel free to contact me at





Screening of the documentary, " Body and Soul: The State of the Jewish Nation," by Doc Emet productions. 

Sunday, June 7 * 4 pm

Harry & Samson Family JCC  


This powerful documentary sets the record straight by showing the undeniable historical connection between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel, and by debunking the propaganda, myths, and misinformation that have become accepted truths by so many.


Free admission, open to public


Film running time is approx 65 minutes. Presented by The Committee for Truth and Justice ( CTJ), co-sponsors-- Advocates for Israel , JCRC of Milwaukee Jewish Federation. 


David Broza Concert

Monday, June 15 * 7 pm

Nicolet High School


Concert free with a minimum investment of $36 in Israel Bonds.

For more information, contact Debra Gorra Barash, DEBRA.GORRABARASH@ISRAELBONDS.COM, 414-716-0094

David Broza



Brought to Milwaukee by:



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.