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.



Gett: The Trial of Viviane Anselem

Opens approximately April 10th

Downer or Oriental Theater


Check the website for details: 


An Israeli woman (Ronit Elkabetz) seeking to finalize a divorce (gett) from her estranged husband finds herself effectively put on trial by her country's religious marriage laws, in this powerhouse courtroom drama from sibling directors Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz. In Israel, there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce; only Orthodox rabbis can legalize a union or its dissolution, which is only possible with the husband's full consent. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Viviane Amsalem has been applying for a divorce for three years but her religiously devout husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian, Casino Royale, Persepolis), continually refuses. His cold intransigence, Viviane's determination to fight for her freedom, and the ambiguous role of the rabbinical judges shape a procedure where tragedy vies with absurdity and everything is brought out into the open for judgment. Winner of the Israeli Film Academy Ophir Award for Best Picture and propelled by the craft of Ronit Elkabetz (Late Marriage, The Band's Visit), one of Israeli cinema's most acclaimed actresses, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem is an uncompromising, heart-rending portrait of a woman's struggle to overcome an unmoving patriarchy and live a life of her own design. (Fully subtitled)



Cutting Edge Israel - Jerusalem On A Plate

April 16 * 7 pm

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


Renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi takes viewers on an epicurean tour of Israel that reflects recipes of the diverse cultures found in Israel - both Israeli and Arab. In Hebrew w/subtitles. 


Suitable for ages 13 and up.

Film Length: 60 min. 

Instructor: Amit Yaniv-Zehavi


At 7 pm on Thursdays: April 16 and May 7.


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


Israel Shabbat

April 16 * 6:15-7:15 pm

Congregation Sinai

8223 N. Port Washington Rd., Milwaukee


Join us for Rockin' Shabbat "Israeli Style."  We will incorporate popular Israeli melodies into our worship service. Join us for an Israeli Feast to follow!


For more information and to RSVP email 



Yaad Shay Shoshany Young Leaders Delegation from Israel 

April 21-27

Milwaukee Jewish Federation's George Weinstein Fellowship and Israel Center's P2G 


Last year, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation's George Weinstein Fellowship sent its fourth cohort of young leaders to Israel. This spring, a group of Israel's young leaders from our Partnership2Gether region surrounding the Kinneret are coming to visit Milwaukee. The delegation will bring an authentic Israel feeling to Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut. To volunteer to help drive and tour contact Zabrina Tamarkin.


To RSVP contact  Zabrina Tamarkin at or call 414-390-5781.  


Yom HaZikaron Commemoration

Yom HaZikaron 2014

April 22 * 5:30-7 pm

Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC

6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Whitefish Bay


The second of the three "Yamim," or "Days," this day and ceremony remembers those who died in battle protecting Israel and the families they left behind.


Photo exhibition of 2014's fallen soldiers from our Parthership2Gether region, a chance to learn more about their lives and write a note to their families: 5:30-6 pm

Program: 6 pm


Co-chairs: Monica Arnstein and Amy Bazelon

View photos from 2014 event.


For more information about this event click here.


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. 



Yom Ha'atzmaut Seudah

April 23 * 5:30 pm  

Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah

6717 N. Green Bay Ave., Glendale


Come celebrate Israel at Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah. Delicious authentic Israeli food and live music.


For more information for to RSVP contact Carrie at or call 414-228-9296



Theater Party 2015 @ Temple Menorah

April 23 * 5:30-10:30 pm

Temple Menorah

9363 North 76th Street., Milwaukee


THE 39 STEPS will delight theatergoers. In celebration of Yom Ha'Atzmaut, plan to enjoy the Delicious Israeli Buffet at 5:30PM, following the 5PM Minyan.


Seats are limited, reservations are absolutely necessary by April 17! 


Dinner & Theater Ticket: $24 per person. Carpooling from the synagogue to the theater will make transportation easy.


To RSVP call Temple Menorah at 414-355-1120



Yom HaAtzmaut 2014

Yom HaAtzmaut: Israel's Independence Day Celebration

April 26 * 1:30-6 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: 3:00 - 6:00 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.


Breaking News!!! Ester Rada will perform

 at Yom HaAtzmaut 2015 at 5 pm

(at the JCC)

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. 



Our Israel Now: Advocacy Session with David Bernstein

April 27 * 7-9 pm

Location TBD


"Our Israel Now: Connect, Engage, 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 by Friday, April 24th if you plan on attending.




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.




Israel: The Arts Tour

April 19-29, 2015


Join Jody Hirsh, JCC director of Judaic education & Milwaukee's Artists' Laboratory director, for a ten day trip to Israel focused on unique arts and culinary experiences. Questions? Email or call Jody Hirsh at 414-967-8199.

 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 Analysis   




Official White House was part of bid to oust Netanyahu (Times of Israel)


Doing the Electoral Math (Times of Israel)


Netanyahu's Reelection Pushes J Street to the Left (Forward)


Rebukes From White House Risk Buoying Netanyahu




US accusations of Israeli espionage - why now? by Ron Ben-Yishai (Ynet)


Save Them from Themselves by Robert Satloff (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)


Ashamed of Netanyahu, infuriated with Obama by David Horovitz (Times of Israel)


After electoral trouncing, what future for the Israeli left? by Haviv Rettg Gur (Times of Israel) 


The Key to Understanding Netanyahu's Ascent in the Last Few Days of the Campaign by Tomer Persico 

(a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Elyachar Center in Ben Gurion University)


Beinart's boycotts and bullying the Jewish State (Times of Israel)


Unconditionally Loving Israel and Jewish Values By Rabbi Rick Jacobs 

Bob Schieffer: Time to Repair US-Israel Alliance (CBS)


Comedian Bill Maher justifies Netanyahu campaign tactics (HBO via Jerusalem Post)



And Now for Some Good News


Palestinian Receives Top Job at Israeli Ministry 


FEATURE STORY- Connect with Israel and Overseas FeatureStory   

By Jake Velleman, MJF Outreach Coordinator



On March 17th, Israel held national elections to determine the makeup of the Knesset, the country's 120-seat parliament. The elections, which were widely covered in international press and closely watched by Israel's allies and adversaries alike, are the subject of intense analysis and scrutiny. One thing, however, has once again been confirmed:  Israeli elections are predictably unpredictable.


This election was seen by many to be a referendum on the leadership of incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, of the right-wing Likud party. Likud's principal opponent, the center-left Zionist Union party, an alliance of the once dominant Labor party (headed by Isaac Herzog) and the Hatnua party (headed by Tzipi Livni), was favored by polls leading into Election Day. Defying expectations, however, Likud came away with 30 seats (to the Zionist Union's 24). While it seems a foregone conclusion that Netanyahu will be the leader best positioned to form a governing coalition, that decision now falls on the shoulders of one person:  Reuven "Rubi" Rivlin, Israel's President, who on Sunday will begin consultations with party officials to decide who he will appoint to form a coalition and become (or remain) Prime Minister of Israel.


While many were surprised by the election results, the majority vote for Likud signaled that their party message, focusing on Israel's security, resonates with many. From this, we in Milwaukee can take away that despite the pride we have in Israel's strength as a world leader and nation, Israel still needs our support to ensure her safety and acceptance throughout the world. We can start with organizations, institutions, and individuals in our home city.


No matter how we feel about the election outcomes - whether we're elated, deflated, or perhaps supported one of the other dozen or so parties that didn't even make the cut - we should tune out the pundits for a moment and consider some of the positive aspects of this election. Democracy in Israel is alive and well. The 20th Knesset will include more women than ever before. It will include more Arab members than ever before. It will be made up of Israelis from across the political and religious spectrums.


While, as with every nation, there is much work to be done, there is even more to be proud of in Israel. Whether you are considering supporting Israel through philanthropy or participation in a mission or other Israel experience, saving for a trip through the Bernard and Helen F Soref Passport to Israel program, or advocating for Israel throughout our community, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation is a here for you.  We look forward to supporting Israel together.


Jake Velleman, Outreach Coordinator at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, studied Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya in Israel, where he lived from 2009 to 2012. 





Amit Yaniv-Zehavi

When do I feel "far away from home"? 


As many of you know, I happen to have a "split" or double identity. I was born in the US, but moved to Israel at 10. I have been back and forth many times & when I haven't, I have always been in touch with "my American side" through family, friends & colleagues on this side of the ocean. Therefore, it is easy for me to feel at home in both worlds.

When, then do I feel "far away from home"?

When my children have birthdays (one coming up this week) for example, I find it hard to recreate the feeling we have when surrounded by family, singing & joking. Skype just doesn't do the trick.

My 16 year old got his 1st Army letter. He needs to show up for Medical exams, all part of the process leading up to his mandatory enrollment in the IDF at age 18.

And earlier this month when everyone in Israel was posting pictures of all the beautiful red poppies, pink almond blossoms, yellow mustard flowers and purple lupins & irises, which I miss so much, I can envision the scent. While the ground was still snow covered here, all my friends were busy picnicking in the Israeli country side.

And finally, this week, with the Elections in Israel going on, even though we were allowed to vote, and made our way to Chicago to be a part of Israel's political future, there was no real way to capture the tension in the streets and in the homes, the Israeli humor about the "situation," apparent on Social Media, TV, internet & Radio. Our "WhatsApp" groups were busy overtime and we all (The ShinShins, the Shlichut family & some Men's Club & Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC staff) watched the live streaming of the Polls together.

I am sure, next month on Yom HaZikaron especially, and on Yom HaAzmaut, I will feel this way again. It is all part of the unique position I am in as being a temporary part of your lives. An episode...     





Amit Yaniv-Zehavi

Community Shlichah 


PS Feel free to contact me at




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.